Young people have been meeting with council, health and police representatives to discuss anti-bullying measures and the way forward as part of national Anti-Bullying Week.
Members of Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY), an elected group helping to provide the voice of young people on Wiltshire Council matters, were at County Hall on Tuesday (17 November)
The event helped bring a cross section of Wiltshire together to look at the strategies already used in Wiltshire to reduce bullying and the way forward.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “Bullying can be devastating – not just affecting a young person while at school but in their careers and relationships later in life.
“It’s vital we listen to young people and work together with schools to ensure the anti-bullying message is loud and clear in our schools and communities. There are a number of activities already going on and this meeting was an opportunity to make sure we all listened to each other and considered young people’s views as we move forward.”
Wiltshire Council works with partners and schools on a number of anti-bullying strategies.
The national Anti-Bullying Alliance is working with Wiltshire Council to become Anti-Bullying Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Champions. The Department for Education funded programme offers schools free training and support to become SEND champions and to create effective development plans at their schools.
Wiltshire is one of nine local authority areas taking part in the scheme which rolls out free training to schools, the wider workforce and parents/carers in Wiltshire. The 27 participating schools and colleges are now conducting their own pupil surveys and will be supported by the council and the alliance as they implement any interventions over the next few months.
Other on-going work includes:
- Providing local guidance on writing and developing school anti-bullying policies
- Providing Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) school teaching materials
- Promoting the ‘POLITE’ Police campaign – neighbourhood policing teams deliver primary school lessons on cyber-bullying
- Providing central training for teachers
- Linking schools with new training by charity Brook to address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
Picture shows left to right: James Wilkins (WAY) Sam Gallacher (WAY), Sarah Heathcote (Wiltshire Council) Jordan Green (WAY) Laura Mayes, Cliff Turner (Chair of Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board) Rebecca Richards (WAY) Julia Cramp (Wiltshire Council) Richard Gamble (Wiltshire Council) Sgt Steve McGlynn, (Youth Engagement Lead Wiltshire Police) Andrew Hogarth (WAY)