30/06/2006

NICCY to involve pupils in tackling bullies

Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Barney McNeany has today launched a report stating that school children should be involved in creating school policies aimed a tackling bullying.

As a result of the research published in the report, the Commissioner will be producing 10 guidelines to support schools in making sure children can be involved in developing and implementing anti-bullying policies.

Speaking earlier, the NICCY Commissioner said: “Principals, teachers, boards of governors and pupils all know that bullying is a difficult subject to tackle.

“The research we are launching today shows that there is a clear need for children to be involved in enhancing and strengthening anti-bullying policies.”

The research, which was carried out on behalf of NICCY by the National Children’s Bureau, examined the experiences of pupils in primary, post-primary, secondary schools, and special schools.

Mr McNeany continued: “Legislation from three years ago set out that each school should have an anti-bullying policy, and that children and young people from the school should contribute to that policy.

“We recognise that schools need support in doing this, and that is why we will be using this report to produce 10 best practice guidelines to show how pupils can be involved. These will be launched later in the year.”

The Commissioner said that the research showed that while bullying remains a problem for some children and young people, there were many examples of good practice in schools which created an open environment where children and young people were confident in having their say.

He concluded by saying that NICCY hoped that the research, along with guidelines, which NICCY will produce, and the effort of many organisations will, over coming years, reduce the instance of bullying and the pain and distress it causes to too many children and young people.

(EF/SP)

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