We all have a responsibility to help


Did you put Anti Bullying Week in your diary?  Have you made plans yet?

We all have a responsibility to help both the child that is being bullied and the bully.  How the school responds is key, and can make such a difference to all parties that are involved.  I hear so many stories from both parents and Schools where children could have been supported in a better way.  Just because your member of staff has read KCSIE or the Anti Bullying Policy, it doesn’t mean they have understood or even know how to deal with it.  This subject is too complex for just a tick in the box.

Only the other day I was speaking with a school concerning a vulnerable child and the Safeguarding Lead’s response was “We have 500 children to deal with in the school and cannot focus on one child”.  Wrong Answer??   You can imagine my response.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing schools that are so on top of this topic.  Only yesterday, I was with the Head of Education for 15 Schools and it was so refreshing to listen to how sensitively they deal with issues across the board, not just bullying, but grooming and sexting too.

According to research from UKIE, 64% of 12-13 year old’s didn’t know who to talk to about being bullied.  I know from my own personal experience that I never told my Mum that I was being bullied at school; it went on for 3 years.   Could we be doing more and do we have the right mechanisms in place to respond?  Just make sure that the way you respond to incidents is the same as your anti-bullying policy.

I am sure your school has it covered and that your policies are in place but most importantly we need to support both students.  Sometimes we focus so much on the person that is being bullied but fail to also consider the bully and why they are behaving that way.  What’s going on in their life? What’s going on at home? Is their bullying a sign of inadequacy masquerading as strength?  Are they being bullied themselves?  Are they seeking to impress their peer group by bullying a weaker student?  Can we change the attitude of their peers to remove the incentive for bullying?  I know there is no easy fix, but maybe if we focused on the cause, (why the bully bullies) and the wider peer group, as well as supporting the victim, we might have a bigger impact.

Our latest Alert is advice for the whole school community, feel free to share with your parents.  To access the resource login or register it will only take a few seconds of your time.

We are very pleased to say that we have created a great partnership with Kidscape.  We are supporting the charity and helping to launch their Friendship Friday theme  There are FREE PDFs for Primary Schools  with advice for schools, Parents and children.

If you have any questions or queries please feel free to call.

Gooseberry Planet & Kidscape have put their heads together

Gooseberry Planet & Kidscape have put their heads together

Since 1985 Kidscape has worked with children, families and teachers to help protect children from bullying and harm.  We pride ourselves on being the anti-bullying charity ‘that helps’ and we actively look for supporters and partners who can extend our reach to children and families across the UK.  This is why we were delighted to meet with Stella James from Gooseberry Planet and learn more about their brilliantly innovative work to keep children safe. We know children love to game and Gooseberry Planet is different in that it listens and learns from what children enjoy and want to do and uses this as a platform to share vital safety messages.   When I first met with Stella we both bubbled with excitement and joy as we planned ways we could join forces to help many more schools and families deal with difficult issues. We also shared our own personal challenges as Mums trying to best help and guide our own children. Tackling bullying isn’t easy. If it was then we would have eradicated it by now and the challenges we face have changed. Now it’s not confined to the classroom but happens wherever people are – including online. It’s only by joining forces and working together that we can help all children live their best lives without fear or shame. That’s why we are proud to work with Gooseberry Planet; why you will be hearing messages from Kidscape through the Gooseberry Planet platform – and watch this space as Stella and I have got our heads together and have plans afoot!  Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO Kidscape

I wanted to make sure that schools have a complete tool kit and to cover the areas that are most difficult to talk about which include grooming, sexually exploited and bullying.  Bullying is very close to my heart.  I was bullied badly for 3 years of my secondary school life, I never told my Mum and I kept it quiet.  For me it wasn’t too bad.  At the end of the school day I went home and could shut the doors on my life at school.  I was safe, I was at home.  I feel for young people of today there is no escape being online is one of the most important aspects of young person life and no matter what us adults say this is their way of communicating.  We need to support and educate young people in blocking and talking to someone.  My niece lost her close school friend to suicide. It is more tragic than words can describe to lose a child.  Every parent’s nightmare.   I aGooseberry Planet Logom so please that we are working with Kidscape, one of the longest establish Anti Bullying Charities in the UK.  It means we can both reach as many children as possible and help support families that might be experiencing being bullied.

I am incredible passionate about what I do and broadening conversations around online safety and protecting young children online. Stella James, Head Gooseberry – Gooseberry Planet

Register today by clicking the Gooseberry School icon below and we will notify you when the resource is up and available via Gooseberry Alerts

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Bullying! Who has the Responsibility?

Bullying in its many forms, is a Safeguarding Issue and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children.  Dealing with an incident of bullying (including bullying online) will often involve a co-ordinated and collaborative approach.  To be effective it should involve the child, parents, carers, the school and in some cases other agencies.

bullyingEveryone has a role to play in ensuring the safety and welfare of children and this includes the safe and responsible use of digital technology.

If a bullying (including online bullying) problem arises either inside or outside of school hours, the school can often be a parents first port of call when seeking help.  Due to the complex nature of bullying (including online bullying) incidents, schools will often need to take time to reach a fair and measured resolution.  This can be frustrating but it essential to ensure that all bullying incidents are dealt with fairly and with the appropriate sanction.

Parents who are faced with their child being bullied frequently seek the support of the school, and find this a more straightforward way to deal with the problem, as by law, schools are required to have policies, procedures and sanctions in place to help support a child who is being bullied.  Schools also have legal power to ensure that their students behave outside of school premises.

But should schools hold all of the responsibility when it comes to preventing and dealing with bullying?

Where does a school’s responsibility stop and a parent’s begin?

It is important to remember, as parents you have a part to play too.  Knowing how to prevent bullying, in particular bullying online will help protect your child enabling them to be safer online.

As Half Term approaches, the number of incidents of bullying will increase and schools will be called upon to help deal with them when the new term begins.

In support of Anti Bullying week 14th-18th November 2016, as parents we ask that you remain vigilant and support the positive use of digital technology with your child.  Your proactive approach will help reduce the risk of online bullying and ensure the safeguarding of all children online.

Read our Anti Bullying Help Sheet to find out more about what you can do to help prevent and respond to online bullying and how to support your child if they are being bullied.