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Teased, bullied and stigmatised in the classroom

Looked-after children are often teased and bullied, Professor Malcolm Hill, director of the Centre for the Child and Society at Glasgow University, told a recent conference in Dumfries and Galloway.

Short of confidence and acutely sensitive to perceived insult or lack of interest, they are aware that teachers tend to assume the worst. They need clear school policies, home-school links, access to additional support and anti-bullying strategies.

Dumfries and Galloway now has a standing inter-agency committee to advise on better provision for the 170 children looked after in residential units, foster homes or residential schools. A broadly similar number are looked after at home.

"Most accommodated children in public care come from families who experience hardship and are on low incomes. Most have significant emotional or behavioural difficulties," the council comments.

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