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Teachers 'struggling to tackle problem of school bullying'

15/11/2016 Joanna

The issue of school bullying continues to be one that teachers are finding hard to keep in check, according to a new report.

A new national survey from Bullying UK to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week canvassed responses from 378 teachers and members of school staff, as well as 2,631 parents and carers and 5,961 children and young people, in order to get a better sense of the scale of the problem.

It was found that 65 per cent of parents said their child had been bullied more than eight times, while 57 per cent of parents said their child had been forced to take time off school because of bullying. Name-calling, physical intimidation, social victimisation and cyberbullying were all shown to be prevalent issues.

In the face of this widespread problem, 65 per cent of teachers said they find it difficult to keep on top of bullying within schools, as it can happen during lunch, at break times, in the corridors and out of school or online.

To tackle the problem, schools are currently deploying a number of measures, with 86 per cent of schools delivering lessons on bullying for pupils, while 95 per cent of respondents provide an anti-bullying policy. Of these, 70 per cent indicate the policy is updated regularly.

In terms of possible future actions, 75 per cent feel a greater teacher presence could help to minimise bullying, while 94 per cent believe lunchtime staff should receive training on bullying. By contrast, just 29 per cent backed the benefits of restorative justice, while only 16 per cent saw counselling as a useful measure.

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives chief executive, said: "There needs to be a stronger partnership between parents, pupils and teachers to tackle child experiences of bullying in and beyond the school. All schools must have rigorous anti-bullying policies and procedures, and concerned parents can ask their child's school to show them what they have in place to tackle bullying."

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