Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Child Health Promotion Research Centre




This article was originally published as: Cross, D. S., Epstein, M. , Hearn, L. A., Slee, P., Shaw, T. M., & Monks, H. E. (2011). National Safe Schools Framework: Policy and practice to reduce bullying in Australian schools. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(5), 398-404. Original article available here


In 2003 Australia was one of the first countries to develop an integrated national policy, called the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF), for the prevention and management of violence, bullying, and other aggressive behaviors. The effectiveness of this framework has not yet been formally evaluated. Cross-sectional data collected in 2007 from 7,418 students aged 9 to 14 years old and 453 teachers from 106 representative Australian schools were analyzed to determine teachers’ perceptions about the extent of implementation of the NSSF, teachers’ capacity to address student bullying, and students’ reports of bullying in their school, 4 years following the framework’s dissemination. While methodological issues limit the findings, schools appear not to have widely implemented the recommended safe school practices, teachers appear to need more training to address bullying, especially covert bullying, and bullying prevalence among students seems relatively unchanged compared to Australian data collected 4 years prior to the launch of the NSSF.


Link to publisher version (DOI)