Parents and teachers must work together to help the thousands of children dreading going back to school next week because of the bullying they will suffer at the hands of other children, Childline has warned.
New statistics reveal that the number of children counselled about bullying by Childline rose by 12% over the last 12 months to more than 37,000 children across the UK.
A study of calls to the helpline also reveals that homophobic bullying is an area of growing concern, with many young people claiming that teachers are failing to address this issue. Children subjected to homophobic bullying also report being too scared to tell their parents and feeling lonely and isolated.
To coincide with the new school year, the NSPCC, which now runs Childline, has released anti-bullying tips for parents in a bid to help them spot the early warning signs of bullying and ensure schools’ anti-bullying policies are robust.
Head of Childline in Partnership in Schools, Lindsey Gilbert, said: “Every school should have an anti-bullying charter, but shielding children from bullying does not stop at the school gates; parents and carers can also play a role.
“Not only can parents help tackle bullying, they are also crucial to helping their child through what is often a terrifying and demoralising experience.”