Funds for Bendigo students' well-being

EAGLEHAWK North Primary is the latest school in Bendigo to get a welfare officer as part of a state government initiative to curb bullying.

Eaglehawk primary school welfare officer and assistant principal John Morton said the government had provided the school with funds to help with the well-being of students.

“The school being part of the initiative means I will be able to put more time and energy into the role of welfare officer than previously,” he said.

“We as a school are interested in looking after our students’ emotional and social well-being as well as their academic progress.”

Mr Morton said the school was the first point of call for students and their parents when problems arose in the home environment.

“We want to provide a secure environment, where all our students feel safe,” he said.

“We monitor student behaviour, we have rules, we run peer mediation programs and we have parenting programs.”

Specimen Hill Primary School has been part of the government initiative for three years.

Well-being officer Bernadette Wright is employed at the school three days a week, working with students, parents and staff members.

She said every student in the school takes part in the well-being program, which focuses on topics such as bullying, family and life issues.

“We have an extremely strong well-being program at the school, where I am required to work very closely with the principal,” she said.

Mrs Wright described the school as being “the hub of the community”, where parents and students trusted the staff to provide them with support.

Kangaroo Flat Primary School principal Heather Odgers said the school had a team of staff who dedicated their time to driving the well-being program.

“Our team is dedicated to providing students and their families with support,” she said.

Ms Odgers said student well-being was a growing issue and she was proud of the work her school did to support students.

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