Headlines: July 16th, 2004

A national Anti-Bullying Alliance of more than 50 expert organisations has been launched to act as a national agency to work with teachers, schools and local education authorities to promote anti-bullying best practice across all schools. Anti-bullying experts will be based in every region of the country to provide practical help, advice and support in tackling all forms of bullying in schools. The experts will draw on recent regional conferences involving head teachers, teachers and pupils which explored the latest anti-bullying techniques and shared best practice.The Alliance will develop innovative, practical approaches to tackling bullying, which as well as physical or emotional assault also includes the modern menace of bullying by text messaging, email and Internet chat.

Gill Frances, director of children’s development at the National Children’s Bureau and manager of the Alliance anti-bullying programme, said: “We know that there is much excellent work already being done in some schools to stop bullying and help both children who are bullied and those who bully others. Now we want to make sure this expertise is shared with other schools who want further support.”

Heads and Governors have been invited to adopt an anti-bullying ‘Charter for Action’ in which they commit the whole school community to a culture where bullying is not tolerated and is actively tackled. Drawn up with a wide range of professional and voluntary organisations, including the Secondary Heads Association, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the Charter recommends a key set of actions for schools to take to prevent and deal with bullying. Some 4,000 schools have already committed to the Charter. The charter is available at www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying