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YOUNG PEOPLE AT THE HEART OF NEW ANTI-BULLYING TOOLKIT FOR SCHOOLS

Anti-Bullying Toolkit launched with young people, educators and Minister for Children and Families at virtual event on how to tackle all forms of bullying behaviour in school and online.

The Diana Award has joined forces with a cross-party think tank to produce a new practical toolkit, supported by Department for Education, for educators to use to implement effective anti-bullying initiatives, tackle racist, homophobic and cyberbullying behaviour and create kinder, safer school environments.

30 March 2021

With young people across the country now back at school after extended closures, a new toolkit by independent think tank Demos Consulting outlines practical examples of how educational settings can tackle a variety of bullying behaviours, based on real experiences of schools on The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme.

Despite school closures, almost half (46%) of young people report having been bullied in the past year, with many experiencing a negative impact on their mental health as a result (The Diana Award, September 2020). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, wellbeing has remained a top priority for young people and educators (The Diana Award, April/June 2020).

Other moments this past year, such as the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the introduction of new Relationship and Sex Education guidance in England and Wales, have brought to the forefront the need to create inclusive and safe education environments, free from all forms of bullying behaviour.

Previous research by Demos Consulting demonstrated The Diana Award’s unique peer-led and whole-school approach are effective in tackling bullying behaviour. The Diana Award trains young people to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, who go on to support students in the wider school to act as Upstanders rather than bystanders against bullying behaviour and create a culture of kindness and inclusivity for all.

The toolkit was commissioned by The Diana Award and the Department for Education to understand the approaches and activities which work for schools who run successful anti-bullying initiatives. The toolkit allows all schools, irrespective of whether they are yet to be trained by The Diana Award, to access practical support for how to tackle multiple forms of bullying behaviour, such as racist or anti-homophobic, biphobic or transphobic or cyberbullying behaviour, while helping schools to promote wellbeing and engage the community in their work.

“We are constantly impressed at the effective good practice that exists within our Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme and we always say that the best ideas come from our Ambassadors and educators. This report, working closely with England’s Department for Education, shines a light on practical examples that can aid educators in their efforts around bullying prevention.  We’re very much looking forward to seeing how schools utilise it and sharing examples that arise from the toolkit.”

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO & Emily Kell, Head of Anti-Bullying at The Diana Award

“I’m proud to support the Diana Award and the launch of their new anti-bullying toolkit for schools. 

Schools should be safe places where every pupil can thrive, and must have measures in place to prevent bullying of any kind. Improving behaviour in the classroom is a priority, which is why we have provided over £3.5 million of funding to organisations including The Diana Award to support schools to do this. We are also investing £10 million to improve behaviour across the school system and our new statutory relationships education is helping to promote respect and tolerance.

The Department for Education has been a proud partner of the Diana Award since 2016, and I look forward to continuing our work in supporting schools to tackle this incredibly important issue.”

Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families 

To celebrate the launch of this new toolkit, The Diana Award is bringing together young people and educators in an interactive panel discussion event, to share learnings from the toolkit and support each other with their own experiences of successful anti-bullying work.

The event will be hosted by members of The Diana Award’s National Anti-Bullying Youth Board who are aged 11-18 and are active Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in their schools. It will include a comment from Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families discussing the government’s plan to support schools to tackle all forms of bullying behaviour and promote wellbeing for young people.

To read the full Toolkit, click here

About the Demos report

From September-December 2020, researchers at Demos analysed survey data from young people and staff at case study schools to understand best practice from the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme.

About the Department for Education and the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme

Since 2011, England’s Department of Education has supported the Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme, which has reached more than 35,000 young people. The programme also has backing from Facebook, as well as Nationwide Building Society and Zurich Community Trust.

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