Wiltshire’s young people are standing together against bullying as they launch a charter setting out how people can work together to tackle the causes and effects of bullying.
The Wiltshire Assembly of Youth (WAY), an elected group voicing young people’s matters to Wiltshire Council, has helped shape the charter which was presented to councillors, and members of the Children and Young People’s Trust on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week yesterday (14 November).
The charter, put together on behalf of the Wiltshire Children and Young People’s Trust which is a partnership of agency stakeholders, sets out the vision to tackle bullying and how it will be achieved. This will be shared by the Trust with groups and organisations across Wiltshire.
WAY representatives shared the charter and discussed issues around bullying at the meeting. Anti-bullying week runs until 18 November with this year’s theme “A Power for Good” reminding schools, parents and young people how they can make a positive difference to prevent bullying.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “This charter is a clear response and action plan to recognise bullying and how it can be prevented.
“I would like to congratulate the young people on creating this key work which sets out very clearly how behaviours and working together can stamp out a problem which can have a devastating impact on people’s lives not only at schools but in their future.”
Ed Northeast, member of the UK Youth Parliament for Wiltshire East said: “Bullying damages mental health. It can be long lasting and have a detrimental effect on the lives of the young people of Wiltshire.”
James Wilkins, member of the UK Youth Parliament, Wiltshire West added: “Don’t let bullying distract you. If you do then it can impact on your life and your life chances.”
Wiltshire Council works on a number of anti-bullying programmes including partnering with The National Anti-Bullying Alliance and encouraging a number of Wiltshire schools to become anti-bullying special educational needs and disability (SEND) champions.
The Department for Education funded programme on SEND champions offered schools, the wider children’s workforce and parents, free training and support. Wiltshire is one of eight areas that took part in the scheme. The 27 participating Wiltshire schools implemented interventions over several months and were able to demonstrate improved outcomes for children with SEND.
Other ongoing work includes:
• Encouraging schools to provide evidence of effective anti-bullying work through the Wiltshire Healthy Schools programme
• Providing local guidance on writing and developing school anti-bullying policies
• Providing personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) schemes of work
• Providing central training for teachers
• Linking schools with training from organisations including Stonewall and Brook to address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying