News

 

SAMH cybersecurity attack

We regret to announce that SAMH has been the victim of a sophisticated and criminal cybersecurity attack. respectme is part of SAMH, which means this attack has also had an impact on us.

Billy Watson, Chief Executive at SAMH said:

“We are devastated by this attack. It is difficult to understand why anyone would deliberately try to disrupt the work of an organisation that is relied on by people at their most vulnerable. 

“Our priority is to continue to do everything we can to deliver our vital services. My thanks to our staff team who, under difficult circumstances, are finding ways to keep our support services running to ensure those they support experience as little disruption as possible.

“We are working closely with various agencies including Police Scotland - this is an active investigation.

“We will continue to take the best expert advice to assist us in effectively dealing with this situation.”

As a result of the attack, we have been unable to access respectme email accounts since the early hours of Wednesday 16 March. If you’re waiting on a response from a member of the team, we will get back to you as soon as we are able to.

If you have an urgent enquiry about any aspect of the respectme service, please contact Elaine Nixon, Communications and Campaigns Officer at respectme in the first instance on mobile: 07395851173.

We are working on the issue and we hope to be back up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Read more

Dumfries and Galloway Council help launch new reward programme

New award-winning anti-bullying reward programme gets underway

respectme, Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service, joined representatives from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education Services team this week, for the official launch of the new ‘respectme reward’ national programme for schools and youth services across Scotland.

Held during Anti-Bullying Week (15-19 November), the event celebrated the success of the piloted project staged during 2020/21 involving six schools; Dumfries Academy, Dalbeattie High School, Penpont Primary, Sandhead Primary, Drummore Primary and North West Community Campus. Featuring a validated self-assessment toolkit, the ‘respectme reward’ programme is designed to help schools review their anti-bullying policy and practice, acknowledge success and plan for future improvements.

All six schools were presented with their ‘respectme reward’ certificates during the event following involvement with the pilot. The partnership has led to Dumfries and Galloway Council receiving a ‘Highly Commended’ recognition from The Pearson National Teaching Awards 2021 in the category ‘Impact through Partnership’. During the event respectme Director, Katie Ferguson, outlined the next steps for the ambitious programme to involve more schools across Scotland.

Leading the design of the new reward scheme and school engagement programme, which has this week picked up the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation Champion Award 2021 for Best School Programme, Lorraine Glass, Policy and Improvement Manager from respectme, commented: “I am delighted to see this important new development in our anti-bullying work come to the national stage following the successful pilot with Dumfries and Galloway Council. I owe a huge thank you to the six schools for all their hard work and commitment during the process and for being the first schools to receive their certificate.”

“Our role is not one of inspection or enforcing, instead we seek to build solid relationships and act as enablers to help guide, uphold, encourage, celebrate, validate and share good practice wherever we can, and to support improvement and change through respectful challenge and thought leadership.  This approach helps nurture a culture of growth rather than one of compliance.”

Chair of the council’s Education and Learning committee, Jeff Leaver, said: "Two of our council’s priorities are providing the best start in life for all our children and protecting our more vulnerable people.  Being involved in the pilot process of the new ‘respectme reward’ programme shows how proactive we are being to try and ensure that all our children and young people are safe and happy.” 

Vice Chair of the Education and Learning committee, Ros Surtees, said: “Bullying can have such an impact on children and young people’s lives so it’s encouraging to see schools in Dumfries and Galloway champion this new programme.  With the toolkit to hand for our education staff and parents, we can help raise awareness of the issues children and young people face when it comes to bullying and seek to improve them.”

The self-assessment process strengthens and supports a children’s rights approach by engaging young people in feedback surveys and whole-school anti-bullying conversations and initiatives. During the process adult voices from parents, carers, staff and volunteers are all gathered independently to truly understand and bring further improvement to creating a safe, happy and inclusive space for children and young people to learn, play and grow up in.

If you want to find out more about the ‘respectme reward’ visit www.respectme.org.uk or email enquiries@respectme.org.uk

Read more

East Ayrshire school helps launch Anti-Bullying Week 2021

School pupils from Fenwick Primary School help launch national anti-bullying campaign 

Pupils from Fenwick Primary School got behind Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Week this week by creating a chain reaction of kindness throughout their school. The school from East Ayrshire joined scores of schools from across Scotland in backing a new national anti-bullying campaign which encourages children and young people and adults alike to use kind words and actions to break the cycle of bullying.

