Education and Skills written question – answered on 28th November 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures are in place to ensure that head teachers thoroughly investigate and act upon incidents of bullying; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills

We attach a high priority to helping schools prevent and combat bullying: it is a serious problem which puts the emotional well-being and educational achievement of pupils at risk. All schools should treat bullying seriously and take steps to combat it promptly and firmly whenever and wherever it occurs.

Since September 1999, head teachers of maintained schools have been under a duty to draw up measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils; this should include the making of rules and provision for enforcing them. Our detailed guidance Don't Suffer in Silence" offers further advice on strategies and approaches schools can utilise in investigating and responding to incidents of bullying, alongside those that can be used preventatively. Additionally, many local authorities provide guidance on anti bullying to their schools to supplement and localise the guidance issued by the DfES nationally.

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