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How can we work together to reduce bullying? 12/11/13 [W]

Experts meeting at a conference in Cardiff this Friday 15 November 2013 will be calling for a more joined up approach to reducing bullying. Delegates will be asked what they think bullying is, how we record it when it happens, how we can prevent it and if we are sharing what we do best.

The conference is being held at a time when more young people in Wales report incidents of bullying. Figures from a survey carried out by Funky Dragon, the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales, show that 47.2% of young people now report incident of bullying compared to 45.7% in 2007.

The conference will be addressed by a young person from Funky Dragon who will explain that for the second year running, bullying has been selected by the young people of Wales as a priority in their education portfolio. Over 2,300 young people took part in Funky Dragon’s annual survey to see what issues they should raise with the Welsh Government..

Funky Dragon will also explain that the increase in bullying has happened despite the fact that the Welsh Government issued anti-bullying guidance to schools in September 2003 and made a self-assessment tool kit available to all schools in November 2008. It will call for a rethink of the system and for the Welsh Government to create an all-Wales anti-bullying policy for all schools and colleges. This should be created in partnership with children and young people and include examples of good practice from schools and colleges across Wales.

Bullying does not however only take place in school settings. Incidents of bullying and hate crime occur within our community settings and neighbourhoods.  Nevertheless, there appears to be a lack of evidence, understanding and recording of bullying across Wales, resulting in a lack of consistency and co-ordination.

Children in Wales Preventing Bullying Behaviour Network will echo Funky Dragon’s calls for a more co-ordinated approach to tackling bullying.  The network will call for a Welsh Government Framework that would work across the whole community in addition to work in schools.

Communities Minister, Jeff Cuthbert, who will be taking part in a panel discussion at the conference said: “Tackling bullying in schools is a challenge for all of us. It is important, therefore, that schools – and children and young people – have the necessary resources and support available to them, to prevent and respond to bullying, for both the victims and the perpetrator.

“The Welsh Government has taken a number of steps to support this. And to support Anti-bullying Week this year, we have been running a campaign which calls on children and young people to use new technologies to promote positive communication and take the lead in creating a future without bullying.”

 

 

Notes

1.   Bullying – Sharing the Challenge, Friday, 15 November 2013,  Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff, 9.30am to 4pm. Speakers include:

•    Dr Emily Lovegrove – works in schools, hospitals and organisations in the UK, USA and Europe delivering staff training, as well as one-to-one help on bullying issues. Emily is part of an ongoing EU group that meets in Brussels to discuss children, safety and justice and also works with organisations such as Welsh Government and Children in Waleshttp://www.thebullyingdoctor.com/

•    Ryan Samuel Davies is 16 years old and for the past several years he has been advocating for both Children’s Rights and Human Rights. His work has taken him all over Britain and allowed him to work with a large variety of people of all ages and backgrounds. He has had the opportunity to work with several organisations and, most notably, for the past 2 years he has been the Co-Chair for Education on Funky Dragon (the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales). Furthermore, in 2012 he had the honour of speaking in the House of Commons during his term as a Member of Youth Parliament. He continues to represent the view of young people on several platforms and he is always speaking up on behalf of Young People

•    Matthew Burns, Action for Children

Matt Burns is Headteacher at Headlands School, Action for Children, Penarth.  He has worked as a Teacher in a range of schools in the UK and abroad.  He draws upon attachment theories to support his work in the education and care of extremely vulnerable children.  Matt also works with Estyn as an Inspector.  In 2012, Headlands School was judged by Estyn to have ‘sector-leading practice’ in relation to the outcomes its pupils achieve.  It was also given an ‘excellent’ rating for leadership and prospects for improvement.

Q & A Session Chaired by Ryan Samuel Davies- Panel members include:

·         Jeff Cuthbert AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

·         Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales

·         Darren Bird, Chief Executive Officer, Funky Dragon

·         Jeff O’Reilly, Education Consultant

·         Dr Emily Lovegrove, Consultant

·         Chief Superintendent Liane Bartlett, South Wales PoliceWorkshops will be organised on the themes of Equalities, Monitoring, Ethos and Cyberbullying.

·         Mattherw Burns, Headlands School, Penarth

2.   Children in Wales was set up 20 years ago and continues to campaign for the interests of children and young people, for the UNCRC to become a reality in Wales, and equality for all children, as well as special care and attention for disabled and disadvantaged children.  Children in Wales covers a range of issues relating to children including bullying, poverty, early years, disability, and children’s rights.

3.   The Children in Wales Preventing Bullying Behaviours Group is a forum to bring focus to anti-bullying work with children and young people in Wales.  It is an inter-agency group, consisting of practitioners, advisers and other interested organisations, that recognise that effective anti-bullying practice is not the work of one agency alone.  It aims:

•    To support, co-ordinate and promote the development and implementation of bullying prevention in Wales.

•    To encourage a culture of respect that emphasises positive relationships and behaviours in Wales.

4.   For more information or to find out about attending the conference please contact: Sarah Thomas, Development Officer at Children in Wales,

e-mail: sarah.thomas@childreninwales.org.uk , tel: 029 2034 2434