Anti-Bullying Week provides us with the opportunity to send a clear and positive message that bullying of any kind, whether it takes place face to face or online, is totally unacceptable and when it happens, we all have a responsibility to address it.
Today we are launching our refreshed anti-bullying guidance for everyone who works with children and young people – ‘Respect for All: the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People’. It’s every child’s right not to be bullied so we need to intervene early, and deal with bullying quickly, and effectively.
The main purpose of the refreshed guidance is to support all adults working with children and young people to develop environments where bullying cannot thrive. Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and promote positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour.
I want all children and young people to be included fully in their learning and to learn tolerance, promote respect and celebrate difference. Bullying of any kind must be challenged whenever and wherever it occurs. It should never be seen as a typical part of growing up.
‘Respect for All’ builds on the positive work which has already taken place in Scotland to address bullying and provides a framework for all adults working with children and young people.
It reflects Getting it Right for Every Child and recognises that bullying impacts on wellbeing and attainment. In order to thrive and achieve their full potential, children and young people need schools to be safe, nurturing, respectful and free from fear, abuse and discrimination.
In the seven years since our first National Approach to Anti-Bullying was published, Scotland has seen huge legislative and policy change, such as the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Education (Scotland) Act 2016, and the UK Government Equality Act 2010, that have put greater focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
We now understand more about how an individual’s confidence, resilience, participation and attainment can be affected by bullying. In particular, ‘Respect for All’ is clear about the impact of prejudice-based bullying – including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying – and includes guidance to help schools, youth and sports organisations respond appropriately.
Support and training
Additional supporting guidance for schools and local authorities on recording and monitoring bullying incidents will be developed and issued in the coming months. This will streamline the process and ensure uniformity in recording and monitoring by schools and local authorities.
To support the roll out of this guidance, joint training events will be held across Scotland in the New Year led by the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and respectme,our national anti-bullying service in the delivery of anti-bullying work across Scotland.
We will continue to listen to the views of our teachers, support workers, parents, carers, children and young people to ensure that the approach in ‘Respect for All’ is working and is making a difference to the lives of children and young people in Scotland.
Director of respectme Katie Rafferty said:
“We are delighted to support the launch and implementation of Respect for All and we look forward to working with partners across Scotland to help deliver a consistent and cohesive approach to anti-bullying.
“We welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government and others to develop this national guidance – reflecting our learning from ten years of anti-bullying work and the experiences of children and young people and the adults who play a role in their lives.
“respectme will continue to offer free training, policy support and resources that are designed to enable adults to prevent and respond to bullying effectively, and help children and young people realise their right to live free from bullying and harassment.”
You can download Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People here: http://www.gov.scot/RespectforAll