Parents care much more about the way a school deals with bullying than they do about its exam results, a survey last week showed.
Most also believe that schools could do better in dealing with bullies, according to research done for the Association of School and College Leaders. So the theme for a design competition for primary pupils is timely.
Brainwaves, a Cornwall-based school rewards business run by two former teachers, has set up the "No bullies here!" competition as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.
"Bullying is a major problem in our schools today," says Jerry Toft, director and co-founder of Brainwaves. "It is an ongoing concern to teachers, children and parents and it is vital that we continue to highlight a problem that can blight a child's life."
The competition is being launched at The Education Show at the NEC, Birmingham, which runs from March 22 to 24. It is the company's chance to contribute to the anti-bullying campaign and to give children the opportunity to transform their schools, says Jerry's daughter, Fiona.
Children are invited to send in designs on A5 paper in age categories of four to seven and eight to 11 years. Winners will receive pound;200 in cash and pound;100 worth of Brainwaves products for their class. Their designs will be turned into reward stickers and be made available nationwide.
There are no restrictions on the materials used for the design - paints, felt tips and coloured pencils are all acceptable - but the results must be clear and colourful so that they can be turned into stickers and certificates.
The winning designs will be included in the Brainwaves spring catalogue in 2008.
The company makes reward stickers and other products designed to reinforce good behaviour in primary schools. There are also stickers for subjects, attendance, playground and lunchtime and sports.
Competition entries should be sent to the company at Brainwaves, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 2RT. Closing dates are July 31 for four to seven-year-olds and December 31 for eight to 11-year-olds. Leaflets will be available at The Education Show