Schools Accused of Bullying Cover-Up

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), December 11, 2006 | Go to article overview

Schools Accused of Bullying Cover-Up


Byline: By Moira Sharkey South Wales Echo

Schools have been accused of keeping quiet about bullying for fear of getting a bad reputation.

Cardiff's chief schools officer says many schools are failing to reveal incidents of violence and bullying, preventing them having a clear understanding of the wider situation.

Councillor and teacher Bill Kelloway said schools were often reluctant to report the problems for fear of attracting negative publicity.

He added those schools who did report the issues were actually the ones dealing with them.

They were speaking as a new, two-year action plan was approved for schools in the capital. Bullying: 'Our schools are keeping it quiet': Schools have been accused of covering up bullying and violence by one of Wales' top education chiefs.

Cardiff's chief schools officer, Chris Jones, said the problem of under reporting of incidents by some schools needed to be tackled head on.

He was speaking as a new, two-year anti-bullying action plan was approved for schools in the capital.

Mr Jones warned that it was difficult to tackle the problems of bullying and violence without a clear understanding of the number of incidents of bullying or inappropriate behaviour.

Addressing the council's executive meeting Mr Jones said: 'Unfortunately we still have some schools in Cardiff that are not reporting as fully as they need to. Small numbers of schools are masking incidents.'

Councillor Bill Kelloway, the executive member for education who is also a teacher, agreed. He said often schools may be reluctant to report incidents of violence or bullying for fear that it may attract negative publicity.

Coun Kelloway added that often the schools with the highest number of reported incidents were often the ones that were actually dealing with the problem.

His comments were not directly related to, but were made after a letter raising concerns about bullying in Rumney High School, in Cardiff, was circulated to the meeting.

In the letter, Councillor Ralph Cook said he believed the school had failed to deal with bullying and asked how much power the council had to ensure schools were implementing anti-bullying strategies.

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