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Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what measures are in place (a) to prevent bullying in schools and (b) to punish those found to be harassing their peers; [119604](2) what proposals he has to protect pupils found to be victims of bullying in schools; and if he will make a statement on how bullying can affect children; [119605](3) what guidance he gives on when schools should consider police intervention in a case of bullying; and in what circumstances pupils may be expelled for bullying; [119606](4) if he will make a statement on the protection of children from bullying while in school; and whether it is his policy that

(a) victims and (b) the offender should be removed from the school. [119607]

Bullying is a serious problem that affects pupils' educational achievement and emotional well-being. All schools in England must treat the problem seriously, and are required to draw up written measures, which must be fully implemented, to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.We have made available to schools a free information pack and video entitled "Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence", which provides examples of good practice in preventing bullying. There is also a dedicated website at, which offers help to pupils, parents and teachers and contains links to other websites. Anti-bullying work is part of our Behaviour and Attendance strategy and from this September it will feature within the new behaviour and attendance audits and training, which are being introduced into secondary schools as part of the Key Stage 3 strategy.Schools need to have a range of measures in place to protect their pupils—including pupils who have been bullied previously—from bullying. These are likely to include proper supervision during the school day and encouraging a culture of openness so that bullying cannot flourish unseen. Schools should do all they can to ensure that pupils do not feel they need to change school because of bullying. As far as the bullies are concerned, we have made it clear that, where necessary, those responsible for serious or prolonged bullying— including cases of violence, sexual assault or inciting racial harassment—can be permanently excluded.We have published guidance on the circumstances in which the police should be involved in cases of bullying in school. We encourage all schools to have effective links with the local police. The Safer School Partnerships established within our wider Behaviour and Attendance strategy, whereby police officers are based in some schools, will also help to prevent and deal with bullying.