New guidance on bullying in schools does not go far enough because it focuses on pupils and not incidents involving teachers, according to the NASUWT teaching union.
The Scottish government has announced the introduction from 2018-19 of a standardised system of recording incidents of bullying in schools.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “This is a welcome development, as standardised recording is important to identify the scale and extent of the problem and to enable strategies to be developed to combat this unacceptable behaviour.”
She added: “However, these measures do not go far enough. Schools should be safe environments for pupils and staff and the NASUWT will therefore be pressing for this recording of incidents to be extended to incidents involving teachers.”
Meanwhile, a survey of 540 parents published this month by Connect, a national parents’ organisation in Scotland, has found that said that 65 per cent think bullying goes on in their child’s school and that 46 per cent have witnessed bullying in their child’s school – yet 69 per cent of respondents have not seen the school’s anti-bullying policy.
Education secretary and deputy first minister John Swinney, announcing the new approach to recording bullying, said: “It’s every child’s right not to be bullied and having a consistent way of recording and monitoring incidents will help schools identify issues and act quickly and effectively.
“This includes support for children involved in these incidents but also programmes to prevent bullying and promote positive relationships and behaviour.”
Katie Rafferty, director at respectme, Scotland’s anti-bullying service, said: “Effective monitoring and recording of bullying incidents is an essential feature of the consistent and coherent approach to anti-bullying that we seek for all of Scotland’s children and young people. It can create a clearer picture of bullying behaviour and its impact, and can help identify trends or patterns that allow for more focused responses and improved prevention."