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Govt and WWE unite to combat bullying

07/11/2014 Joanna
Children and families minister Edward Timpson has attended a special assembly aimed at eradicating bullying from UK schools.

He spoke at the Ark Globe Academy, London, where he was joined by stars from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), to discuss the consequences of bullying and how it could be stopped.

The event was organised ahead of Anti-Bullying Week and focused on children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

WWE has an existing anti-bullying campaign called Be A STAR (show tolerance and respect) and similar assemblies are regularly hosted in America. Wrestlers Kofi Kingston, Paige and Big E attended the event to support the initiative.

Mr Timpson said it is "shocking" that children with SEND are twice as likely to be bullied and added that he wanted such behaviour "wiped out for good".

"To help support children with SEND we've introduced new guidance to ensure schools do all they can to make sure their needs are met. Every school has to be able to show how they prevent bullying and this should now include children with SEND," he added.

Recent government reforms have simplified the complex SEND support system, prioritising children and how they can achieve to the best of their abilities.

Those in teaching jobs have been given greater powers to tackle bullying and bad behaviour, particularly cyber-bullying.

In addition, schools must now have a behaviour policy aimed at tackling all forms of bullying, including those that target children with SEND.

Organised by the Anti Bullying Alliance (ABA), Anti-Bullying Week will take place between November 17th and 21st.

ABA supports almost 1,000 schools and colleges around the country, providing evidence-based practice in relation to the prevention of bullying between children and young people.

National co-ordinator of the ABA, Lauren Seagar-Smith, described bullying as a "behaviour choice" that can be changed at grass-roots level.

"Now is the time for children and young people to take the lead on altering behaviour and to stop bullying for all," she added.

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