Budget cuts reduce schools’ ability to tackle bullying, says NAHT

Official statistics released yesterday (Monday 12 Nov) show that one in six young people between 10 and 15 years old reported being bullied.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “The government’s cuts to school budgets are bad news for children who are being bullied.

“School staff are the first line of defence against bullying and they are the best way of making sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. But NAHT’s research into school budgets shows that more than a third of schools (37%) have had to reduce the number or hours of teaching staff.

“Teaching assistants and pastoral staff in schools also play a vital role in managing behaviour, but more than four fifths (86%) of school leaders have reduced the hours or numbers of support staff because of the cuts. Almost two thirds (65%) of the NAHT members who responded to our survey said that they strongly agreed these reductions have resulted in a negative impact on their school.

“Of particular concern to us is the fact that pupils with additional needs and from lower incomes are the once most likely to report that they are being bullied. But efforts to step in, so that every child has an equal chance to succeed, are being hampered by the cuts to budgets.

“Pupils thrive when they have a great environment to learn in. That environment is created by the skilled professionals employed by the school. Many of these professionals are having their hours cut because school budgets are at breaking point, and there’s no sign of any extra money coming from the Treasury, which is a disaster for young people who are feeling bullied at school.”

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