Anti-bullying interventions in schools - what works? poster

This poster was originally published 25 July 2017.

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The NSW Anti-bullying Strategy

In 2017, the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) released a literature review on effective anti-bullying interventions in schools. This review became the evidence base for the NSW Department of Education's Anti-bullying Strategy. This strategy brings together evidence-based resources and information to support schools, parent and carers, and students to prevent and respond to bullying effectively.

Bullying can be face-to-face, covert or online.

It has three main features:

  • it involves repeated actions
  • is intended to cause distress or harm, and
  • is grounded in an imbalance of power.

The most effective anti-bullying interventions:

  • take a holistic, whole-school and whole-community approach
  • include educational content in the classroom that allows students to learn appropriate ways to respond to bullying
  • provide support and sustainable professional development for school staff
  • ensure sysematic implementation and evaluation.

Key findings

  • In 2015, 14.8% of Australian students reported being bullied at least a few times per month.
  • Bullying peaks during the transition from primary school to high school.

It decreased to low levels by the end of high school. Boys tend to bully more than girls, however, girls use more covert bullying than boys.

  • Anti-bullying programs reduce bullying behaviours by an average of 20-23%.


  • Poster

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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