School bullying to be tracked by new system

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Image caption Information on bullying will be recorded on the system currently used to track attendance

A new way of monitoring and recording bullying in Scottish schools will be introduced this autumn.

The government hopes it will make it easier for teachers to act "quickly and effectively" to address the problem.

The updated guidance, which will be issued to all schools and councils, will set out how to consistently record information about the type and prevalence of bullying.

It will be recorded on the system currently used to track attendance.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: "It's every child's right not to be bullied and having a consistent way of recording and monitoring incidents will help schools identify issues and act quickly and effectively.

"This includes support for children involved in these incidents but also programmes to prevent bullying and promote positive relationships and behaviour."

Identify trends

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union, said: "All forms of bullying need to be challenged effectively - accurate recording and monitoring of instances of bullying should facilitate the provision of appropriate support and resourcing, where required, to allow schools to do this."

Meanwhile, the Scottish government-funded anti-bullying service respectme will continue its work with councils and organisations dealing with children.

It aims "to build confidence and capacity to address bullying effectively".

The service's director Katie Rafferty said: "Effective monitoring and recording of bullying incidents is an essential feature of the consistent and coherent approach to anti-bullying that we seek for all of Scotland's children and young people.

"It can create a clearer picture of bullying behaviour and its impact, and can help identify trends or patterns that allow for more focused responses and improved prevention.

"We welcome this guidance and look forward to supporting this work through our continued offer of free training, policy advice and information for all those working with children and young people."

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