Students from a number of government high schools are taking an in-depth look into bullying, as well as barriers to school attendance, to explore from a ground level what drives these issues and what can be done to address them.
The project is being undertaken by the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA), in partnership with and being supported by the Department for Education, and will support students in developing and running student centred projects to reduce bullying and non-attendance in our schools.
Underdale and Nuriootpa High Schools will focus on bullying while schools within the Northern Adelaide Secondary Schools Alliance will focus on attendance.
Projects will be determined by the students and based on surveys and conversations with their peers, staff and parents.
Education Minister John Gardner said the partnership was an important part of bringing student voice into this critical discussion.
“As we work towards ensuring that our students benefit from best practice approaches to issues like bullying and truancy, this important partnership helps us actively engage young people who can genuinely contribute to policies and initiatives that affect them,” said Minister Gardner.
“We hope to better understand bullying from a student perspective, as well as the barriers to student attendance, so that strategies and support can be more student centred, preventative and impactful.
“It is great to have YACSA on board to provide their expertise and help support the students through this process.”
YACSA Chief Executive Anne Bainbridge welcomed the partnership.
“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the Department to drive student-led approaches to bullying and attendance,” said Ms Bainbridge.
“Young people are the experts in their own lives and are best placed to identify solutions that are relevant and responsive to their needs.
“This approach will engage the whole school community as equal partners in the process and that will increase the quality and appropriateness of local responses and policy development.”