Newsletter 3, Summer 2000 Anti-Bullying Network
 
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Newsletter Two Here Phillipa Prior recently joined the Anti-Bullying Network as Senior Secretary. Coming from a customerPhillipa Prior services background, she works closely with Andrew Mellor and Pamela Munn in order to assist in the management of the Network and to promote it to as wide an audience as possible. Here she describes the Anti-Bullying Network's InfoLine service.

Anti-Bullying InfoLineThe Anti-Bullying InfoLine
Launched on the 3rd of August 1999, the Anti-Bullying Network's InfoLine was set up to be a unique source of information about action against bullying, available to everyone including young people, students, parents, teachers, charitable organisations and school managers. The InfoLine has now become a valuable port of call for all concerned individuals and information seekers alike.

Many calls come from worried parents whose children are being bullied, either at school or in the wider community. Calls have come from throughout Scotland and the UK and from parents with children at both independent and state schools - showing that bullying has no regard for social status, or geography! Here is a typical call from a worried parent:

   
Problem What we suggest
Anti-Bullying InfoLine, 0131 651 6100 Sarah* has a 9 year old son, Gavin*, whom she thinks is being bullied at school by children in his class. She is worried about him because he has come home from school in tears a few times over the last few weeks, has become a lot quieter and withdrawn and now complains of feeling "sick with a tummy ache" every morning. He doesn't seem to want to talk about what has been going on except to say that the other boys are being mean. Sarah has spoken to the class teacher a number of times, but she doesn't seem to think there is a problem. What can Sarah do to help her son?
* Names have been changed
  • Encourage Gavin to talk about what has been happening and how it makes him feel. Make sure he understands that you are there to listen.
  • Try to have another meeting at the school - if you are not happy with the class teacher's response, you should go and see the Head Teacher.
  • Ask to see the school's Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • Make an appointment with your GP - even if Gavin had no physical illness the doctor can investigate the causes of his stress.
  • Look forward - work with the teachers to find a solution.
  • Discuss any action you propose to take with Gavin; don't do anything to jeopardise his trust in you.
Most of the parents we speak to are understandably frustrated and upset for their children - sometimes a problem like the one above has been going on for months and may be even more severe. In such cases, we would give information about other possible sources of help outside school - for example, Local Authorities or the Police. In all cases, we encourage parents to work with teachers and other professionals, as well as giving information about the rights of parents and children.

Other Calls
The InfoLine receives calls from a huge variety of individuals and organisations - from teachers looking for information about specific anti-bullying strategies to independent community groups needing resources, university students doing research and young people looking for help and advice. Usually we can provide a specific information pack or refer callers to a website - in some cases we will call back after doing some research.


Shared Concern MethodShared Concern Training
On the 26th September in Arbroath, Gillian Strachan, a Social Worker for Angus Council, and Alison Duncan, an Educational Psychologist, will be presenting their strategies based around the Shared Concern Method for dealing with group bullying in schools. This one-day skills based training will "explore the methodology and offer participants a practical strategy to resolve cases of group bullying." This course will be most useful to those involved in resolving issues of group bullying, from class teachers to those in management.
The fee, including lunch and documentation, is 95 and the number of places on the course is strictly limited to 24, so get in quick! Contact Gillian on 01241 435 033 for more information.
   
Cawdor Book ServicesCawdor Book Services
Cawdor Book Services Limited have recently updated
their anti-bullying book list - if you are looking for new materials for next session then get in touch. Contact them at:
Cawdor Book Services
96 Dykehead Street
Glasgow G33 4AQ
Tel: 0141 766 1000
Peers and Pros
The Anti-Bullying Network has been appointed as the
European Network Scottish co-ordinator for a European network aimed at sharing ideas about combating violence and improving school ethos. It enables students, teachers and head teachers to contact fellow students and professionals across Europe and to exchange experiences. Contact us for more information, or visit the Peers and Pros website.
 
The Scottish School Ethos Network
Many of you will be familiar with the Scottish Schools Ethos Network - our 'sister' organisation with which we held our Achievement and Ethos Conference in Glasgow on the 9th of June. The Ethos Network was set up with the aim of helping schools to get in touch with each other to share approaches, methods of consultation, good ideas and action for improvement of school ethos. The Network encourages a research attitude in schools and above all the celebration of good practice!

One of the most popular initiatives developed by the Ethos Network is the Scottish Schools Ethos Award. This prestigious award is presented to one school in Scotland each year, with three main purposes:

  • to recognise the achievement of schools
  • to signal the importance of evaluating and developing ethos in relation to pupils' academic learning, their personal and social development and their personal safety and protection
  • to encourage other schools to look at their own ethos and to implement change where necessary.

