HC Deb 15 February 2000 vol 344 c474W
Mr. Paul Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on tackling bullying in schools. [109925]

Jacqui Smith

We attach a high priority to helping schools prevent and combat bullying in whatever form—be it racial, or as a result of a child's appearance, behaviour or special educational needs, or related to sexual orientation. We want all schools to treat bullying seriously and deal with it promptly and firmly whenever and wherever it occurs. Since September 1999, schools have been required by law to have an anti-bullying policy. Ofsted's Framework for Inspection requires inspecting teams to evaluate the measures taken by the school to prevent and eliminate bullying.

We will be launching a further anti-bullying initiative shortly. This will comprise a public information film to raise awareness of the problem; a video for schools on tackling bullying aimed at young people, on the theme `Don't Suffer in Silence'; and a revised and updated anti-bullying pack for schools on the same theme setting out, among other things, strategies for combating bullying including racist bullying.

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