HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 cc137-8W
Mr. Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidance he has given to schools and local education authorities concerning dealing with bullying; and what steps he has taken to encourage schools and LEAs to learn from best practice elsewhere in Scotland in this respect. [5397]

Mr. Wilson

The Government take the problem of bullying very seriously. In recent years, my Department has issued a range of guidance on the subject, as follows.

In 1992, the Department issued to all schools a support pack called "Action against Bullying". The pack contained extensive examples of good practice and stressed that the single most important thing a school can do to prevent bullying is have a clear policy to which staff, pupils and parents are committed.

In 1993, the Department funded the issue to every school of a follow-up resource pack aimed at non-teaching staff and families. The pack is called "Supporting Schools against Bullying in Scotland".

In August 1994, the Department issued to all schools a leaflet aimed directly at children entitled "Let's Stop Bullying—Advice for Young People". In August the following year, the Department issued a further leaflet providing advice for parents and families entitled "Let's Stop Bullying—Advice for Parents and Families".

We are urgently reviewing what further steps might be taken. I have asked for the report "Which Way Now? A Progress Report on Bullying in Scottish Schools" by Andrew Mellor to be followed up, in order to establish if there are further measures based on the report which could be usefully implemented. I am also taking steps to satisfy myself that every school has an effective anti-bullying policy in place.

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