Tackling Bullying In Dorset

An anti-bullying conference for young people and those who work with young people has taken place in Dorset.

Taking place at the Winfrith Conference Centre on Thursday November 17th 2011, it has been organised by the recently formed Anti-bullying Strategic group.

Made up of representatives from Dorset Police, Dorset County Council and staff and pupils from schools across the county, the group aims to form a cohesive action plan to tackle problems with bullying.

Six young people presented their own 'Life Stories' to the conference. They each have their own experiences of bullying, and hope that their stories can help other young people to deal with their problems.

Richard spoke about his experiences with bullying

Tasked with developing an anti-bullying strategy that works across all aspects of children and young people's lives the group has worked with youth groups, schools and children to create an action plan to stamp out bullying. 

Split into four themes the strategy is being hammered out by Dorset's youth to create an effective plan to prevent and support victims of bullying. 

Toni Coombs Dorset County Council Cabinet member for children's services said:

"We take bullying very seriously and want victims to know that they aren't alone. There is help available and support for those who are being bullied. This campaign is very important to raise awareness of our community stance on bullying, and to show bullies that their actions won't be tolerated."

The themes discussed at the conference included education and training, policies and procedures, participation (young people, parents, carers, communities) and data (reporting, recording, analysis and evaluation). 

The idea was to review the strategy and its accompanying action plan.

The priorities of the strategy are to achieve the following:

-Consult widely with young people to understand what bullying means to them.

- Identify what young people consider to be bullying

-Identify what young people wish us to do in order to respond to bullying - and develop the strategy and action plan to support this

-Create an effective bullying monitoring tool that is user friendly

- Secure 'buy in' from all those working with children and young people to report bullying incidents in order that the strategic group can monitor and effectively respond when appropriate

-For children and young people to lead in the development of a DCC anti-bullying policy

To learn more contact the Safe School and Communities team (SSCT) on ssct@dorset.pnn.police.uk