As part of the National Anti-bullying Week on 14 November, council officers and partner organisations, staff and children are all looking at new ways to address bullying.
Schools across the borough are taking part in anti-bullying activities throughout the week, including interactive theatre workshops, special assemblies and lessons for all ages.
This autumn also sees the launch of Merton’s reviewed and revised Anti-bullying Strategy, developed along with partner agencies such as The Safer Transport Team and The Metropolitan Police. The strategy is a way of demonstrating the shared commitment to addressing and taking action against bullying, and states that all children and young people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. To encourage positive development, all children must also have the right to live in an atmosphere free from victimisation, discrimination, harassment and any other form of bullying behaviours.
The Anti-bullying Alliance, as part of a Department for Education review, met with Merton officers to look at policy and practice around Anti-bullying. They recognised achievements and noted ‘the extremely high quality of anti-bullying work which exists both strategically and operationally within Merton.’ The Anti-bullying Alliance also commented that children and young people were clearly at the heart of the strategy.
As part of the strategy, key websites and helplines will be identified. These will provide advice and support for children, young people and their parents and carers. One of these websites is The Anti-bullying Alliance – the alliance brings together over 60 organisations into one network with the aim of reducing bullying. Their website has sections for parents and young people with links to recommended organisations who can help with bullying issues.
Cabinet member for Education, Councillor Peter Walker said: “Our schools are a safe place for children to learn, make friends, and develop into the young adults of the community. We simply will not tolerate bullying in our schools and our new strategy backs up this commitment. The positive feedback from the Anti-bullying Alliance shows that we are working well in this area, but we are always looking for new ways to improve.”
For advice and help on beating the bullies visit http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk.
Notes to editors:
Merton Council has recently joined the Stonewall Education Champions Programme. The programme provides bespoke support and guidance to local authorities in tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in their local schools.
London Borough of Merton
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