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Is support from the wider community (eg police, bus companies, outside agencies) important?

A Scottish study of bullying found that there were sometimes close links between the 10 schools involved and outside agencies such as the police, psychological services and social work department. However, when it came to sharing information, it seemed that it was usually schools contacting the agencies rather than the other way around. Part of this may be due to problems with confidentiality.
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Article details

A Mellor (1989) 'Bullying. Not Worth Bothering About? A Study of Bullying in Scottish Secondary Schools'. Unpublished. A reference copy of this report is held by the Anti-Bullying Network at Edinburgh University.
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Author details

Andrew MellorAt the time of the study, Andrew Mellor was a practising teacher who had received funding from the Scottish Education Department to carry out this project. He has been actively involved in anti-bullying work in Scotland for almost 15 years, speaking at conferences, writing for academic and non-academic audiences and running in-service courses for teachers. He is now manager of the Anti-Bullying Network, which is funded by the Scottish Executive and based at The University of Edinburgh.

It has been argued that a good anti-bullying policy should take into account the role and involvement of not just teaching and non-teaching staff (for example kitchen staff), but of the wider community. This includes not just families but others from the local community who are directly or indirectly involved with the school including school bus drivers, doctors, shopkeepers and police, youth clubs and scouts. It is pointed out that if for example, shopkeepers and bus drivers felt they were part of a school community which did not tolerate bullying, they could, in their daily contact with pupils look out for and report bullying incidents, which might otherwise go unnoticed. Likewise doctors could use their unique knowledge to alert the school to a possible bullying problem. In the Republic of Ireland there is formal input into anti bullying programmes from the Gardai (police). Over 600 guardia are specially trained and involved in primary schools.
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Article details

B J Byrne (1997) 'Bullying: a community approach', paper in the journal 'The Irish Journal of Psychology', Volume 18, Number 2. Special Issue: 'Bullying Behaviour in Schools.' Guest editor A M O'Moore.

One paper has suggested ways in which agencies such as the local authority education and psychological services and social work departments could possibly support the anti-bullying work of schools. Suggestions include: helping develop strategies, contributing to staff development, providing background information and helping with support groups.
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Article details

Scottish Office Education Department (1994) 'School Boards. Focus on Bullying', Focus Number 4, Edinburgh: Scottish Office Education Department. This paper can be downloaded here.
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