Action on bullying - June 2014

Summary

The report examines the effectiveness of action taken by schools to address bullying, with particular reference to bullying on the grounds of pupils’ protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation). The report includes case studies of best practice illustrating how the best practice schools deal with bullying. Pupils shared their experiences of bullying readily with the team, but case studies of pupils’ experiences have been written in such a way as to avoid identifying individual pupils.
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Recommendations

Schools should:

  • raise awareness of bullying on the grounds of protected characteristics with pupils, parents, staff, and governors and take a more proactive approach to preventing and mitigating its effects (see Appendix 3 for a checklist);
  • consult pupils, parents, and others, to identify the extent and nature of bullying in the school and to agree the contents of strategic equality plans;
  • plan age-appropriate opportunities in the curriculum to discuss issues related to the protected characteristics and to build pupils’ resilience to bullying;
  • ensure staff have a clear understanding of the extent and nature of bullying that may take place in school, including cyberbullying,
  • make sure that staff know how to deal with and record incidents of bullying;
  • record and monitor incidents of bullying in relation to the protected characteristics and use this information to review strategic equality objectives; and
  • make sure all policies and procedures meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Local authorities and regional consortia should:

  • provide training and support for school staff to improve their understanding of the Equality Act 2010 and its implications;
  • provide training and support for school governors to enable them to fulfil their statutory responsibilities to monitor strategic equality plans and objectives; and
  • monitor the quality and effectiveness of schools’ strategic equality plans more closely.

The Welsh Government should:

  • publicise the ‘Respecting Others’ guidance.