The ‘One Kind Word’ campaign which has been informed by young people, is underpinned by hope and the positive and kind things that we can all do to halt hurtful behaviour in its tracks. One kind word can be a turning point. It and change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

Young people and adults are also being challenged to spread kindness from the playground, to homes and communities, by pledging to respectme’s #5DaysOfKindness, which encourages everyone to commit to and share simple acts of kindness across five days. Anyone involved in positively influencing the life of children and young people can download the free Anti-Bullying Week (15-19 Nov) resources from www.respectme.org.uk/onekindword

Judith Ross, Class Teacher and Wellbeing Champion from Fenwick Primary & ECC, said: “Our school values ‘Respectful, Responsible and Resilient’ are at the heart of Fenwick Primary. We have engaged with respectme’s anti-bullying week events annually and we have really embraced this year’s theme of ‘One Kind Word’.

“Our Primary 7 Wellbeing Ambassadors look for kindness within our playground and we are looking forward to spreading this message of kindness throughout the school during anti-bullying week and beyond. Seeing the impact of a kind word or action on a young person’s wellbeing and talking about the difference it can make is something we will be discussing in class throughout anti-bullying week, and during our time at Fenwick Primary, enabling our pupils to carry this forward into their adult lives.”

Supporting the call to inspire a chain reaction of kindness this Anti-Bullying Week is the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, who commented: ‘Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and must be addressed quickly, whenever it arises. We know that bullying can affect people’s mental health both in the short term and long term and all adults involved in children’s lives have a role in addressing bullying when it happens.

“Kindness is more important today than it has ever been and I would encourage all children and young people to take part in respectme’s ‘5 Days of Kindness Challenge’ by committing to one kind action for every day this week.”

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, commented: “Every young person in Scotland deserves to grow up in communities and cultures where they are valued, respected and safe from bullying. The words and actions of young people and adults alike become the culture of our schools, youth groups, sports clubs and communities. We know that culture – more than anything – determines whether bullying thrives and blights the lives of young people, or is prevented from taking hold. We’re calling on all those involved in the lives of young people to use the power of kindness to help them shape the environments where young people come together, so they can be free from bullying and reach their full potential.

“Anti-Bullying Week is a fantastic opportunity to shine the light on positive anti-bullying strategies, as well as sending out a clear message that bullying in not acceptable in any form. This year’s theme pays tribute to what we have learned over the past months - despite the many challenges and restrictions on our lives, what is clear is a strong sense of community and small acts of kindness can change someone’s life.”

While the campaign launches during Anti-Bullying Week the free resources will be available online for schools, community groups and organisations to discover all year round to continuously highlight the options available to young people and remind young people of the power of kindness and compassion. For information about respectme’s ‘One Kind Word’ campaign visit www.respectme.org.uk/onekindword to discover more.

Check out our newly launched Instagram page respectmescot.

Read more

Winning anti-bullying films announced

Scotland’s young filmmakers celebrated as national competition unveils winning films

Today (Monday 15 November 2021) respectme unveiled the winners of their Young Filmmaker Competition during a celebratory online premiere event, to mark the start of Anti-Bullying Week. The competition which challenged under-18s to create short anti-bullying films has saw both Secondary accolades being awarded to Scotland’s brightest young female filmmakers in the making.

The winning Primary Age Group film went to Underbank Primary School from Carluke, for their class entry ‘Tell Someone’. The Secondary Age Group (Under-18) winning film went to pupils from Woodmill High School, Dunfermline, for their film ‘Monster (Like Me), and the winning Secondary Age Solo (Under-18) film went to 16-year-old, Olivia Marie Ritchie, who attends St Aloysius College in Glasgow.

The Young Filmmaker Competition, a unique partnership with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film, provided young people with a national platform to share their voices and experiences on film by thinking creatively about the little, or the big things that can help make life better for young people experiencing bullying. The competition launched as part respectme’s campaign ‘What Made It Better?’ which explores approaches that have helped people respond to bullying behaviour.

Attending respectme’s young filmmaker’s premiere event to congratulate finalists and winners, was the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, who said: “Congratulations to the winners of the Film Maker’s Competition. Thank you to all the young people who took part in this fantastic opportunity. By sharing your experiences and making your voices heard, you can help make life better for other young people experiencing bullying.”

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, commented: “Well done to all of the young people who submitted film entries and special congratulations to our winners. We know that each film took a lot of courage to make and we applaud those young people for confronting bullying head on with compassion and integrity, your films will spark meaningful and educational conversations about bullying among young people all across the country. A massive thank you also to the adults too – numerous youth workers and educators have supported young people to make their submissions. We recognise the commitment and hard work that has gone into each entry against the backdrop of what remains a challenging time in Scotland's schools and communities.

“I am thrilled to see both our Secondary winners, all young women, being celebrated on this national stage, for their creative approaches to the competition theme as well as their original ideas and filmmaking vision. Their films have conveyed positive messages of hope and demonstrated strategies that have made things better for those being bullied. We couldn’t have asked for better start to get our Anti-Bullying Week underway by putting young people’s voices at the very heart of our annual awareness week.”

