A “zero tolerance” culture towards bullying in schools is the
aim of a new package of measures being developed by the Department
for Education and Skills.
Schools already have a legal duty to draw up anti-bullying
policies but this week the government announced new measures
including a £5m pilot scheme for primary schools and an
anti-bullying charter to help schools check they are doing all they
can to tackle bullying.
Some 35,000 primary schools will be involved in the pilot which
aims to develop children’s behavioural skills to ensure they
respect others, according to the DfES. But as well as whole-class
work, the money will also be spent on interventions identifying
children with particular difficulties in a bid to stop problems
According to DfES research more than 45 per cent of children say
they have been bullied, and more than a quarter admit to having
bullied others. For most of those who have been bullied, it has
been an isolated incident but 12 per cent are bullied at least two
or three times a month, including 4 per cent who are bullied
several times every week.
Usually, boys are bullied by boys, but girls are bullied by
girls and boys. The most common perpetrators are boys. Children who
bully others can come from any kind of family, regardless of social
class or cultural background.
The new anti-bullying initiatives were kicked off by a publicity
campaign which includes a short film for children, Tell Someone, to
be broadcast on television.
The charter will be developed in partnership with professional
associations and voluntary organisations, and will be the subject
of regional conferences which will involve pupils as well as
schools, local education authorities and voluntary
– An anti-bullying pack for schools is available at