Director's Statement on Covid-19

Statement from the Director of respectme on the Covid-19 pandemic

'The Covid-19 pandemic has different implications for each of us. As a service which works with adults involved in the lives of children, we know that many, if not most, of our audience is dealing with major and complex changes to daily life.

We understand that relationships can become strained when parents, carers, children and young people are staying at home without the respite of school, clubs and meetings with friends. We want to offer reassurance in these challenging times and let you know that we are here to support you.

We know that bullying behaviour, whether online or offline, may still feature in the lives of our children and young people, and that the closure of schools has meant young people are spending more time online, at home, than usual. Our small but committed team is working hard to respond to this new situation and to the changing needs of those who use our service.

We hope that our website can provide parents and carers with helpful support and guidance- so that they remain engaged in their child or young person’s on-line life and able to support them effectively with any concerns they may have about bullying. Our social media channels can also signpost you to further resources.

We continue to provide training, guidance and policy advice to organisations, and in the absence of face- to-face training and campaign events, we are working hard to bring as much of our service and expertise online as possible.

Our team continues to work remotely and is accessible through this email address ( and by telephone. You can stay up to date with our new resources, our online offering and our developing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thank you for continuing to work alongside us and for all that you are doing to support, care for and teach children and young people.

Keep safe and well.'


Wendy Harrington, Director respectme

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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:

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.

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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."

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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.” 

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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 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.

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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: 

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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'.

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