London Boroughs Lead the Way in National Campaign to Eradicate Bullying from Schools

Local authorities in the capital join fast-growing anti-bullying initiative which uses real-time monitoring and incident reporting to tackle bullying in schools

[UKPRwire, Tue Jul 17 2007] 16 July, 2007 – London is leading the way in the campaign to eradicating bullying from schools, with 12 boroughs* in the capital now part of a fast-growing national anti-bullying initiative.

More than 40 local authorities across the country have signed up to the initiative which uses Sentinel, a web-based system developed by Vantage Technologies that enables staff and pupils to report instances of bullying securely over the Internet, meaning issues can be monitored and addressed effectively in real time.

London now has more local authorities involved in the initiative than any other region, and is using Sentinel to collate information into a single reporting database, which enables teachers and Children’s Services professionals to share resources and adopt a more coordinated approach to the identification of patterns, trends and hotspots.

Sentinel’s incident management capability is supported by an on-line survey module that allows the local authority to measure the attitude and experience of young people and parents towards bullying, hate crime and their personal safety across all its schools and communities.

The London Borough of Lambeth said: "We are continually looking at ways to improve Racist Incident and Bullying Monitoring and being able to report and monitor incidents in real-time will play a key role in helping us to tackle and reduce bullying in schools. We signed up with Sentinel as several boroughs at our Race Equality Good Practice Network were already using it and spoke highly of it.”

“We see Sentinel as a way of addressing many strands with one piece of software, to avoid duplication and give us and schools high quality data.”

Increasing numbers of local authorities have joined the national initiative, following the publication of the Commons Education & Skills Select Committee report on Bullying in schools and calls for a national enquiry into the scale of bullying in schools, and how all forms of bullying are being recorded and detailed.

The Education Select Committee report 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 for the purpose of effectively improving the tackling and management of this issue in all schools across their area”.

Sentinel gathers statistical information into a single reporting database allowing teachers, school management and Children’s Services professionals to share resources and adopt a more co-ordinated approach to the identification of patterns, trends and bullying hotspots. Sentinel also provides case management tools, allowing schools to investigate and resolve any such incidents.

Personal information about individuals involved in bullying is restricted to authorised members of School staff. School management and Children’s Services professionals will have access to anonymous data on each incident and from regular surveys carried out across all schools in the area. This will result in joint action to develop effective anti-bullying policies and to identify bullying hotspots, trends in behaviour and the success of anti-bullying initiatives.


* The 12 London boroughs now involved in the national anti-bullying initiative are: Islington, Newham, Merton, Richmond, Ealing, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Lambeth, Bexley, Hillingdon, Bromley and Southwark.

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