Children take part in bullying survey

PUPILS have been asked to take part in an anonymous online survey to help paint a picture of bullying in Lincolnshire schools.

Children in primary and secondary schools across the county are being asked a range of questions about whether they have been the victim of bullies, why they were bullied and where any incidents took place.

It is hoped the information they provide will help schools and county education bosses to tackle any problems head-on.

Lincolnshire County Council anti-bullying officer Sophie Whitehead said: “This is the first year we have done our own bullying survey and we hope it will give us a feel for where we are.

“We are not saying there is an issue in Lincolnshire because there’s not but we have a duty of care to pupils to make sure bullying is dealt with.”

The survey has now been online for a week and Mrs Whitehead says it has already received a positive response.

It will be available for another couple of weeks before the data is compiled and reports sent to individual schools in December.

The lessons learned from the survey will also be used as the basis for a conference in February with partner agencies.

Its launch coincides with national anti-bullying week, which has the theme of “stop and think – words can hurt”.

And University Academy Holbeach headteacher Steve Baragwanath has welcomed it, saying the information gathered will be valuable in helping schools tackle bullying.

He said: “Bullying goes on in all schools and tackling it early is very important.

“We, as teachers, are not clairvoyant so we would encourage any student who is being bullied to talk to someone they trust and let them deal with it. Often trying to deal with it yourself can make the situation worse.

“You want children to come to school to feel happy and safe, so we are constantly vigilant to bullying and if we see anything we tackle it straight away. But we can only deal with what we know about, so this survey should provide us with useful information.”