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Welsh Government funds support to help schools tackle bullying

THE Anti-Bullying Alliance and Kidscape have announced new support from the Welsh Government, enabling them to deliver anti-bullying support for schools throughout Wales during the coming year.

The charities’ work will include delivering the far-reaching Anti-Bullying Week campaign to schools in November, and the continued roll out of training for school leaders to embed the Rights, Respect, Equality guidance for schools.

The work will also allow the development of training for school governors to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities, and the formation of a new Anti-Bullying Forum for Wales, for all youth leaders who are passionate about bullying prevention.

Underlying the charities’ approach is the belief that kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration and charity can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us. This is one of the reasons, that ‘One Kind Word’ has been chosen as the theme of Anti-Bullying Week in Wales this year taking place from 15 to 19 of November 2021.

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, explained how the theme came about:

“One Kind Word can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. We can all play a part in a chain reaction that powers positivity.”

The Anti-Bullying Alliance, part of the National Children’s Bureau, and Kidscape are delighted to have the support of the Welsh government to bring Anti-Bullying Week to life in schools in Wales.

In 2019, two-thirds of schools in Wales celebrated Anti-Bullying Week, and nearly 40% of schools marked Odd Socks Day on the first day of the campaign. 86% of schools in Wales said Anti-Bullying Week helped raise awareness of bullying in their school.

Schools in Wales will be able to download free teaching resources and themed assemblies, in the Autumn. These will focus on the activities we can all take, from playgrounds to Parliament, from our phones to our homes, to spread kindness and prevent bullying behaviour.

And Anti-Bullying Alliance patron, CBBC and CBeebies star Andy Day will be right behind the campaign again with his band Andy and the Odd Socks. The band will release a rocking tune to celebrate Odd Socks Day as part of Anti-Bullying and, whilst we can’t reveal much, if the last year’s songs and videos are anything to go by, it will be a show-stopper.

Andy will highlight Odd Socks Day on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week. There’s a serious message behind the fun: let’s pull on odd socks to show we’re ALL unique and different, and let’s be kind to each other and respect each other’s individuality.

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance said:

‘We’re delighted to be working with Kidscape and the Welsh Government on such a dynamic series of plans to support schools and others working with children to identify, prevent and respond effectively to bullying this year. We’re looking forward to working with organisations and individuals across Wales to deliver our biggest Anti-Bullying Week yet and grow a network of support across Wales to keep children safe from bullying and harm!’

Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language said:

“I am delighted that the Welsh Government will, once again, support Anti-Bullying Week, during such a challenging year for our teachers and learners. This will be an excellent opportunity to build on our Rights, Respect, Equality guidance and focus on the importance of kindness and respect.

Challenging bullying in schools is a key priority for this government, and we are committed to ensuring all our learners feel safe, secure and are supported to achieve their full potential.”

For more details about Anti-Bullying Week visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website: anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week.


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