Yvonne Kennedy, Head of Junior Conservatoire DDPF (Dance, Drama, Production and Film) from Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film, added: Congratulations to all the winners across each of the categories. Your films have been wonderful to watch and represent the theme of ‘What Made It Better’. We are looking forward to meeting the winners and inspiring them more in their film making journey.”

The winning three minute films will be screened on respectme’s social media channels during Anti-Bullying Week and will go on to become part of education resources designed to help spark new conversations about bullying in schools across Scotland. The films will also be screened in schools and youth settings during a respectme roadshow next year. The films will help young people to feel empowered to seek support, or encourage young people to be kinder to each other by challenging perceptions of bullying.

Read more

Film competition finalists announced

Scotland’s young filmmakers recognised as national competition finalists announced

Young filmmakers from across Scotland are being recognised in respectme’s national filmmaking competition, which challenged under-18s to create short anti-bullying films. All finalists are to be celebrated on 15 November at a special virtual premiere event to mark the first day of Anti-Bullying Week 2021 (15-19 November), where winners will be announced.

The Young Filmmaker Competition, a unique partnership with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film, provided young people with a national platform to share their voices and experiences on film by thinking creatively about the little, or the big things that can help make life better for young people experiencing bullying. The competition launched as part respectme’s, latest campaign ‘What Made It Better?’ which explores approaches that have helped people respond to bullying behaviour.

Young Filmmaking Competition 2021 shortlist:

Primary Group entries:

  • What Made It Better, Elrick Primary School
  • Little Badger's Worries, Parent/Seonaid Daly
  • Tell Someone, Underbank Primary School

Secondary Group entries:

  • Monster (Like Me), Woodmill High School
  • What Made It Better, Boroughmuir High School
  • It Stuck with Me, Boroughmuir High School

Individual Young Filmmaker (Under-18):

  • What Made It Better, Boroughmuir High School
  • Reach Out, Boroughmuir High School
  • Do Ask, Do Tell, St Aloysius College
  • It Gets Better, Carluke High School

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: “A huge well done to all the schools and young people who submitted films to our competition, and especially to those who made our final shortlist. This competition was about harnessing the power of creativity and film to bring young people’s experiences and voices to life on the big screen. Their films have conveyed positive messages of hope and demonstrated strategies that have made things better for those being bullied. We can’t wait to announce our winners and start sharing these fantastic films to prompt discussion among young people right across the country.

“I want to thank everyone who entered our competition; from the adults and schools who supported young people to take part, the young people themselves for their exceptional filmmaking ideas and hard work, and the parents and carers who supported young people at home to enter. We look forward to celebrating the work of all our finalists and winners as part of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week events and activities.”

Yvonne Kennedy, Head of Junior Conservatoire DDPF (Dance, Drama, Production and Film) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, added: “We have been delighted to be involved in this project and it was a pleasure to watch each of the films submitted under the three categories. Well done to every young person, school and adult who were involved in the creation of these short films. You have all done an excellent job of showing ‘What Made It Better’ for you.”

The winning three minute films will be screened on respectme’s social media channels during Anti-Bullying Week and will go on to become part of education resources designed to help spark new conversations about bullying in schools across Scotland. The films will also be screened in schools and youth settings during a respectme roadshow next year. The films will help young people to feel empowered to seek support, or encourage young people to be kinder to each other by challenging perceptions of bullying.

The Young Filmmaker Competition featured three entry categories: Primary age group (P4-P7), Secondary aged group (under 18), Secondary age individual (under 18). Each group category winner will be awarded a unique filmmaker masterclass experience delivered by Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film and the Secondary age individual winner will win a place on the Junior Conservatoire of Film programme (term 2022/2023, winner will enter level 1). Good luck everyone!

Read more

respectme launch film competition to find best youth anti-bullying films

#WhatMadeItBetter? Young Filmmaker Competition 

respectme has teamed up with Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film, part of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, to launch a new competition which invites 7-18 year-olds across Scotland to get creative and try their hand at filmmaking. With three entry categories, winning films will be announced and celebrated at a special online premiere event to mark Anti-Bullying Week 2021 (15-19 November 2021).

Budding filmmakers are being invited to bring their voices and experiences to the big screen by thinking creatively about the little, or the big things that can help make life better for young people experiencing bullying. The competition is part of respectme’s latest campaign 'What Made It Better?', which explores approaches that have helped people respond to bullying behaviour.

Judges are searching for inspiring, thoughtful or challenging three minute films to help educate and motivate young people across Scotland to feel empowered to seek support, or encourage young people to be kinder to each other by challenging new and old perceptions of bullying.

The competition also provides entrants with the opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process through expert tip guides and ‘how to’ videos produced by The Junior Conservatoire of Scotland film lecturers. All resources are available at www.whatmadeitbetter.com.

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: “We are really excited to team up with the Junior Conservatoire of Film team to create this unique film competition which gives young people the chance to connect together, unlock their creativity and learn about the filmmaking process. The competition is going to give young people a national platform to tell their stories and share what they think are the solutions to address bullying, the things that can help ‘make it better’.

