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What could be done to support pupils who are being bullied?

Teachers can play an important part in supporting children who are being bullied. According to a Scottish anti-bullying pack ('Bullyproofing Our School') it is important to create an atmosphere in the class which is supportive and positive and sends a clear message that bullying is not acceptable. When the child has reported bullying, responses by teachers could include: reassuring the child and exploring ways of dealing with the problem; looking at defence strategies; finding ways of boosting the child's confidence (for example encouraging a new hobby); and creating situations in the classroom where the child can mix with other children more positively. It is stressed that it is important to help build up the child's confidence in his/her ability to work things out.
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Article details

A McLean (1994) 'Background Reading for Schools', Book 8 in the pack 'Bullyproofing Our School. Promoting Positive Relationships', Strathclyde Regional Council, Department of Education. This article can be viewed here.
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Alan McLeanAuthor details

At the time of this study, Alan McLean was Principal Psychologist based at the Education Department Psychological Service in the former Strathclyde Regional Council. His particular interests in the area of bullying include: links between bullying and motivation; the thinking processes and self-esteem of the bully.

He can be contacted at by email.
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