Press release

Department for Education and WWE urge pupils to banish bullying

London academy hosts special assembly ahead of Anti-Bullying Week.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Edward Timpson, WWE and school children

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson shared the stage with 3 of the biggest stars from WWE to encourage children to banish bullying for good.

Edward Timpson yesterday (5 November 2014) spoke at a special assembly with more than 100 children at the Ark Globe Academy, London. He discussed the consequences of bullying and what can be done to address it.

The minister was joined by stars of WWE - Kofi Kingston, Paige and Big E - who are on a tour of the UK this week. WWE has an existing anti-bullying campaign called Be A STAR (show tolerance and respect) and regularly host similar assemblies in America.

The event - organised ahead of Anti-Bullying Week - put a special focus on the bullying of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said:

The message is the same if you’re from Westminster or the WWE - no child should ever suffer from bullying.

The fact that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are twice as likely to be bullied is quite frankly shocking and something I want to see wiped out for good.

To help support children with SEND we’ve introduced new guidance to ensure schools do all they can to make sure their needs are met. Every school has to be able to show how they prevent bullying and this should now include children with SEND.

The government has recently introduced the biggest reform of support for children with SEND in a generation - overhauling a complex system and replacing it with a more simple and joined up system that puts the child first and focuses on helping them achieve their best.

The government has also introduced more support for children who are bullied.

By law, every school must have a behaviour policy which includes measures aimed at preventing all forms of bullying among pupils; since September 2014, this should include the policy surrounding the bullying of pupils with SEND.

Teachers have been given increased power to tackle bad behaviour and bullying, including stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying (via text message or the internet).

More than £4 million has been given to anti-bullying charities to help schools develop strategies to tackle bullying, including £1.5m for the National Children’s Bureau to focus particularly on SEND.

Ofsted must now also clearly hold schools to account on how well they deal with behaviour and bullying including consideration of pupils’ freedom from bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Anti-Bullying Week is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA). It will take place between November 17 and 21.

National co-ordinator of the ABA, Lauren Seagar-Smith, said:

Ultimately, bullying is a behaviour choice, one which parents, carers, teachers and the community must work together to change at grass-roots level.

Educating the school and wider community that bullying in any form is wrong, and that any environment that encourages bullying, or shows indifference to prejudice and discrimination is unacceptable.

Now is the time for children and young people to take the lead on changing behaviour and to stop bullying for all.

About Anti-Bullying Week

The ABA is a coalition of organisations and individuals working together to stop bullying and create safe environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

We welcome membership from any organisation or individual that supports this vision. ABA also supports a growing network of almost 1,000 schools and colleges across the country.

The ABA co-ordinates Anti-Bullying Week each November and is the national voice for evidence based practice in relation to the prevention of bullying between children and young people.

About WWE’s anti-bullying campaign

WWE’s Be a STAR campaign was founded by The Creative Coalition and WWE in April 2011. The mission of WWE’s Be a STAR is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grass-roots efforts beginning with education and awareness.

WWE’s Be a STAR promotes positive methods of social interaction and encourages people to treat others as equals and with respect because everyone is a star in their own right. Currently, Be a STAR has 58 alliance members, including:

  • the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN)
  • GLAAD
  • STOMP Out Bullying
  • The Ad Council
  • the United Federation of Teachers

all partnering together to take action against bullying.

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Published 6 November 2014