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Skipton school highlights best practice in tackling bullies

[Wednesday 15 November 2006]
barry sheerman mp
Barry Sheerman MP: Committee
Chairman to visit Skipton School

A Yorkshire Dales primary school is set to receive a visit from a leading MP later this week as an innovative programme of anti-bullying measures introduced in North Yorkshire is held up as an example of 'best practice' to an influential House of Commons inquiry.

The chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Education, Barry Sheerman MP, is to visit the Skipton primary school later this week to take a closer look at the way North Yorkshire tackles the problem.

The county's strategy for dealing with bullying incorporates a telephone hot line, a website, and classroom and curriculum activities. It has been cited by the Anti-Bullying Alliance as an example of best practice, and Mr Sheerman has decided to see for himself how it works.

He will visit Greatwood Community Primary School in Pinhaw Road, Skipton, on Friday (November 17) - the eve of National Anti-Bullying Week, which begins the following Monday.

The school is at the forefront of the county's anti-bullying programme. An Ofsted report earlier this year praised its positive ethos, outstanding leadership and management, and outstanding personal development by pupils.

One of the keys to the anti-bullying strategy at Greatwood, as at other North Yorkshire schools, is SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning). A wide range of curriculum activities in SEAL helps pupils to reflect on important matters like bullying, and to develop values such as care, co-operation, honesty and respect for others.

We recognise that bullying can arise almost anywhere and that no child should have to endure its consequences

John Watson - County Councillor

John Watson, the County's executive member for children and young people's service, said: "Nobody could ever say that they have got bullying beaten, or that it never occurs. Unfortunately, it has always been a fact of life, and not just in schools.

"However, we as an authority are determined to do everything within our power to minimise the problem, and to make our schools safe and caring places in which young people can thrive. We recognise that bullying can arise almost anywhere and that no child should have to endure its consequences, and our aim is to respond to the needs of all those being bullied, and to change the behaviour of those who do the bullying.

"It is very encouraging to have our efforts recognised by this visit by the chairman of the select committee, and to be recognised as the providers of what others regard as best practice."

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