May 08, 2009

Almost all school teachers have been bullied

Almost all school teachers have been bullied in the workplace, often by senior staff or the principal, a national study reveals.

A University of New England study of 800 school staff members from government and non-government primary and secondary schools found 99.6 per cent of staff had experienced one or more of 44 types of bullying identified in the survey.

In the report, the research team said the results showed bullying of staff "does occur at Australian schools".

"The survey's findings are highly disturbing, as zero tolerance to any form of bullying is the expected norm in Australian schools," Dr Dan Riley from the University of New England, in northern NSW, said.

He said the target of the bullying was usually lower in the staff hierarchy than the perpetrator.

"The report reveals that the most persistent bullies were identified as the school executive staff and then the principal and that the typical victim is a teacher," Dr Riley said.

Some of the 44 types of bullying listed in the survey included tasks set with unreasonable or impossible targets or deadlines, attempts to belittle and undermine a staff member's work and areas of responsibility removed or added without consultation.


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