Making a stand against discrimination is a key message of Anti-Bullying Week, which takes place the week of 15-19 November 2010.
The NASUWT believes that all pupils/students and staff in schools and colleges have a right to learn and work in a safe and secure environment where they feel valued and respected. That is why the Union is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and to supporting schools and colleges in their efforts to tackle the problem. The NASUWT supports Anti-Bullying Week and is a member organisation of the Anti- Bullying Alliance (ABA). The 2010 campaign is about taking action together. It challenges us to work together to send a clear and positive message that bullying is neither acceptable nor inevitable
About the Anti-Bullying Alliance
In November each year, thousands of schools across the country join ABA and its member organisations to promote Anti-Bullying Week. ABA, a partnership body based at the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), is a coalition of over 70 member organisations and works closely with the NASUWT in developing school bullying policies. ABA has developed a co-ordinated approach to bullying in order to meet the following objectives:
• Raise the profile of bullying and the effect it has on children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing, life chances and achievement.
• Create a climate in which everyone agrees that bullying is unacceptable and is committed to tackling it in order to improve outcomes for children and young people.
• Ensure that teachers and other adults working with children and young people, and young people themselves, are equipped with the skills and knowledge to address bullying effectively.
Anti-Bullying Alliance Resource Pack
This year’s pack is now available free from the ABA website. Filled with information about tackling bullying, the pack includes information, ideas for practical activities and further resources, presented in separate, easy to download PDF briefings for:
• school leaders;
• youth workers;
• children and young people;
• parents and carers.
Further information is available on the website www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk and from the NASUWT website at www.nasuwt.org.uk/prejudicerelatedbullying
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Government U-turn on restraint rules
Schools could be vulnerable to a flood of complaints and litigation, the NASUWT has warned, after the Coalition Government halted the duty on schools to record and report incidents of the use of force against pupils.
The requirement was due to come into force on 1 September 2010 and was designed to give greater protection to school staff as well as students when incidents of disruptive behaviour that required restraint occured.
The NASUWT believes the duty offered valuable safeguards to schools and teachers and its removal leaves schools exposed to allegations of mistreatment from pupils and parents, along with legal action.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Schools are best protected where they are open and transparent in their deployment of pupil restraint procedures.
“A perverse consequence of this change is that school staff may be more vulnerable to false, malicious or vexatious allegations from parents and pupils.
“These changes could also result in fewer teachers using the full range of pupil behaviour powers available to them, at a time when ministers are claiming that classroom discipline is a key education priority.”
Go online: www.nasuwt.org.uk/FalseAllegations.