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What are the best ways of tackling bullying in school?

Many schools in Scotland have introduced ways of encouraging positive behaviour and discipline. Each school's approach is different, as is the place of anti-bullying work in each school. A recent publication describes the action taken by a number of Scottish schools to promote positive discipline. In most of the reports from schools there is only a brief reference to bullying, but it would be surprising if a marked improvement in behaviour generally did not also have an impact on bullying. For example, one of the reports describes how two primary schools focused on playground activities, equipment and supervision. As a result, there was a large fall in the number of playground fights. Another school, which has also improved the playground environment, specifically mentions a drop in bullying levels as a result. Yet another school describes its work on positive discipline. In its report it identifies six main features of its work (including rewards for good behaviour and also new ways of dealing with cases of indiscipline). Although not specifically mentioned in this first list, the school does identify anti-bullying work as an important future area of the broader positive behaviour programme. For another two schools however, tackling bullying was an early priority when the school reviewed its discipline policy. Also the report from a local authority lists a number of features which can promote positive behaviour and discipline in schools. One of these key features is anti-bullying work.
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Article details

P Munn (editor) (1999) 'Promoting Positive Discipline: whole school approaches to tackling low level disruption', Edinburgh: Moray House Publications. This is now out of print, but a copy can be downloaded here.
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Author details

Pamela MunnProfessor Pamela Munn is Dean of Moray House School of Education at The University of Edinburgh. She is also Director of the Anti-Bullying Network and the Scottish Schools Ethos Network, which are both based at The University of Edinburgh. She has been involved in research projects on bullying, discipline and truancy for a number years. Among her many publications on these topics are two major anti-bullying support packs which were sent to all schools in Scotland and which have received enthusiastic international attention. You may visit the website of Moray House School of Education and also the website of the Scottish Schools Ethos Network.
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