Research* from the Department of Education shows that 40% of school pupils say that they’ve been bullied in the last 12 months and the most recent figures from the ONS also estimate that approximately 764,000 children across England and Wales have experienced at least one type of online bullying**.
Whilst bullying can take place anywhere, it is at school where these behaviours can have a major, ongoing impact. In order to tackle this nation-wide issue at a local level, Lawn Manor Academy is taking part in a national pilot to develop an innovative whole-school approach to reduce bullying and promote treating everyone with respect.
The school is one of only 18 schools taking part in the United Against Bullying Plus (UAB+) pilot programme across England. The programme’s holistic approach will support children who are most at risk of perpetrating bullying, as well as supporting those, together with their parents and carers, who are experiencing bullying. Tailored school support and additional staff training is also provided by the organisations behind the programme, the Anti-Bullying Alliance in partnership with Kidscape.
Whilst the programme focusses on pupils currently in Year 8, initiatives and learnings from the programme will be applied to all pupils so overall impact will be school-wide.
Deputy Headteacher Russell Langdown is leading the implementation of the programme at Lawn Manor Academy. He explained: “Whilst bullying is an issue across all schools in the country, here at Lawn Manor we are relentless in our pursuit of creating a culture based on absolute respect for one another under our ‘I RESPECT’ umbrella, part of our ‘I LEARN’ school values and the kindness that we expect from pupils as the ‘Lawn Manor Way’.
“However, we recognise that outside influences, especially exacerbated by social media use, are putting increasing pressure on children both inside and outside of school. If they don’t understand how to resolve problems in a kind way, we know how easy it is for them to escalate at an alarming rate; putting our children at risk of joining a gang or becoming involved in county lines, which could change their lives for the worst. We hope to support our pupils to develop the skills to understand how to interact positively with those around them, which will help them lead successful, respectful lives, looking out and supporting each other in their community.
“By being part of the programme we have a dedicated anti-bullying expert working with us for the two years in order to provide the school with tailored support to combat bullying and our staff will receive a range of anti-bullying training courses too.
“What we think is special about this programme is the extent to which it supports us to work with everyone effected by bullying, including those we identify as potentially at risk of displaying these behaviours so that we can stop it before it starts. We’ll also be providing support and guidance to parents and carers too so that parents feel empowered to work with us to tackle bullying.”
Lawn Manor Academy is part of the Ascend Learning Trust. For more information, visit www.lawnmanor.org.
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