Anti-Bullying Week 2016

Written by: Lauren Seager-Smith | Published:
Image: iStock

Anti-Bullying Week gives schools a chance to engage their whole community in refreshing the approaches to tackling bullying. Lauren Seager-Smith explains

As a teacher you may have mixed feelings about Anti-Bullying Week. You will undoubtedly have many other pressures, or you may wish you had more than a week to dedicate to the subject of bullying. For others it gives you the opportunity you need in a competing timetable to talk about these issues with your students.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) coordinates the week each year and around April consults with children, teachers and our members to decide the theme. Anti-Bullying Week this year is November 14 to 18 and has the strapline Power for Good, with a focus on how children, parents and teachers can use their power to stop bullying.

The ABA describes bullying as repetitive behaviour that is intended to hurt, where there is an imbalance of power. The week provides an opportunity for teachers to explore with students what it means to be powerful – and how we can use that power for good or for bad.

We know that schools are under pressure and so we want to make taking part as straightforward as possible. If you visit the ABA website you will find logos you can use on your school website and elsewhere, as well as assembly presentations and lesson plans. We’ve also produced top tips documents for students, parents and teachers, and letter templates for parents and students to explain what the week is all about.

There are reading lists to find out more about the issues and posters to help support your fundraising activities. We have also provided new resources supplied by Into Film, to help teachers use the medium of film to address bullying and related issues.

In addition, there is a guide to updating your anti-bullying policy. The week is a good time to work with the school community to consider what is working well and what might need to change in order to improve your practice. It’s also important to consider new trends and other internal and external factors that might have an impact on the school climate and on behaviour.

For example, we are well aware of the impact of social media on the lives of young people and it is a good time to explore with all members of the school community whether there is more you can do around cyber-bullying. With rising levels of race and faith targeted incidents across the UK it is also an opportunity to explore these challenging issues with students and staff.

While there are many schools that have exemplary practice when it comes to tackling bullying, there are others that are still in denial – who say “we have no bullying here”. Anti-Bullying Week allows you to talk about bullying safe in the knowledge that schools across the country are taking part. We always say that the best schools are those that acknowledge bullying can happen anywhere, but take active steps to prevent bullying, respond quickly to reports, and to learn from each incident.

Last year, nine out of 10 schools said Anti-Bullying Week helped them to improve their anti-bullying practice and 83 per cent said it increased levels of respect and kindness towards others in their school.

Around half of schools also said that the week gave them opportunity to educate parents and carers about bullying-related issues – and that it also led to an increase in bullying reporting.

We encourage you to find out what is happening in your school for Anti-Bullying Week – and if necessary take the lead. Taking part sends a powerful message that you take bullying seriously and – vitally – encourages children to report bullying

  • Lauren Seager-Smith is national coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Further information

For more on Anti-Bullying Week including resources for schools, visit www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/


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