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Riot inquiry acknowledges a Scottish scheme as good practice

An inquiry ordered by prime minister David Cameron into last summer's riots in England has highlighted a resilience-building programme adopted by schools in a Scottish council as an example of good practice.

Australian programme Bounce Back, piloted in Perth and Kinross primaries from 2008-10, is designed to help youngsters cope better with everyday life. The authority found that, in schools where it had been adopted, pupils felt they could control their feelings better; the children said Bounce Back had improved their confidence and social skills.

Now the authority's research into the programme has been singled out by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, set up to make recommendations to prevent a repeat of the violence last August.

The use of Bounce Back in Perth and Kinross was cited as one of three examples of ways schools could help children build resilience and self- confidence.

According to the panel, building character "should be a central part of every school's purpose" and on an equal footing with academic attainment.

Currently, more than two-thirds of Perth and Kinross primaries use Bounce Back.

Council chief executive Bernadette Malone said: "I very much welcome the recognition of the positive outcomes of our Bounce Back pilot in this important national report."

emma.seith@tess.co.uk

A LITTLE LESSON

Bounce Back's key concepts are in the programme's acronym:

- Bad times don't last;

- Other people can help;

- Unhelpful makes you feel more upset;

- Nobody is perfect;

- Concentrate on the positives;

- Everybody feels sad and worried sometimes;

- Blame fairly;

- Accept what you can't change, but change what you can;

- Catastrophising exaggerates worries, don't believe the worst;

- Keep things in perspective.

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