Nicola Murray is Senior Programmes Lead at the Anti-Bullying Alliance. In this post she reflects on the Anti-Bullying Week theme, ‘All Different, All Equal’, and talks about a programme to help schools ensure that no pupil is bullied for being different from others.
We all know that bullying happens. We know the effects can be significant and last throughout a person’s entire life. What is less well known is that some young people are more likely than others to experience bullying.
If you have a special educational need, you are twice as likely to be bullied as your peers who do not1. Nearly half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans pupils in a recent Stonewall survey said they are bullied for being LGBT at school2. 11% of all young people aged 11, 13 and 15 reported being bullied because of their ethnicity3.
These worrying statistics show who is being bullied, but the reason why is multi-faceted, as is the route to preventing this kind of bullying from taking place.
This year’s Anti-Bullying Week theme of “All Different, All Equal” has struck a chord with those taking part in All Together, which aims to show how getting anti-bullying practice right for the most vulnerable groups of young people means getting it right for all.
All Together is showing schools that the reason young people with protected characteristics are more likely to experience bullying because of external attitudes and thinking. Our ethos is based on the social model of disability, which identifies systemic barriers and negative attitudes as the factors that hold people back and create environments where bullying occurs.
By participating in All Together, schools can create a culture in which difference is celebrated and bullying is never tolerated. They can create a system for stepping in early to put things right. They can become an All Together School.
What is All Together?
All Together builds on the work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s previous Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) anti-bullying champion programme which saw significant positive results. We’re really excited to use what we've learnt to address the issues for an even broader group.
All Together guides schools through a whole-school approach to tackling bullying of all children. They are supported to examine their culture, thinking and practices from leadership level right through the entire school community to identify and address the barriers to acceptance of all pupils.
This free support offers:
- support to create a school audit and action plan tailored to their areas of need
- targeted resources to tackle bullying
- access to the 'All Together Pupil Wellbeing Questionnaire' which tracks levels of wellbeing and bullying amongst pupils over the course of the programme.
- online CPD-certified staff training
- training workshops (in certain areas) for school leads and for the wider children’s workforce.
Over 800 schools have signed up since kick-off in April 2017, and over 600 professionals have attended workshops. In September 2018 schools who have evidenced their work to reduce bullying and improve pupil wellbeing will be awarded ‘All Together School’ status.
Schools have until December 31st to get started on the All Together programme. Sign up today via: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org/alltogether