“As well as celebrating our winners during Anti-Bullying Week to get the week of action underway, the three winning films will be showcased during our schools’ campaign roadshow which will get underway early next year, with the aim of taking these inspiring films out across the country and sparking new conversations about bullying in every corner of Scotland.”

Yvonne Kennedy, Head of Junior Conservatoire DDPF (Dance, Drama, Production and Film) from Scotland's Junior Conservatoire of Film, commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with respectme in the delivery of this film competition by providing tools to help young people tell their stories and share their experiences with others. By using the guidance by the Junior Conservatoire, we hope that young people can tell their peers across Scotland 'What Made It Better' for them through the visual storytelling of film making. We look forward to watching your entries and supporting your start on your film making journey." 

All film submissions will the reviewed by a panel of judges who will curate a shortlist of films. Deadline for all film entries is 12.30pm, 15 October 2021. Every film entrant must be sponsored by a responsible adult. For full information visit respectme’s campaign mini-site at www.whatmadeitbetter.com

Read more

Talking to Children about Bullying

The start of the new school year can be a stressful time for children, young people and parents alike, especially after the year we’ve all had. We know that bullying behaviour can leave parents feeling anxious, out of their depth and unsure of what to do, or where to turn to help their child. With months of home schooling and young people spending more time online, new concerns of bullying can increase feelings of stress and worry as a new school chapter gets underway.

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service, comments:

“We know that friendships are an important factor that can protect children from experiences of bullying, and with children’s relationships and social lives being so affected in the last year due to the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it’s only natural that some parents may be feeling more worried than usual about bullying as the new school term gets underway.

“Opening up conversations and being curious about your child’s views on matters like new and old friendships and how they are either playing out online or in person – can go a long way to giving you a better understanding of how to support your child.

"Where bullying does take place, there often isn’t one, single solution to addressing it, but we know that the trusted adults can and do make a huge difference in children’s lives by helping them regain their voice and choose for themselves how they want to respond to bullying behaviour.”

Here is a short guide to talking to children about bullying as the new school terms gets underway. For more information like this, visit respectme’s extensive range of resources available for children and young people and parents and carers.

Talking to Children about Bullying – Top Tips

Don’t Panic.
Remaining calm supports good listening and is reassuring for your child.

Give your full attention.
This is reassuring and shows you are taking them seriously. Explain the reasons for your concern. Feeding back sensitively about what you have noticed can help your child to see more clearly how bullying is impacting on them.

Talk to children about spending hours online.
Talk to your child about their online relationships and how they feel about them. Establish a clear understanding of the sites they use, how they access them and agree boundaries together.

What do they want to do, and what do they want you to do? 
Exploring this will help your child feel valued and will help you to understand what support they need.

Keep Listening
If they are reluctant to talk straight away, remind them that you are always available to listen and they can talk to you at any time. Keep the lines of communication open and remember that the impact of bullying can last, even if the behaviour has stopped.

Read more

Anti-Bullying Week 2021 Theme Announcement

Anti-Bullying Week 2021 Theme Announcement

14 May 2021

respectme, Scotland’s anti-bullying service, announces the theme for Anti-Bullying Week 2021, Monday 15 November to Friday 19 November, as ‘One Kind Word’. The theme has been developed by the UK’s leading anti-bullying organisations, in collaboration with young people. The campaign call to action is as follows;

Ask if someone’s OK. Say you’re sorry. Just say hey.

In a world that can sometimes feel like it’s filled with negativity, one kind word can provide a moment of hope. It can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. So from the playground to Parliament, and from our phones to our homes, together, our actions can fire a chain reaction that powers positivity.

It starts with one kind word. It starts today.

The ‘One Kind Moment’ campaign will go live later this year against the backdrop of our ongoing #WhatMadeItBetter? campaign, which continues explore the approaches that helped people deal with bullying behaviour, as well as providing a platform for young people to engage with and feed into anti-bullying solutions. 

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: “Anti-Bullying Week is a fantastic annual opportunity to shine the light on positive anti-bullying strategies, as well as sending out a clear message that bullying in not acceptable in any form. This year’s theme pays tribute to what we have learned over the past months - despite the many challenges and restrictions on our lives, what is clear is a strong sense of community and small acts of kindness can change someone’s life.

“We are delighted to be supporting this united approach to Anti-Bullying Week. Whilst continuing with our #WhatMadeItBetter? campaign into 2022, this year’s theme provides additional and creative opportunities to engage with people of all ages on the importance of kindness to other and breaking the cycle of bullying.”

Can’t wait? Look at our #WhatMadeItBetter? campaign mini-site today at www.whatmadeitbetter.com to reignite your anti-bullying journey. The website provides free campaign resources for anyone involved in influencing the life of a young person to help kick-start meaningful conversations about bullying and about what made it better.

