Bullying still kept secret

Over two-thirds of secondary school children in England are
reluctant to tell teachers they are being bullied despite the
mandatory introduction of anti-bullying policies in all schools,
according to new research commissioned by ChildLine.

The research, conducted by the Thomas Coram Research Unit and
funded by the Department for Education and Skills, found that many
children decided to keep quiet about bullying for fear of reprisals
or not being taken seriously by teachers.

Researchers asked almost 1,000 children what schools should do
to combat bullying and the report puts forward a number of
recommendations. These include for measures to be put in place to
allow children to participate in the formation and implementation
of anti-bullying strategies and the creation of peer support
networks, through befriending and buddying programmes.

Speaking at a conference to launch the research, Ivan Lewis,
minister for young people and adult skills, made a commitment to
ensuring that young people’s voices would be heard. “We plan to
issue new guidance to schools and local education authorities on
holding consultations with pupils covering a range of important
issues, including how bullying should be tackled in schools,” he

He went on to announce a raft of new measures to be in place by
the Autumn, under the £470 m Behaviour and Attendance
programme, including funding and training for all secondary schools
in anti-bullying strategies and specialist consultants to help
local education authorities tackle the problem.

ChildLine’s Chair, Esther Rantzen said: “Bullying simply should
not exist in the UK’s schools. Since 1998 every school has been
legally obliged to have an anti-bullying strategy in place.”

Tackling Bullying: Listening to the Views of Children and
Young People
from www.childline.org.uk

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