Pupils: Bullying

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th September 2014.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance is given by her Department to (a) maintained schools and (b) independent schools on what action to take when a student attempts suicide as a result of bullying.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department of Health published a report earlier this year that sets out the key actions that local areas can take to prevent suicides. This is published online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/suicide-prevention-report

It emphasises that schools, social care and the youth justice system, as well as charities that focus on problems such as bullying, poor body image and lack of self-esteem, all have an important contribution in preventing suicide.

The Government has sent a clear message to schools that all forms of bullying, for whatever reason, are absolutely unacceptable and should not be tolerated in our schools.

The Department for Education issued guidance in 2011 for maintained and independent schools on preventing and tackling all forms of bullying, which is published online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying

Earlier this year, we issued updated advice on sanctions to manage poor behaviour, which includes bullying. This advice is available online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools

The Department has also issued a leaflet about bullying, which outlines the responsibilities that schools have in making appropriate provision for a bullied child’s social, emotional and mental health needs. This leaflet is available online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

Case studies on how good schools manage bullying have been published online, and can be viewed at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/managing-behaviour-and-bullying-in-schools-case-studies

In June 2014, the Department issued advice on Behaviour and Mental Health to help teachers differentiate between pupils that are simply behaving badly and other behaviour – whether it is disruptive, withdrawn, anxious, depressed or otherwise – that may be related to an unmet mental health need. This advice also outlines to teachers how they can support their pupils who may have a mental health need. This is published online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2

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