Read more

Anti-Bullying Week 2020 Launch

PEOPLE IN SCOTLAND URGED TO GET ON BOARD WITH ANTI-BULLYING DRIVE

A national campaign to address bullying behaviour among Scotland’s young people has launched during Anti Bullying Week 2020 (16-20 November).

Led by Scotland’s anti-bullying service respectme, #WhatMadeItBetter? launches amid a changing landscape of bullying as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 47% of young people in Scotland reporting that they saw or experienced online bullying during lockdown and 59% witnessing an increase in prejudice-based posts, comments and/or attitudes*.

The campaign seeks to empower young people with advice and approaches from those who have experienced bullying, after a consultation with young people and professionals highlighted that the management of bullying related incidents was a key area of concern.

With this in mind, respectme has created a suite of resources for primary and secondary aged children to help approach and guide conversations at a time when learning supervision is has been reduced, while also supporting young people with advice from those who have been there themselves.

Anyone involved in influencing the life of a young person is invited to download the free resources available at www.whatmadeitbetter.com.

Supporting the call is the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, who said: “Anti-Bullying Week is an ideal opportunity to send a clear message that bullying of any kind is completely unacceptable and when it occurs we all have a responsibility to address it.

“Children and young people need to be educated about all faiths and beliefs and learn about tolerance, respect, kindness and good citizenship. We want all children and young people to be able to speak to someone they trust when bullying happens and that is why campaigns like this are so important.

“I look forward to taking part in Anti-Bullying week to highlight to those being bullied, that things will get better, and how we can be that person that did make things better.”

Wendy Harrington, Director of respectme, said: “Young people are heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, with every aspect of their lives – from school to home to social activities – affected in some way.

“There’s a wealth of evidence highlighting a rise in bullying behaviour since lockdown, particularly in an online setting, which has no time boundary and is difficult to monitor and supervise. This makes Anti-Bullying Week and the campaign all the more poignant as we seek to start the conversation and share valuable advice.

“The #WhatMadeItBetter? resources are free for anyone to explore, and we’d urge adults who have experienced bulling to get involved and help us shape future resources by taking our online survey which looks at what more can be done to support young people.”

Take part in the #WhatMadeItBetter? survey at: www.whatmadeitbetter.com/resources

Speaking out to young people is James Allan, frontman of award-winning Scottish indie band Glasvegas, who shared his personal advice: “As humans, we carry so many experiences with us, and in some way can blame ourselves or believe what other people say.

“If anybody does experience these things, try and challenge that insecurity or doubt in yourself and to know it’s the way we’re wired up. Things will get better and, in the meantime, be yourself, stay true to yourself and believe in yourself.” 

While the campaign launches during Anti-Bullying Week, it will run across the school year until July 2021 to continuously highlight the options available to young people and remind them that things can and will get better.

Stay up to date with the campaign and Anti-Bullying Week activities by following respectme on Facebook and Twitter.  

ENDS                                                                                      16 November 2020

*Source: Time for Inclusive Education ‘Online in Lockdown’ report

 

 

Read more

Student's anti-bullying work celebrated by respectme

WEST LOTHIAN STUDENT'S ANTI-BULLYING WORK CELEBRATED BY RESPECTME 

11 March 2021

A teenager from West Lothian has been recognised by respectme, Scotland’s anti-bullying service, for her creative and thought-provoking short video ‘Who Am I?’ which addresses bullying behaviour head on and how it makes others feel.

The short video is being celebrated as part of respectme’s #WhatMadeItbetter? campaign, which seeks to empower young people with advice and approaches from those who have experienced bullying. Sophie’s top tip for anyone experiencing bullying is to speak to someone as it can lift some of the weight off your shoulders, “you don’t have to go though it in silence”, she says.

Sophie O’Mullan (18), created ‘Who Am I?’ as part of her advanced higher portfolio at St Kentigern's Academy. Now in her first year at the University of Dundee, Sophie said: “I’m so happy that my school work is getting the chance to reach a bigger audience as it has an important anti-bullying message at its heart. The concept of the augmented reality video is based on the popular guessing game and represents that small things people say can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I hope the video encourages young people to speak up and ask for help if they are experiencing bullying.”

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: “We are delighted to be able to shine the light on Sophie’s creative school work as part of our anti-bullying campaigning. ‘Who Am I?’ visually and creatively packs a powerful message. Words can have a big impact on someone’s life, whether they are face to face or online during this ongoing pandemic.

“We are in the middle of an important development in our campaigning work, it’s a real opportunity for those with lived experiences of bullying to help shape our future work. Our campaign resources are free for anyone to explore and include anti-bullying learning resources for parents and carers, schools, youth and sports groups to discuss and address bullying behaviours. By sharing the little things that helped you, we can highlight nationally that things can get better for others.”

