Responding to the publication of Ofsted's report ‘No Place for Bullying’, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
"The NASUWT welcomes this report, in particular its recognition that bullying takes a variety of forms and some children and young people are more vulnerable than others.
"This prejudice-related bullying is often characterised by abusive behaviour, intolerance or ostracism of the grounds of an individual's gender, ethnicity, body image/size, sexuality, disability, age, religion or belief.
"To be tackled effectively bullying has to be recognised, understood and taken seriously. Regrettably, it is still too often dismissed as teasing or joking or just part of growing up.
“Bullying blights the lives of children and young people. It affects their health, self-esteem, confidence and educational progress. In some cases it has led to suicide. Its effects can last a lifetime.
"Schools need help and support, as the report highlights, to tackle bullying and to create a climate in which difference and diversity are recognised, respected and celebrated.
"Regrettably, all the excellent support, guidance and information that was previously available to schools was discarded by the Coalition Government when it came to office and replaced with a few inadequate paragraphs of advice which amount to little more than telling schools that 'bullying is bad and you shouldn't tolerate it’.
"This report demonstrates that the obsessive obliteration of vital information and guidance by the Coalition Government is leaving children and young people highly vulnerable and is placing additional burdens on schools as they have to use their own time and resources to plug the gap.”
Notes to editors
The NASUWT led the campaign to secure recognition of the problem of prejudice-related bullying and was instrumental in securing a detailed suite of support and guidance for schools provided by the previous Labour Government.
The NASUWT has recently published a report highlighting the increase in the workplace bullying of staff in schools. A copy of the report is available on request.
Journalist and acting press officer
Campaigns and Communications Team
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392 746