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Staff bullying in Australian schools

Dan Riley (University of New England, Uralla, Australia)
Deirdre J. Duncan (Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, Australia)
John Edwards (Ryde, Australia)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 1 February 2011




The purpose of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of staff bullying in Australian schools, to identify bullies and targets and to examine some implications for school leaders in dealing with staff bullying.


The quantitative research design survey instrument contained 11 demographic items, 44 questions of bullying experience, two lists of possible bullies and targets, plus three open‐ended questions.


Data revealed that 99.6 per cent of respondents had experienced some form of bullying during their employment. Half the respondents experienced 32 or more of the 44 listed survey items, while their health was adversely affected by persistent and frequent bullying.

Practical implications

The research revealed the existence of workplace bullying in Australian schools and some obvious implications for leadership. It profiled the experiences of respondents and identified strategies to eliminate or reduce bullying in Australian schools.


The exploratory study was the first national online survey into staff bullying in Australian schools.



Riley, D., Duncan, D.J. and Edwards, J. (2011), "Staff bullying in Australian schools", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 7-30.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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