There are a number of national policies which guide how anti-bullying policies should be developed.
The National Approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s children and young people, was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2010 and is being reviewed in 2016. The National Approach communicates and promotes a common vision and aims, to make sure that work across all agencies and communities, locally and nationally, is consistently and coherently contributing to a holistic approach to anti-bullying in Scotland, including prejudice-based bullying.
The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland places the theme of Health and Wellbeing as a responsibility of all staff, alongside literacy and numeracy as core teaching. Curriculum for Excellence is ambitious for Scotland’s young people and aspires to develop four capacities to enable them to become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors. To facilitate this, a safe learning environment is a pre-requisite, and attention to robust anti-bullying policy and practice is therefore paramount. Our policy guidance is in step with the Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes promoted by Education Scotland, and with the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (CYPA) is rooted in the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach and children’s rights; and puts a number of key initiatives into statute, including the Named Person and the single Child’s Plan. It helps ensure there is a single planning approach for children who need additional support from services, providing a single point of contact for every child; and providing a holistic understanding of wellbeing.
The CYPA also includes a legal definition of what ‘wellbeing’ means – so that children, parents, families and professionals (like teachers and youth workers) all have a shared understanding if and when they are discussing how to support a child or young person’s health and wellbeing. Wellbeing is summed up in eight words that describe different aspects of what it means when things are going well for a child or young person whether they are ‘safe’; ‘healthy’; ‘achieving’; ‘nurtured’; ‘active’; ‘respected’; ‘responsible’ and ‘included’ (often referred to as SHANARRI) .
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act (2014) makes clear that Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) is the national approach to improving the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland and puts their best interests at the heart of decision making. It recognises that children and young people will have different experiences in their lives, but every child and young person has the right to expect appropriate support from adults to allow them to grow and develop and reach their full potential.