School Bullying Procedures - A Headmaster's Perspective

Mr David Carroll
Deputy Headmaster – Students, Brisbane Grammar School.

I have been fortunate to hold a leadership in the student well-being portfolio in a variety of boys’ schools throughout my career. Each school has afforded me the opportunity to grow professionally, as I have been able to identify similarities and differences between all of the schools and use the combination of these to assist students in each of the schools.

Although it may appear to be obvious, one of the similarities I have observed is that parents love their children. This has been most obvious when dealing with issues associated with and surrounding bullying. Students, parents, siblings and even the extended family are greatly affected by bullying. The impact is relevant to students on both sides of the incident. I find it to be the issue that evokes the most emotional and sensational responses from all parties involved.

Mr David Carroll

Given this, I believe it is very important for schools to not only have a policy but also a set of procedures that assist staff responsible for managing the issue of bullying. In 2015 I presented a set of procedures developed at my current school at the ‘Say No to Bullying Conference’.  The procedures identified the importance of communicating to all involved how the issue would be managed. I have on occasions shared our procedures with families so that they are better prepared for what will occur. It is vital that staff responsible for managing incidents of bullying follow the procedures in a consistent manner. Over the years I have seen these procedures repeatedly assist families to understand what is happening. In my opinion when the procedures are followed the responses from those are calmer which allows for a more deliberate approach to the management of the core issue.

As we all know it can sometimes be difficult to deal with the issue of bullying when there is a lack of understanding by all involved. Clear communication, consistently implemented procedures with continual follow up at key times allows for a consistently better resolution. Our collected data has indicated that boys value our procedures for managing incidents of bullying and see them as effective. This has also coincided with data that indicates a decline in the percentages of students being bullied.

The 2017 National No More Harm Conference will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Brisbane on the 26th and 27th of June. For further information please visit


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