Govt tries new initiatives to stop bullying


Schools will be required to put in place programmes to cope with bullying, Education Minister Chris Carter announced today.

Mr Carter today launched a range of initiatives aimed at making schools safer for students and to ensure schools have anti-bullying programmes in place.

The moves follow a spate of high profile bullying incidents around the country.

Mr Carter said the initiatives include web-based resources, student materials and new action by the Education Review Office (ERO).

"ERO will now focus attention on individual schools to ensure that they have strategies in place to combat bullying," Mr Carter said.

From term three this year ERO will ask schools whether incidents of particular types of bullying have occurred in their school.

Mr Carter hoped that by specifically asking about bullying, schools without targeted anti-bullying programmes would be encouraged to make their schools safer places for all their students.

Every student from year three will receive a personal information card informing them about ways to keep safe in school.

Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro welcomed the ERO's initiative as her own office began an investigation into bullying today.

"My independent School Safety report, which will be published in February next year, has an important point of difference in that it will include student perspectives, to ensure that children's voices are heard," Dr Kiro said.

"This investigation is not intended to be a criticism of any particular school or school culture in general but will focus on understanding what is happening and look at success stories in dealing with violence and bullying at school."

Dr Kiro said it was important to remember school bullying was not a new concept.

"Obviously some of the forms have changed over time and we are much more aware of both the forms and its impact on children and young people."

Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro welcomed the ERO's initiative as her own office began an investigation into bullying today.

"My independent School Safety report, which will be published in February next year, has an important point of difference in that it will include student perspectives, to ensure that children's voices are heard," Dr Kiro said.

"This investigation is not intended to be a criticism of any particular school or school culture in general but will focus on understanding what is happening and look at success stories in dealing with violence and bullying at school."

Dr Kiro said it was important to remember school bullying was not a new concept.

"Obviously some of the forms have changed over time and we are much more aware of both the forms and its impact on children and young people."

- NZPA


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