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Cyberbullying Written Answer, 17/04/12 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Kezia Dugdale's (Lab) question asking the Scottish Executive what it is doing to (a) educate children and young people and (b) inform parents and guardians about the dangers of cyberbullying; and what discussions it has had with (a) teaching unions and (b) youth work organisations regarding cyberbullying.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell, replied that the experiences and outcomes under health and wellbeing within Curriculum for Excellence outline expectations for learning around respect, positive relationships, access to support and rights and responsibilities. In addition, the experiences and outcomes under technologies within Curriculum for Excellence outline expectations for learning around safe and acceptable conduct when using different technologies to interact and share information with others. It is for schools and local authorities to decide how to take learning forward in both of these curricular areas.

The Scottish Government funds the national anti-bullying service, respectme, who provide free training on cyberbullying for parents and professionals, informed by their research with 4,000 children and young people on cyberbullying. Respectme campaigns at a national level to raise awareness of bullying behaviour and its impact on children and young people. Their current campaign focuses on cyberbullying. Respectme also provide a range of information for parents and carers on their website on all aspects of bullying including cyberbullying and are currently developing a new resource on cyberbullying for children and young people.

Education Scotland has also developed a range of materials and information for parents and carers about internet safety and responsible use which are available on their website.

The Scottish Advisory Group on Behaviour in Schools, which provides advice to national and local government on all aspects of behaviour in schools, includes representation from trade unions. Cyberbullying has been discussed at the group.

The Scottish Government co-ordinates and regularly meets with the Scottish Anti-Bullying Steering Group, which includes representatives from Youth Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and Children’s Parliament, to discuss all aspects of anti-bullying work, including work to tackle cyberbullying.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 April 2012 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 April 2012