Education | May 01, 2019

Bullying rife in Lowan schools

The 2018 Attitudes to School report recently released by the Victorian Education Department has revealed that government schools in country Victoria are hotbeds for bullying with rural students more likely to experience bullying than their metropolitan counterparts.

Local schools are also concerned about a lack of Student Support Services, with the West Grampians Network Horsham Office not fully staffed for the last two years and students in need of support not having their needs met.

The Attitudes to School report reveals that students in Lowan had experienced some of the highest rates of bullying in Victoria with over 30 percent of year 7 to 9 students in the Ararat, Northern Grampians and Southern Grampians local government areas reporting they had been bullied.

Along with the emotional effects, studies have shown that students targeted by bullying are left behind when it comes to learning outcomes.

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the results were shocking and accused Labor of failing Lowan students.

“These bullying rates are completely unacceptable,” Ms Kealy said.

“Daniel Andrews said he would make Victoria the ‘Education State’ but these bullying rates show that Labor is failing to ensure students in Lowan feel safe at school.

“I have recently been contacted by the President of a local school concerned about the current state of Student Support Services for schools who are part of the West Grampians Network.

“I have been advised there is currently no full-time team leader for the Network and the Horsham office has not been fully staffed for over two years, resulting in students in need of support not having their needs met.

“School should be a safe place for all students and it is critical that students receive the support they need; these results show that the government has dropped the ball.

“Labor has been in government for 16 of the past 20 years and seem to have made no headway in this area, leaving many families distressed. Daniel Andrews has certainly failed country students.

“Labor’s city centric Premier needs a geography lesson – there are students that live outside the tram tracks and these students matter.

“Lowan students have a right to go to school and feel safe.”

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