Children's worries over bullying

MORE than half of Suffolk's high school children think bullying goes unnoticed by their teachers, it emerged today.According to a survey of young people aged 11 to 17 in the county 27.

MORE than half of Suffolk's high school children think bullying goes unnoticed by their teachers, it emerged today.

According to a survey of young people aged 11 to 17 in the county 27.6per cent think bullying is a big problem in their school, 58.1pc think bullying is going on when staff don't notice and 43.2pc do not agree that everyone in their school is treated fairly and with respect.

However the study, which was highlighted by Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) in its review of the county's health, showed that 41.2pc of children would feel confident reporting someone who was bullying other pupils at school.

Martin Goold, county secretary for the National Union of Teachers in Suffolk said the figures were disappointing.

He said: “We are certainly aware that it is a problem. No school is going to be entirely free of bullying, it is a question of how many resources are put into dealing with it.

“There is a scale from innocent banter to outright bullying and it is very difficult to analyse the seriousness of people's perceptions.

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“I do know that all schools work very hard to make sure all members of the community are treated with respect.”

Mr Goold said sometimes teachers were unaware of bullying because it was taking place in secret, especially online or through text messages.

He added: “Bullying can take all forms. Bullies often try to remain anonymous and there are now new ways to harass people that didn't exist 20 years ago.

“It shows there are very good reasons for not wanting mobile phones in schools.”

Ro Harte, behaviour and attendance advisor with Suffolk County Council's inclusive school improvement service, said: “All schools have an anti-bullying policy. We are developing peer-mentoring so children can report bullying to other children.”

She added that cyber-bullying was a growing problem with some children now able to bully 24/7.

She said: “We are hoping for a conference in the new year to look at cyber bullying.

“There is an understanding that bullying is has a detrimental impact on children's lives.”

Has your child been bullied at school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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