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Pupils: Bullying

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to assist schools in dealing with incidents in schools of (a) bullying between pupils and (b) verbal and physical abuse of school staff by pupils. (307816)

The DCSF has made it clear to schools that all forms of bullying, including those motivated by prejudice, should not be tolerated, In 2007 the DCSF published over-arching guidance—“Safe to Learn: Embedding Anti-bullying Work in Schools”, and we have added more tailored advice for schools covering all the equality strands: race, religion, sexual orientation and disability, gender and gender identity. We also produced guidance to schools on how to prevent and tackle cyberbullying of pupils and staff. Our cyberbullying guidance to schools makes it clear that bullying and harassment of pupils and staff online is unacceptable and provides advice and practical support to teachers on how to prevent and deal with harassment when it happens.

The guidance gives staff the practical skills to feel confident challenging all forms of bullying and supporting young people who experience bullying. Alongside our guidance, we are funding the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the National Strategies to provide support and challenge to local authorities and schools to ensure they have effective strategies to prevent and tackle bullying. The DCSF has also given schools the legal power to regulate the conduct of their pupils in and outside of schools. We intend to introduce a new duty on maintained schools and short-stay schools in 2010 to record incidents of bullying between pupils, racist incidents and incidents of verbal and physical abuse against school staff.