Australia might be ranked the worst in the world when it comes to bullying. But New South Wales says the state has all necessary anti-bullying measures in place.
The US-based Trends In International And Mathematics And Science Study survey of year 4 students across 40 countries found that in Australia more than a quarter of all students in Australia had been bullied. That is the worst ranking in the report.
AdvertisementMs Firth said the figures were national not state based and every school in NSW had an anti-bullying program in operation.
"This plan is reviewed every year by the principal in consultation with parents, with teachers and with students," she told reporters.
"We also now have a mandatory reporting requirement by principals to parents in the annual school report."
She said children were asked a number of questions in the survey, including whether they had ever felt excluded or been teased at school.
She said NSW students were taught from kindergarten to go to trusted people if they felt uncomfortable.
"We actually encourage kids to be able to talk about what's happening to them," she said.
"That's why sometimes when you see this sort of reporting happening from our kids it's not necessarily a bad thing.
"It shows that they do feel confident enough to talk about feeling uncomfortable at school."
She said principals had also been given tougher powers, now able to suspend students for 20 days for involvement in bullying.
"We always want to do more on this issue but NSW has good processes in place," she said.