The Aurora School Bullying Project

 

Press Release from 27th July 2008

Croydon Pioneers School Bullying Project

 

A picture of a sixth form class including a girl in Asian dressA new approach to the problem of bullying in schools has been successfully launched in Croydon schools. Sue Sanders, an established expert in this field, developed the programme “Safer Schools through Acknowledging Diversity” specifically for Croydon schools, and hopes to apply it more widely in future.

The programme concentrates on understanding diversity, and valuing each student for who they are. This reduces bullying and allows students to learn better and achieve more.

Smiling girls at computersThe programme uses the “whole school” approach. A series of workshops get teaching and non-teaching staff to think of ways to apply the new materials, skills and policies in their own school. Staff at Westwood Language College for Girls said “I wish we could have spent more time,” and “The best inset training we've ever had.”

A picture of happy, mixed students on a field course - mapreading togetherThe project includes all the strands of diversity covered in recent legislation: age, gender, faith, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation. Each school was encouraged to tailor the project to its own needs; several of them particularly asked for help in tackling homophobic bullying. Pam Smith, Croydon’s Equalities Development Officer, said “I was impressed by the research in the presentation Sue produced, and even more so that she amended the presentation in response to feedback.”

The project was promoted by Aurora, Croydon’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender police consultation group, and was funded from the National Lottery, by Awards for All.

A class of boys with their hands upInspector Mary Wood, who represents Croydon Police on Aurora, said “With education comes understanding. In this way we are better able to understand that we are all different, and so tolerate differences in others. The Police in Croydon are committed to dealing with hate crime when it happens, but how much better if we can stop it.”

 

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