21/11/2003

Anti-bullying charter to be adopted in schools

Head teachers and governors will be invited to adopt a charter that commits the whole school to an anti-bullying culture, as part of a new campaign announced on Thursday.

The charter recommends a set of actions that schools can take to prevent and deal with bullying as part of the wider 'Make the Difference' anti-bullying campaign launched by Education Minister, Ivan Lewis.

The Minister urged schools, charities, parents and young people to tackle bullying and intimidation in schools.

"Every school has a responsibility to have an active anti-bullying policy; every adult in that school has a responsibility to tackle bullying; every parent has a responsibility to support their child and their school. Every child has a right to reach their full potential in a safe and positive environment," he said.

Heads, local education authorities and voluntary sector organisations will share anti-bullying best practice and develop support networks through a series of conferences to take place around the country over the next 12 months.

"There is much good work already in hand to tackle bullying in schools, but together, we can and must do more," Mr Lewis added.

Ofsted inspectors have been issued with handbooks that will assess whether an anti-bullying policy is being implemented effectively. Inspectors are required to obtain pupils' and parents' views on bullying as part of their evidence on school discipline.

A £75 million package of training and expert behaviour and attendance consultants has recently been introduced to help teachers improve pupil behaviour and attendance in secondary schools.

(MB)

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