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Respecting Others at heart of new anti-bullying guidance
New guidance setting out the best ways to tackle bullying in schools has yesterday been published by the Welsh Government.
The guidance focuses on five distinct forms of bullying: bullying around race, religion and culture; bullying around special educational needs and disabilities; homophobic bullying; sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying and cyber-bullying.
Building on guidance published in 2003, Respecting Others provides detailed advice to schools on preventing, responding to and recording bullying, including examples of good practice, case studies and scenarios.
The guidance reflects advances in new technologies, with more young people than ever using social networking sites, smart phones and other portable devices to communicate with friends. The guidance will inform school leaders and staff of the way these technologies are used by young people and how, potentially, they can be abused to bully both pupils and teachers.
The publication takes into account the findings of the 2008 National Behaviour and Attendance Review, which recommended the Welsh Government promotes best practice in anti-bullying.
The guidance also takes forward key priorities and actions in response to the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 2008. One of those priorities was to eliminate bullying, including homophobic bullying.
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews said:
“We do not tolerate bullying in any form.
“Schools can be fundamental in shaping character and preparing young people for the future. It is important that everyone involved in a pupil’s education understands bullying in all its forms and takes action to prevent it, as well as responding to incidents when they occur.
“This comprehensive new guidance shows how we are taking forward the recommendations of the National Behaviour Attendance Review, and the concluding observations of the UNCRC – particularly on homophobic bullying.
“We are living in the 21st century where technology is an important and ever-present part of our lives. We recognise this, which is why we are publishing detailed guidance on cyber-bullying, setting out the steps needed to protect both pupils and teachers.
“What’s most important is that every child should enjoy their learning experience. It is only right that this happens in an environment free from the fear of bullying."