This year's award has just been presented to Craigie High School in Dundee - a large secondary school that has shown commitment to the evaluation of activities and the improvement of ethos and attainment. The runner-up was Pentland School in North Lanarkshire, which has done much to improve the self-esteem of its 14 pupils, all of whom have social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Eligibility for the award is limited to members of the Ethos Network. To find out more about this and the other benefits of joining the Network, check out their website. Alternatively, you can contact:
Christine MacLean or Gina Reddie
Scottish Schools Ethos Network
Moray House, The University of Edinburgh,
Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ
Tel: 0131 651 6551, Fax: 0131 557 3458

 
Lucky Duck PublishingLucky Duck Publishing
Since 1986, the founders of Lucky Duck Publishing, George Robinson and Barbara Maines, have produced a vast range of practical training resources for use in the school and on specific courses. They have advocated and taught humanitarian, non-punitive methods and see the development of young people's self-esteem as being of utmost importance. They have published on a wide range of topics including behaviour management, self-esteem, bullying, the use of circle time in schools and mediation. Contact George or Barbara for more information or a full catalogue:
Lucky Duck Publishing
3 Thorndale Mews,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 2HX
Tel: 0117 973 2881, Fax: 0117 973 1707
Still Going StrongFreedom From Bullying
Despite having retired from her position of Lecturer in Early Childhood and Multi-Cultural Education at the School of Education of the University of North London, Mildred Masheder is still working hard to help parents and teachers tackle bullying. Her wealth of experience with younger children has been utilised in her book "Freedom From Bullying", published by Green Print in 1998. Mildred runs a bully line for parents and teachers and can be contacted on 0207 435 2182.

We were very pleased to have Jenny Mosley as a Keynote Speaker at our Achievement and Ethos Conference on the 9th June in Glasgow - her talk proved to be a resounding success and an inspiration to delegates: "Presentation by Jenny Mosley was outstanding, entertaining and inspiring - a great refresher for those of us already using the model". Jenny Mosley is a renowned expert on the use of the Circle Time model in schools. As well as consultancy and training services, the team at Jenny Mosley Consultancies offers a huge list of resources about the Circle Time Model, with such titles as 'Turn Your School Round' and 'The Circle Book' offering practical advice and inspirational case studies. For a full list of services check out Jenny's website or contact:
Jenny Mosley Consultancies,
8 Westbourne Road, Trowbridge,
Wiltshire BA14 0AJ
Tel: 01225 767 157, Fax: 01225 755 631, E-mail: circletime@jennymosley.demon.co.uk

Bus-ting Free
Dave Gauder launched his anti-bullying roadshow at our conference on the 9th June with a demonstration of amazing strength to the people of Glasgow - by pulling a double decker bus full of school children along the pavement outside the Royal Concert HallBig Dave Gauder (ouch!). Dave will continue his work against bullying by making himself available to Scottish primary schools in February and March of 2001. Dave is a very strong man, yet he was bullied at school. He encourages children to talk to someone they trust if they have a problem. You can get more information from Dave on 07979 360 494 or visit his website.
Look out for the report on our annual conference: Achievement and Ethos - Supporting the Right to Learn. Glasgow, 9th June, 2000, available in schools this autumn.

Bannerman High School

What did the "Buddies" from Bannerman High School tell Sam Galbraith, Minister for Children and Education, when they met him behind the scenes? Find out in the conference report!

  
Active Citizenship
New research carried out by Stirling Council shows that bullying is one of the issues frequently discussed by pupil councils. More importantly, such councils allow pupils to take an active role in developing a positive school ethos. Of course, setting up a council from scratch is not easy. In some cases, pupils have an adverse initial experience because the council is not seen to make a difference. If both teachers and pupils persevere, however, a pupil council can make a real difference to the sense of community in a school. "Active Citizenship in Stirling Council Schools" costs 5.00 and is published by Stirling Council Educational Services, Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET, Tel: 01786 442662.

Schools Council UK is a charity based in London that aims to help teachers and pupils to set up effective councils. Contact them on 0208 349 2459 or via their website.

 
Site Description Location
A site from Canada that aims to "help young people to help each other". Contains lots of links to other organisations and educational resources and, in the 'Sharing' section, has poignant stories, pictures and poems from children and adults around the world. Go Surf It!

An interesting article from America's "Education Week Online" including a sample lesson for teachers and independent research findings. Go Surf It!

The Anti-Harassment team from Selwyn College, a secondary school in New Zealand, have produced an excellent site which fully describes their peer mediation work. Included are sections on training, case studies, policy, ethics and the benefits of the scheme. Well worth a look!. Go Surf It!

A site for parents and teachers from the US National Library of Education, with clear definitions and suggestions for action. Go Surf It!

Detailed articles and case studies, based around and with links to the Maine Project Against Bullying. Go Surf It!

A Canadian site with useful tips for teachers, from the recognition of bullying through to methods for dealing with the problem. Go Surf It!

A site for parents with interactive stories and step-by-step advice for dealing with bullies. Go Surf It!

 
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