Strong leadership support
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Leadership is critical. The most effective schools have the support of their board and senior leadership team where leadership is characterised by:
- strong commitment and management
- communication of a clear and sustainable vision
- access to resources
- designated staff with responsibilities
- actions that translate the commitment into practice
- a cycle of regular review.
The leadership team should be the champions of the school’s bullying prevention approach, providing support and strong leadership.
Effective bullying prevention requires a shared ownership of the problem by the entire school community. Decisions that a school’s leadership team makes—or doesn’t make—can have a considerable impact on a school’s bullying prevention efforts. School leaders should recruit representatives from the school community to help drive bullying prevention initiatives to form the bullying prevention team.
The school’s leadership team then needs to work in a highly collaborative way with any bullying prevention team to support and sustain bullying prevention over the long-term.
The Board has a crucial role in setting the vision and expectaions for a climate that supports a whole-school approach and collective responsibility for bullying prevention.
Boards of Trustees have legal responsibilties for providing a safe physical and emotional environment for students, inlcuding under the Education Act 1989 and National Administration Guideline 5 (NAG 5).
The best way for schools to ensure they are meeting their obligations to provide a safe learning environment for students is to implement robust bullying prevention and response policies and processes
Questions for Boards of Trustees:
- How well are we doing on Education Act 1989 / NAG 5? How do we know?
- Do we maintain a safe physical and emotional environment in our school?
- Have we considered the role of digital technology in the learning environment?
- Have we considered using the Education Review Office (ERO) wellbeing for success indicators?
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A guide for Boards of Trustees — legal responsibilities