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The parents claiming Cornwall schools are not dealing with bullying effectively

The parents claiming Cornwall schools are not dealing with bullying effectively

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:00am 21st June 2020.

Almost three in ten parents whose child has been bullied in Cornwall say their school did not deal with it well.

With figures showing tens of thousands of parents nationwide expressing similar fears, anti-bullying charities have warned bullying can "devastate lives" and seriously affect a child's well-being.

Ofsted asked 2,007 parents in Cornwall if they agreed that their school had dealt with bullying quickly and effectively, between the start of the 2019-20 school year and this April.

Of them, 728 said the question applied to them, of whom 28% disagreed or strongly disagreed that the school had acted in this way.

​More than half (52%) agreed with the statement, while the remaining 20% said they did not know.

In Cornwall, 8% of parents also said their child was not happy at their school, and 7% said their child did not feel safe.

school corridor

Anti-bullying charity Bullies Out said no school can claim not to have any bullying.

It estimates it affects half of all young people, but said that schools can help by dealing with incidents quickly and effectively.

More than 200,000 parents across England completed the survey, and 37% said the question applied to them. Of them, 28% said that their children's school had not quickly or effectively dealt with bullying.

"Bullying is an issue of strategic, as well as operational, importance. It is not ‘kids being kids’ or ‘part of growing up’.

"It can devastate lives and seriously affect a person’s academic, social, emotional and physical well-being.

"For a school to reduce bullying, the emphasis must be placed on creating a culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect."

Linda James, the founder of Bullies Out

She added that bullying can cause feelings of self-doubt, depression and even suicide, making it vital children and parents have confidence in schools to deal with the problem.

school

Kidscape, an organisation that helps children cope with bullying, said this "extremely varied" response is a result of an increasingly independent school system, with parents struggling to hold schools to account for not taking action.

"As an anti-bullying charity that supports children and families impacted by bullying, we are regularly in contact with children who do not feel safe in school, and parents who are frustrated by the lack of school action to address bullying."

Kidscape Chief executive, Lauren Seager-Smith

“Schools should be safe places where children are taught to respect each other and staff.

“The Government has sent a clear message to schools that bullying, whether it is in the playground or online, is unacceptable. It can have a devastating effect on individuals, harm their education and have serious and lasting consequences for their mental health.

“All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying, and have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment.”

Department for Education spokesperson

You can find all the source data here.

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