Media Release - 6 February 2018
The best solution to combat cyber bullying, bullying and improve cyber safety in all Australians schools is the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s eSmart Schools, says Seven Network’s breakfast program, Sunrise.
Following a spate of recent high-profile suicides across Australia, Sunrise yesterday launched a new campaign called 'Beat The Bullies' to fight for a change in policy and behaviours.
Today, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s CEO, Lesley Podesta, spoke to hosts David Koch and Sam Armytage about the eSmart Schools framework.
“eSmart Schools works across all primary and secondary school curriculums,” Ms Podesta said.
“Its focus is on creating a strong, anti-bullying culture for the entire school.”
eSmart Schools was developed by RMIT University in 2010, in consultation with cyber safety, bullying, education and industry experts from across Australia.
One in three Australian schools is currently participating in eSmart Schools. To date, the program has reached more than 1.3 million children and young people in primary and secondary schools.
eSmart Schools is different to other bullying or cyber bullying programs because it is based on behavioural and cultural change within the school community, Ms Podesta said.
“Reducing cyber bullying and bullying requires all members of the school and broader community to participate”.
“eSmart Schools is the only program that covers every aspect of a schools’ approach to bullying prevention, including parents, teachers, students and the entire school community and focuses on creating a strong, anti-bullying culture.”
Evaluations of the program revealed that teachers said they were confident in advising students and knew what to do if an incident occurred.
“Eighty per cent of principals said eSmart Schools had changed school-wide culture and behaviour with regard to cyber safety, technology and bullying, while 98 per cent said they would recommend it to other schools,” Ms Podesta said.
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