The ‘What Made It Better?’ campaign launched during anti-bullying week last year (16-20 November) to explore the approaches that helped people deal with bullying behaviour, and continues to provides a platform for young people to feed into anti-bullying solutions.  The campaign mini-site www.whatmadeitbetter.com provides free campaign resources for anyone involved in influencing the life of a young person to help kick-start meaningful conversations about bullying and about what made it better.

Read more

Dean Park Primary School Celebrate Diversity Week

Dean Park Primary School Celebrate a Collaborative Approach to Diversity Week

26 April 2021

Dean Park Primary School delivered their first Diversity Week in 2020 following a successful collaboration between the Parent Council, Teachers and their Pupil Leadership Team. Due to the success of the week the school will enter into their second annual Diversity Week today (26-30 April).

The aim of the week-long education programme in 2020 was to celebrate diversity, raise more awareness about the school’s unique differences and similarities, to promote increased understanding, respect, kindness and empowerment, so that all pupils could feel included and flourish.

The Parent Council was supported by the P7 Pupil Leadership Team to design activities for the whole school to be involved in. Each day of the week, pupils engaged in learning activities focused around a specific themes including racism, gender stereotypes and religion.

Overall a host of learning opportunities were on offer throughout the week, with pupils exploring diversity picture books, creating diversity themed art work for the playgroup and engaging in a range of discussions around diversity and kindness. The depth of learning achieved during the week will help create a strong foundation of understand on which conversations about equality and diversity can continue to build across the entire year.

Mrs Smith from Dean Park Primary School, commented: “Diversity week was a great way for us all to immerse ourselves in the wider world of diversity and allowed the pupils to understand themes like racism and stereotypes in a safe positive environment. The pupils enjoyed creating music from around the world, learning about different cultures and beliefs. They learned about the life of work and possible stereotypes and unconscious bias we may all have.”

Saafia Rahman, Dean Park Parent Council co-vice chair, added: "This is a great example of parental engagement and pupil empowerment in the curriculum and of what can be achieved when there are strong partnerships between everyone across the school community. It was a fulfilling and impactful week of learning for pupils and their families on necessary and thought-provoking topics, to promote awareness and understanding of difference and similarities, educate about world events and to showcase, celebrate and take pride in difference. We hope this year’s Diversity Week will be even better than the last!”

A representative from the P7 Pupil Leadership Team, said: “Diversity Week gave us a chance to ask awkward questions and know that we will not be judged for it.”

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: “As Scotland’s national anti-bullying agency we are delighted to see Dean Park’s collaborative approach to designing and delivering a successful Diversity Week. Celebrating diversity highlights to young people the importance of respect and fairness for all. We all have similarities and differences – and we are each completely unique and that is something to be celebrated. 

“The depth covered across the week will no doubt lay a strong foundation of understanding that will help keep equality and diversity as a key focus across the entire year. That is what we need to see replicated across the entire country to achieve transformational change and a more equal society.

“We are thrilled to shine the light on the work of the school, parents and pupils in 2020, especially against the backdrop of a national pandemic, and look forward seeing highlights from this year’s Diversity Week.”

To view Dean Park PS's case study, click here https://deanparkschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Dean-Park-Case-Study-for-RespectMe.pdf

Read more

Coronavirus Outbreak: What's happening at respectme?

Following the latest Government advice, the respectme team will now be working remotely from home. We are currently taking a range of measures to ensure the continued delivery of our service where possible, while ensuring we protect the health and well-being of our staff, partners, and those who benefit from our services.

Our online channels will continue to be monitored as usual and our office will remain contactable through our regular phone number: 0344 800 8600

Please note – respectme do not operate a helpline service. We provide practical advice and guidance on bullying behaviour. If you are worried about your child and would like to talk to someone in confidence, you can call Parentline Scotland on 0800 028 2233. If your child is being bullied and would like to speak to an adult in confidence they can contact Childline on 0800 1111.

External meetings will continue to be held via video link where possible. All external training dates in March and April have now been postponed. If you are scheduled to attend training during these months you will receive communications from our office directly.

Our face to face campaign events for March and April have been postponed, and campaign activity will be moved online where possible.

We will continue to update this page on any further changes. If you have any questions, or would like further information on our continued delivery of service, please contact: enquire@respectme.org.uk

We know that these are uncertain and difficult times for many. If you are a young person, or you care for and/or work with a young person who is feeling anxious or worried about Covid-19, Young Scot have developed a helpful resource which you can access here.

Many thanks

The respectme team.

Read more

Why children need the digital skills to keep them safe from online bullying

As the start of the new term approaches for schools across Scotland, find out more about what you can do to help young people stay safe online - and help prevent online bullying: Why children need the digital skills to keep them safe from online bulling

Katie Ferguson, Director of respectme, said: 

"To the adults in their lives, particularly those who aren’t familiar with social media platforms, it can often feel like being online is the domain of children and young people – and they always appear to be one step ahead.

