NSPCC launches new course to tackle bullying in Devon

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 10 June 2010

The NSPCC has launched Preventing Bullying Behaviour this week - a new distance learning course to help anyone working with children and young people take action to tackle bullying.

The NSPCC has launched Preventing Bullying Behaviour this week - a new distance learning course to help anyone working with children and young people take action to tackle bullying.

The course was launched as part of national anti-bullying week (November 17 - 21), and the NSPCC is calling on all people in Devon who work with children to complete the course.

This training programme is the latest in the EduCare distance learning series and aims to help anyone working with children in schools, youth clubs and other settings understand bullying behaviour, help prevent it, and respond effectively.

Analysis of calls to ChildLine about bullying reveals that last year 32,562 children and young people (19,994 girls and 12,568 boys) spoke to ChildLine about bullying. Of these children 56 per cent talked about being verbally bullied - 53 per cent talked about being physically bullied.

Bullying accounts for around 18 per cent of all children counselled by the helpline and is the biggest single reason why children call, an NSPCC source said.

The ChildLine base in Exeter, which takes calls from across the South West, answered 439 calls on bullying last year.

Calls to ChildLine across the country reveal the devastating effect bullying can have on children's lives.

One mother of a 16-year-old girl rang ChildLine to report that her daughter had been driven to suicide, as her note revealed, by persistently being called a "slag" and a "tart" and being isolated by her peers.

Children and young people also spoke to ChildLine about cyber-bullying.

A 12-year-old girl told ChildLine: "A boy I used to go out with is sending me horrible e-mails and texts; he says stuff like he hates me and is threatening to show his friends my pictures; he ignores me at school, I hate seeing him; don't like school anymore, I am doing worse in my class work."

NSPCC head of child protection awareness Chris Cloke said: "Everyone who works with children should know how to spot bullying and what to do about it. Raising awareness about bullying is vital and Preventing Bullying Behaviour could be an invaluable introduction for anyone who wants to know what bullying is and how they can help prevent it.

"The most effective anti-bullying initiatives are those that form part of a whole school strategy. Alongside effective anti-bullying policies, all members of the school community should be involved in creating and maintaining a safe environment. This requires a culture of vigilance and a clear understanding by everyone of acceptable behaviour, and for swift action to deal with bullying when it happens."

EduCare's Preventing Bullying Behaviour is relevant for anyone working with children and young people. The course will consist of four modules and accompanying questionnaires to test knowledge and understanding. Participants who return their modules for marking will be awarded an NSPCC certificate if they achieve 70 per cent or more in each section.

Managing director of EduCare Keir McDonald said: "We are delighted to be launching this programme in partnership with the NSPCC. Everyone who undertakes it will gain the essential knowledge they need to help protect children and young people from destructive bullying behaviour."

Preventing Bullying Behaviour follows the EduCare distance learning methodology of bite-size, easy-to-absorb learning, simple messages, the convenience of working at home, and combining building core knowledge with signposts for further learning.

The programme will be available in both paper-based and online learning formats and it will cost £28.50 + VAT. For more information go to www.nspcc.org.uk/pbb

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