Fresh drive to tackle bullying

A NEW national approach for preventing and dealing with bullying has been launched by children's minister Adam Ingram.

Developed by the Scottish Anti-bullying Steering Group - the body which promotes such work in Scotland - the new initiative compels all organisations to develop and implement an anti-bullying policy.

It says the policies should be reviewed regularly and sets out a definition of bullying and ways of dealing with the issue.

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Mr Ingram said: "We all want children to feel safe and secure - in school and out of school. Bullying behaviour can seriously affect this and should not, given its potentially long-lasting consequences, be simply dismissed as normal part of growing up. It isn't."

Mary Docherty, Association of Directors of Education Scotland representative, said: "This very comprehensive document provides guidance for all services working with children and young people about effective practice in preventing and dealing with bullying. Safeguarding the child or young person's welfare is of paramount concern."

Alison Todd, director of charity Children 1st, said: "Bullying is a blight on childhood and affects thousands of children.

"By working together, we hope to change the attitude that bullying is an accepted part of growing up and work towards a society where children and young people live without the fear of being bullied."