What to do about teasing and bullying

Parents should always talk to their child's teacher immediately, if they have a concern about bullying.

Teasing and bullying are always a worry for parents and you can be confident nowadays that any report of this by you, any other responsible adult, and any child must be taken seriously by all state schools. Independent schools also follow similar good practice guidelines.

The Government has made tackling bullying in schools a key priority and the Department for Education (DFE) has made clear that no form of bullying should be tolerated. Bullying in schools should be taken very seriously; it is not a normal part of growing up and it can ruin lives.

Bullying

It is compulsory for schools to have measures in place to encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils, and to prevent all forms of bullying. The DFE supports all state schools in designing their anti-bullying policies, and their strategies to tackle bullying, by providing comprehensive practical-guidance documents such as the Safe to Learn material. Regional advisers with expertise in the field of bullying are also on hand to help.

Schools can also sign up to the Anti-bullying Charter to show their commitment to tackling all forms of bullying, and use the principles of the Charter to self-evaluate their anti-bullying policies and practices. You may wish to ask your child's teacher if the school has signed up to the document.

In spite of all the progress that has been made in highlighting the problems of bullying, there is some research evidence that children who stammer, as their speech appears to be different, are sadly still quite likely to be the subject of comments or worse by other pupils. This is very upsetting for your child and will undermine his self-esteem.

Further information about bullying and children who stammer

There are three recent articles on this topic

Summer 2007 issue of 'Speaking Out', pages 5-6

Spring 2008 issue of 'Speaking Out', page 10-11

Winter 2009 edition of Speaking Out, page 7


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