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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00921: Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to formalise and record nationally the number of young people bullied in schools.

Answered by: John Swinney 1 July 2016

The self-evaluation tool ‘How Good is Our School 4’ was launched in September 2015 and will come into force for all schools in August 2016. This includes a safeguarding quality indicator and a specific quality indicator on ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion. This will support schools to effectively evaluate their own practice and support self-improvement.

The refreshed National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People, which is due to be published later 2016, makes clear of the role of all adults and children and young people in preventing and dealing with bullying, as well as what they can expect from others.

We have established and wholly fund respectme, a national anti-bullying service, to build confidence and capacity to address bullying effectively, aligned to the National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People. Respectme provide direct support to local authorities, schools, youth groups and all those working with children and young people.

Recording and monitoring bullying incidents at a local level enables establishments to identify where improvements can be made to support the wellbeing of all children and young people. This allows organisations to ensure that an appropriate response and follow up has been actioned. This information helps organisations monitor the effectiveness of their policies and practice, review and improve where appropriate and also help identify professional learning opportunities.

This government wants every child and young person in Scotland to grow up free from bullying and to develop respectful, responsible and confident relationships. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and must be addressed quickly, whenever it arises.