Peer Support is a secondary school programme, which seeks to assist new students arriving at a secondary school in January/February each year. The Peer Support programme was introduced into New Zealand in the mid ‘80s and is running successfully in about 70% of the schools across the country.
Trained senior students (Year 12 or 13) are allocated a small group of Year 9 students and, during a specified time allocation within the school programme, work with these students so that they feel part of the wider school community. Topics covered during these sessions may include the school’s co-curricular programmes and opportunities, peer pressure, bullying, verbal and physical abuse, cultural differences, and how to deal with them.
The training of the school teachers is carried out in two-day workshops by specially trained tutor consultants who have several years experience in running a Peer Support programme.
Financially a trust (made up of a small group of trustees-one per Rotary district) manage the resources and the allocations of funds to each district.
It would be most helpful if Rotary clubs considered and approved supporting the meagre funds allocated by the trust. This fund would enhance and ensure that teachers released from class, could be covered by an employed reliever whilst they trained, and also help maintain a pool of well trained teachers across our schools.