|This case study of an imaginary Scottish secondary school is intended to trigger discussion amongst staff and pupils about the way that the response to bullying could be improved. Schools and local authorities are welcome to reproduce and use this case study. Please mention the Anti-Bullying Network.|
|CASE STUDY: ANTI-BULLYING AT ANYTOWN ACADEMY
Anytown Academy has an anti-bullying policy which was written about five years ago by a committee of ten people consisting of the Depute Head, the Head Boy and Head Girl and the school's guidance teachers. Only four of the committee are still at the school. There is a buddy scheme designed to support new pupils and there are three lessons about bullying within the S1 PSE programme.
There is a pupil council which spends most of its time discussing the toilets, ("boggin" - Jim Brown S1), school dinners ("the salad is mingin" - Eilidh Harris, S3), uniform ("I'd wear it if it wasn't that yucky maroon colour" - Jane McIntosh, S4) and discos ("We would come if there was a decent band" - Kuldip Singh, S5). Bullying has never been on the agenda.
Anytown is said to be a happy school. It has a good reputation. Its pupils are very successful in Standard Grade and Higher exams. Most of the pupils enjoy being there, but a few are picked on constantly. Everyone knows about it and the guidance teachers try to help. The Depute, Mr Spencer, deals with any serious or violent incidents, although these are very rare. Pupils call him Mr Suspension - but only behind his back.
There are copies of anti-bullying materials in the school library and the guidance base. There is a paragraph about bullying in the school handbook which is given to every pupil at the start of each school year:-
The Local Authority held an anti-bullying workshop about
two years ago which was attended by an assistant head teacher and a guidance teacher from
Anytown Academy. They were given copies of the local authority policy on bullying which
required all schools to develop their own policies and to consult all members of staff,
parents and pupils about the contents of that policy.