Local Authorities Across England Join Pioneering National Scheme to Involve Pupils in the Fight Agai

13 authorities launch online anti-bullying survey to allow pupils to voice opinion on effectiveness of school policies during National Anti-Bullying Week

[UKPRwire, Mon Nov 19 2007] To coincide with National Anti-Bullying Week, 13 local authorities* across England have joined a pioneering national scheme designed to allow pupils to comment on the effectiveness of anti-bullying policies in schools.

The local authorities have all deployed Vantage Technologies’ Sentinel Survey module, an innovative online questionnaire, which has been designed to involve pupils in the fight against bullying in schools and enable them to voice their opinions on effectiveness of anti-bullying policies in place.

The results collated from the questionnaire will provide valuable evidence on the effectiveness of schools’ current anti-bullying policies and highlight potential hotspots or specific areas where additional resources need to be deployed in order to address bullying.

The web-based approach to surveys will make it easier for pupils to record their views and for them to be viewed and acted upon by school management and local authority.

This year Anti-Bullying Week takes place from the 19th to 23rd November and will look at tackling bullying in schools and the community, covering issues ranging from cyber bullying to community cohesion and extended school provision, and the concept of engaging parents and carers more in school life.

The local authorities involved are also using Vantage’s Sentinel Case Management, an Internet-based solution that enables staff and pupils to report instances of bullying securely over the Internet into a confidential single reporting database, which alerts school management so that issues can be monitored and addressed effectively in real-time.

To date 51 local authorities across the country – one third of all English local authorities - have joined the national initiative to tackle and eliminate bullying and hate crime within schools. Sentinel’s online database allows teachers, school management and Children’s Services professionals to share resources and adopt a more co-ordinated approach to help monitor, identify and prevent further instances of bullying.

Increasing numbers of local authorities have signed up to use Sentinel, following the publication of the Commons Education & Skills Select Committee report on Bullying in schools, which states that a lack of reliable data is proving to be a barrier to effective anti-bullying work and recommends that “all local authorities in partnership with schools should develop a robust system for collation, evaluation and reporting of bullying.”

Janet Kerr, Learning Mentor Co-ordinator for Wolverhampton City Council, said: “The Sentinel Survey module is an incredibly useful way for us to monitor how effectively anti-bullying policies are working within schools. Launching the survey during this year’s National Anti-Bullying Week will help us to understand more clearly how pupils feel about our efforts to eradicate bullying from our schools and communities and whether our policies are having the desired effect.

“We are continually looking at ways to tackle and monitor bullying within schools and an online database like Sentinel is an extremely useful tool both for individual schools and for the local authority. It gives us a valuable baseline of where more work needs to be done and where we are having the most success in combating instances of bullying.”

*The 13 local authorities now signed up to use Sentinel Survey module are: Gateshead, Wigan, Hartlepool, Sandwell, St Helens, Rutland, Wolverhampton, Bury, Merton, West Sussex, Bexley, Rotherham and Islington

Company: Vantage Technologies

Contact Name: Context

Contact Email: vantage@contextpr.co.uk

Contact Phone: +44 1625 511966

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