"However, the existence of children and young people online and their technological savviness doesn’t necessarily make them “digital natives”. In reality, they need support to develop digital literacy skills; they need to learn how to navigate relationships and keep themselves safe online.

"Adults play a vital role here in helping them to understand the implications of where they go, what they do and say online, and to offer options of what to do if they are worried about something that has happened."

Read more

Recording and Monitoring of Bullying Incidents in Scotland

Monday 28 May sees the launch of the Scottish Government’s national guidance, Respect for All: Supplementary Guidance on Recording and Monitoring of Bullying Incidents in Schools.  

Katie Ferguson, Director at respectme, Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service said:

“Effective monitoring and recording of bullying incidents is an essential feature of the consistent and coherent approach to anti-bullying that we seek for all of Scotland’s children and young people. It can create a clearer picture of bullying behaviour and its impact, and can help  identify trends or patterns that allow for more focused  responses and improved prevention.  

“We welcome this guidance and look forward to supporting this work through our continued offer of free training, policy advice and information for all those working with children and young people.” 

Read more

Consultancy Opportunity

We have an excellent consultancy opportunity for an individual to support the review and development of the respectme anti-bullying training programme for professionals working with children and young people. 

We are looking for a highly skilled individual with significant experience of designing and developing coherent, effective and engaging training programmes and materials.  

The ability to work in partnership with respectme is crucial, this includes understanding and working with respectme key messages, aligning to our organisational values and principles and working alongside our team members.

To obtain the tender brief please visit Public Contacts Scotland (you may be asked to log in) or email enquire@respectme.org.uk. The deadline for written responses to the brief is 5pm on Tuesday 29 May 2018. If required, interviews will be held in Glasgow on Tuesday 12th or Wednesday 13th June 2018.

Only those selected for interview will be notified.  If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date, you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Read more

Work with us - Consultant Trainer Vacancies

We have exciting new opportunities for Consultant Trainers to join our team.

We are looking for dynamic and motivated individuals to join our existing pool of Consultant Trainers to deliver our anti-bullying training programme to a wide range of stakeholders across Scotland.

Previous training experience is essential, as is the ability to inspire a diverse audience with an innovative approach to anti-bullying.

respectme Consultant Trainers are self-employed and receive a daily rate of £300 (incl.VAT) plus expenses.  Further details can be found here: Consultant Trainers - Job Description 2018

If you are interested in applying for one of these posts, please forward your CV and supporting statement, outlining relevant skills and experience, to: enquire@respectme.org.uk 

Closing date is Tuesday 24 April 2018. Interviews will be held in Glasgow on Thursday 3 May 2018.

Only those selected for interview will be notified.  If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date, you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Read more

Respect for All - A Guide to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children & Young People

Today, 15 November, sees the launch of the Scottish Government's new anti-bullying guidance; Respect for All

Katie Rafferty, Director at respectme, Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service said:

“We are pleased today, during Anti-Bullying Week, to support the launch of Respect for All; the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People.  We  welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government and others to develop this guidance; to ensure children and young people receive a coherent and consistent approach to bullying.  

“For all adults who play a role in the lives of children and young people, this guidance creates a vital opportunity for renewed focus and energy on preventing and effectively responding to bullying, to ensure every child in Scotland realises their right to live free from bullying and harassment.

 “We welcome the fresh impetus this guidance places on the prevention of bullying, by promoting positive cultures and relationships based on respect, and the explicit message that that bullying motivated by prejudiced attitudes has no place in Scotland and must be swiftly addressed.

“The challenge now is to ensure these vital messages are translated into a consistent and coherent approach to anti-bullying across Scotland. We look forward to supporting this work through our continued offer of free training, policy advice and information for all those adults working with children and young people. 

“Alongside Respect for All we are also delighted to see the launch of ‘Addressing Inclusion’, a resource developed in partnership by LGBT Youth Scotland and respectme to complement the national guidance and provide more specific information on how education practitioners can address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.”   

View Respect for All: the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People

View Addressing Inclusion: Effectively challenging Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Read more

Get involved this Anti-Bullying Week 13-17 November 2017

29 September 2017

During Anti-Bullying Week we are asking adults and young people alike to get involved in a national conversation about what #respectmeans to them – encouraging them to show leadership against bullying and reflect on their own and others’ behaviour. Respect is fundamental to all relationships – including online relationships – and it should be at the heart of how we treat each other. We want to send the message that positive cultures based on respect prevent bullying and we can all make a difference.

We will have a range of resources for practitioners available to order or download from our website from 30 October, including new posters, postcards and activity plans.

There are lots of ways you can get involved and share the message across your networks.

