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Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department has any strategies specifically tailored to combat bullying of children with special needs; and if he will make a statement. (79786)

The Department of Education makes clear that all forms of bullying are unacceptable and actively promotes the development of anti-bullying initiatives through its Anti-Bullying Programme.

Information about the scale and nature of bullying in Northern Ireland schools is contained in a research report published in October 2002. A research briefing summary is available on the Department’s website at

The Department has recently commissioned updated research into bullying, in all its forms, and the results are expected to be ready for publication by mid 2007.