Involving parents, carers and whānau
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Consultation with parents, whānau and the wider school community is an important part of developing a school-wide bullying prevention approach.
Each school will need to consult in ways that are appropriate for their school community. For example, the Wellbeing@School Student Survey(external link) could be used to design a parent and whānau survey.
Other methods of consultation could include:
- using the Wellbeing@School Student Survey to design a parent and whānau survey
- inviting whānau representatives to join your bullying prevention team
- having a display or holding discussion groups at a time when parents and whānau are likely to be at school, such as during student learning or reporting conferences
- reaching out to the community by organising consultation hui at local marae, fono at local churches or community centres, or meetings at the homes of parents and whānau.
Schools might ask parents and whānau about the ‘feel’ or climate of the school, whether they feel the school is a safe and caring place for their children, how this could be improved, and ways the community and school could work together to support each other.
Wider Community consultation and advice
Schools might consider consulting with organisations and groups in their community who could provide particular expertise. For example, consult with groups such as Rainbow Youth (external link)or NetSafe(external link), or your NZ Police School Community Officer.
For more on consulting with parents, whānau and the school community
- Educational Leaders - involving parents, families and whānau (external link)
- Ka Hikitia (external link)
- TKI Engaging with the Community(external link) - This section of TKI provides information and examples of ways schools can engage with their communities using information and communication technologies.
- TKI Inclusion(external link) - This section of TKI draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support schools as they consider the inclusion principle
- TKI Inclusive Education Guide for Schools - Developing an Inclusive Classroom culture(external link)
Parents and caregivers expect schools to provide information about bullying. You could provide information on. You could provide information on:
- the definition of bullying, including cyberbullying - it's important the whole school community has a shared understanding of what is and is not bullying behaviour
- types of bullying behaviour and the extent to which it happens nationally and in your school
- the different roles that students can take in bullying behaviour (initiators, targets and bystanders), and the important impact bystanders can have
- the impacts of bullying on all those involved
- the signs that a child may be involved in bullying behaviour and what parents and whānau can do
- the school’s policies on bullying prevention and response and what that means for students and their whānau
- what parents and whānau can expect when they report concerns about bullying.
The Parent and Whānau section of this website has more information for parents on bullying behaviour. You could also use the The Guide to Bullying - a guide for parents and whānau to support your communication with parents.
Tackling Bullying - A guide for parents and whānau
This guide will help parents, whānau and schools to work together to tackle bullying behaviour. It includes information about bullying and what parents and whānau can do. There are tips for parents...
What schools could include when providing information to parents and caregivers about bullying.
Information for parents and caregivers who suspect that a child is a target of bullying could include:
- staying calm
- working out how to deal with the situation together
- reassuring the child that they have done the right thing in talking about it, that the bullying is not their fault, and that the parents/caregivers will work with the school to make things better
- agreeing on a plan of support for the child
- regularly checking in with the child to see how they are doing.
Information for parents and caregivers who suspect that a child is bullying others could include:
- talking to the child to get the full story and their point of view
- being clear about what is and is not acceptable behaviour at school and at home
- explaining how bullying affects the targets, the bystanders and the school environment
- discussing better ways to handle situations where the child may act aggressively
- regularly checking with the child to see how they are doing
- recognising and praising appropriate behaviour
- talking to the school and the child’s teacher about how they can help.
Information for parents and caregivers who suspect that a child is a target of cyberbullying could include:
- asking questions about how digital technology is being used
- taking an active approach to discussing digital issues with their child
- saving all bullying messages and images to use when reporting the bullying to the school or the police
- contacting the police if the cyberbullying involves physical threats or could put the child in danger
- lodging a complaint with the mobile phone or social networking site provider
- contacting NetSafe.