Find out more about our activities and how you can get involved.

Read more

Top tips for parents and carers who are concerned about bullying

14 August 2017

Research published today (14 August) by Action for Children Scotland, has highlighted that school bullying is one of the biggest concerns for parents as their children return to school.

Responding to the research findings, Katie Rafferty, Director of respectme Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service, said:

“The start of the new school year can be a stressful time for children, young people and parents alike. Bullying behaviour can leave parents feeling anxious, out of their depth, and unsure of what to do or where to turn to help their child.

“There isn’t one, single solution to addressing bullying but adults can make a huge difference in children’s lives by helping them regain their voice and choose for themselves how they want to respond to bullying behaviour.

“respectme has a range of resources available for children and young people and parents and carers, which provide practical advice and guidance for dealing with bullying behaviour.”
For parents and carers who are trying to support a child who is being bullied, here are some top tips to bear in mind:

Don't panic! Remaining calm supports good listening and is reassuring for your child.

Give your full attention. This is reassuring and shows you are taking them seriously. Explain the reasons for your concern. Feeding back sensitively what you have noticed can help your child to see more clearly how bullying is impacting on them.

Talk to them about where they go online. Establish a clear understanding of the sites they use and how they access them.

What do they want you to do? Exploring this will make your child feel valued and will help you to understand what support they need.

Keep Listening! If they are reluctant to talk straight away, remind them that you are always available to listen and they can talk to you at any time. And remember that the impacts of bullying can last, even when the behaviour has stopped.

Read more

Statement in response to Equalities & Human Rights Committee's Report

7 July 2017

Today - Thursday 7 July the Equalities and Human Rights Committee made recommendations to the Scottish Government, following its inquiry into Bullying and Harassment of children and young people in Scottish Schools. The report can be accessed here.

Our statement in response to the Committee's recommendations can be viewed below:

Director of respectme, Katie Rafferty said:

“Bullying in all its forms is unacceptable. No child should be made to feel threatened or anxious by bullying behaviour – an experience that can have far-reaching and long- lasting consequences on their lives.

The Equalities and Human Right’s Committee’s Inquiry into bullying and harassment has raised very concerning issues and we welcome their work. The Inquiry thorough and consultative and we welcome its recommendations.

Early intervention is essential to teaching children and young people the values of respect, inclusion and fairness, and to equip them with the practical skills to develop mutually healthy and respectful relationships.

And this includes creating environments from the earliest possible stage, where diversity is celebrated and valued. Where racist, homophobic, gender-based and all other forms of prejudice-based bullying are effectively challenged, and where all schools and youth settings explicitly commit to challenging prejudice-based bullying. Our 2014 research showed that the most successful anti-bullying initiatives are embedded within a positive ethos and culture and don’t just focus on individual incidents.

While schools and other organisations who work with children have a role to play, we shouldn’t forget that parents and carers play a vital role for both children who bully and those being bullied. Work to address bullying needs to take into account the strong influence parents and carers have on children’s lives and harness this to establish positive environments, and mirror those being developed in schools and other settings.

We agree with the Committee that recording bullying incidents will help us build a better picture of where and how children and young people experience bullying in Scotland and identify trends in bullying behaviour. However, data shouldn’t be used to rank organisations or make decisions about how well they are addressing bullying. We need to remember that recording and monitoring data in itself does not change behaviour. Rather, it should be used to inform the preventative measures and interventions that can.

While it’s clear that there is still much to be done around anti-bullying in Scotland, it’s important to recognise the good work that is being carried out within schools and local authorities. respectme will continue to work with schools and other organisations who work with young people to deliver training and resources, to give adults the practical skills and confidence to deal with bullying behaviour.

We look forward to the publication of Respect for All , which is crucial to ensuring that children and young people across Scotland receive appropriate and consistent responses to bullying behaviour.”

Read more

New director

21 April 2017

We are delighted to welcome our new Director, Katie Rafferty to the team! Katie joins respectme at an exciting time as the service enters its tenth year of delivery and when Scottish Government is refreshing its national approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s children and young people. Most recently Katie worked in the children’s sector as Policy and Campaigns Manager for the National Deaf Children’s Society in Scotland, a UK wide organisation supporting deaf children and their families. With a great interest in issues facing young people, her previous roles include working with the National Union of Students in Scotland and Childline.

Read more

Reports

respectme Director,  Katie Rafferty reflects on the anti-bullying service’s accomplishments to date and considers what still needs to be done to address bullying in Scotland. Read more here.

The 5Rights Youth Commission recently published their report on how young people can enjoy their rights in the digital world. Read their report here.

The Children's Parliament recently launched the findings of its investigation in to bullying, which included '10 Learning Points for Adults'. We were invited to contribute a guest blog, which outlines how our approach mirrors each of these 10 points. Read 'Children's Voices at the Heart of Practice'.

Read more