21 Nov 2014
Diane Abbott MP

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department took to ensure that primary and secondary schools in England marked anti-bullying week; and what steps her Department is taking to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah MP on 27 November 2014

The Government has sent a clear message to all schools that bullying is unacceptable and that they should take steps to prevent it from happening and to tackle it when it does.While it was a matter for schools to determine whether to mark anti-bullying week, the Department for Education supported activities held as part of anti-bullying week. Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Reform, attended an event hosted by the Diana Award to celebrate the work of its anti-bullying ambassadors. Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families, attended an event hosted by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, which focused on the bullying of children with special educational needs and disabilities. He also attended an anti-bullying assembly at the Ark Global Academy in London which featured WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, which champions anti-bullying in the USA) as part of the lead-in to anti-bullying week.As well as raising the profile of the occasion via the Department’s twitter account, we also published two pieces of advice at the beginning of anti-bullying week. The first is to on help teachers to guard themselves against cyberbullying and what to do if it happens. This information is published online at:www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374850/Cyberbullying_Advice_for_Headteachers_and_School_Staff_121114.pdfThe second piece of advice is for parents on how to help keep their children safe from cyberbullying, the signs to look for that they might be being cyberbullied and how to respond if they are. This information is published online at:www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/375420/Advice_for_Parents_on_Cyberbullying_131114.pdf

The Department is providing just under £4 million to anti-bullying organisations over two years (2013-15) and it has recently launched two grant programmes: a £25 million voluntary and community sector grant which includes work to address all bullying in schools; and a £2 million grant in conjunction with the Government Equalities office to support projects that specifically tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

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