Friendly Schools

A whole-school social and emotional wellbeing and bullying prevention program.

  • Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
  • Type of intervention: Bullying prevention
  • Strength of evidence: Level 4: Established evidence for program (supported by quality research evidence)
  • Geographic location: Statewide

Program description

Friendly Schools is a whole-school social and emotional wellbeing and bullying prevention program.  

The program provides schools, teachers and families with effective ways to promote wellbeing, reduce depression, anxiety and stress whilst also preventing, managing and responding to bullying.

Schools follow a process outlined in the Team Guide which includes a range of resources and data collection tools that help build school leadership’s capacity to successfully implement the program.

Intended outcomes

  • Improved school climate 
  • Consistent school response to bullying incidents 
  • Decreased bullying and cyberbullying  
  • Increased connectedness to school and teachers 
  • Increased sense of safety  
  • Increased help seeking when needed  
  • Improved emotional self-regulation 
  • Improved social problem-solving.

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students - lower
  • Primary school students - upper
  • Secondary school students - lower
  • Primary school staff - Capacity building
  • Secondary school staff - Capacity building
Program providerTelethon Kids Institute
Delivery mode
  • Online

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Whole-school approach for primary and secondary schools and classroom curriculum for primary schools and lower secondary schools. 
  • Program adaptability: A series of school capacity and action reviews allow schools to identify their individual contexts and current strengths and needs as well as develop their actions for improvement. 
  • Staffing: The time allocated to engage in the program is determined by the school, however it is recommended that school coordinating teams should aim to meet regularly throughout the year (i.e. monthly) for planning and management and time should be allocated for building capacity of staff (i.e. one-day professional learning). Backfilling may be required for new staff. 
  • Training requirements: Training requires a minimum of 2 hours. Online training and coaching is also available on negotiation. Team training can be offered in larger sessions for a number of School Teams if there is demand.
  • Factors to consider: Smaller schools or school teams can also combine with other nearby school teams to reduce costs. Schools should aim for at least 4–6 school coordinating team members. 
  • Australian context: Friendly Schools has been implemented and evaluated with over 40,000 Australian children and young people since 1999.


Item cost


Detailed cost

The cost of program resources (inc. GST) are $350 for the primary school pack and $200 for the secondary school pack.

The cost of training (inc. GST) is $5000 for a whole-school full day staff workshop and $395 per person for the Friendly Schools Team full day training.