Policy Number: SCS2023011
Document Rescinds / Replaces: TL201604-1.1
Date Released: 27 January 2023
Review Date: 27 January 2026
Policy Type: Operational
Audience: Public
Approved by: Executive Director
Document Owner: Director, Education & Research

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) is committed to providing a respectful, safe and supportive learning environment for students. Bullying undermines the dignity and wellbeing of each student, and SCS considers all forms of bullying behaviour unacceptable.

Bullying is intentional and repeated behaviour that involves the ongoing misuse of power that can cause physical and/or psychological harm to a student. Bullying behaviour can be verbal, physical, social (e.g. excluding, alienating behaviour) and psychological (spreading rumours, sending hurtful messages or comments) and includes bullying via social media and other online platforms (cyber-bullying).

Bullying can involve discrimination, intimidation and harassment. Bullying behaviours may be individual or collective behaviours which occur on or outside school premises and during or after school hours. Some bullying may constitute criminal conduct such as assault, threatening behaviours, property damage or harassment and stalking.

The purpose of this policy is to support SCS school communities to prevent and address issues of student bullying in order to build respectful relationships. SCS staff will work in partnership with parents and carers who have an integral role to play in the prevention and resolution of bullying.

This policy applies to SCS staff, parents and carers. In this Policy SCS staff means all employees, members of religious orders engaged in schools, volunteers, trainees, interns, and labour hire employees.

Failure to comply with the responsibilities and obligations outlined in the policy may result in disciplinary action being taken, including termination of employment, for SCS staff.

3.1 Principals

Principals are required to:
3.1.1 Ensure their school implements and regularly reviews an Anti-Bullying Plan, which includes all steps to build a safe and supportive learning and teaching environment that aims to reduce or avoid bullying incidents.

3.1.2 Provide training for staff on how to reduce the incidence of bullying, how to report and respond to any incidents of bullying and promote the development and maintenance of respectful student relationships.

3.1.3 Ensure that students are provided with age-appropriate support and education about bullying behaviours, respectful relationships and processes for reporting bullying, to ensure their safety.

3.1.4 Ensure bullying complaints are investigated and responded to in a timely and procedurally fair manner in accordance with School Response to alleged bullying guidelines, to respect the dignity and privacy of those students involved. Ensure relevant staff are informed about bullying complaints and incidents.

3.1.5 Notify the school’s NSW Police Youth Officer and SCS Child Safety team of any bullying situation involving violence, significant threat of harm or alleged criminal conduct. Further advice can be obtained from the Police Youth Officer or the SCS Child Safety Team.

3.1.6 Ensure wellbeing support for students involved in bullying, including liaison with the School Counsellor and Student Wellbeing and Learning Team where appropriate.

3.1.7 Maintain and regularly analyse confidential records to identify students involved in bullying behaviours, through patterns and trends.

3.2 School staff

School staff are required to:

3.2.1 Take reasonable care for the safety and wellbeing of students at school or when involved in a school activity.

3.2.2 Implement classroom anti-bullying education and preventative strategies which promote respectful relationships.

3.2.3 Notify the school leadership team and maintain a confidential record of the alleged bullying matter.

3.2.4 Notify parents and carers of bullying incidents that involve their children in a timely manner.

3.2.5 Collaborate with students, parents, the School Counsellor, SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning Team, and external agencies such as NSW Police where appropriate, in identifying and addressing bullying behaviour.

3.3 SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning Team

The SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning Team will:

3.3.1 Provide consultation, support and professional training related to bullying matters, at the request of schools.

3.4 Parents/Carers

Parents and carers of students are required to:

3.4.1 Work collaboratively with school and SCS processes and staff to prevent and resolve allegations of bullying in their child’s school.

3.4.2 Not engage in bullying behaviours toward any SCS students, SCS staff or other parents.

If you have any questions about this policy or would like further information, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Learning Team on studentwellbeing-contact@syd.catholic.edu.au, or by Phone on (02) 9568 8485.

Policy Number: SCS2023001
Document Rescinds / Replaces: TL201604-1.1
Date Released: 27 January 2023
Review Date: 27 January 2026
Policy Type: Operational
Audience: Public
Approved by: Executive Director
Document Owner: Director: Education & Research