Evidence from national and local data demonstrates that bullying is widespread and identifies bullying as a key concern for children and young people. Children and young people report experiencing bullying in a range of forms including physical, verbal and relational bullying and with the advent of social media the bullying they experience can continue 24 hours a day.
Schools will be preparing for the implementation of statutory Relationships Education (primary) and Relationships and Sex Education (secondary). The draft guidance on these subjects includes significant strands on enabling pupils to develop and sustain healthy relationships and to identify and challenge bullying, coercion and manipulation. We are able to support schools with a full review of the whole school environment and curriclum provision, to enable leaders to fully prepare for statutory status.
Bullying damages children and young people’s physical and emotional wellbeing, including their self-confidence and ability to build and sustain relationships. It undermines their ability to learn and can impact on their chances of achieving their full potential at school and later in life. A significant number of children and young people who have experienced being bullied at school, also report experiencing mental health issues including anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation as a result.
Schools have an important part to play in preventing and reducing incidents of bullying and a responsibility to respond to bullying whether it’s in the school, the community or online. Research has shown that the context of the whole school approach which includes creating safe environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn is key to the successful implementation of anti-bullying work in schools.
Further information and guidance is available from the Cambridgeshire Anti-bullying Steering Group.