Publication - FOI/EIR release

Formation of 'Respect For All' anti-bullying approach: FOI release

Published: 29 Oct 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
29 Oct 2018
Formation of 'Respect For All' anti-bullying approach: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02833  
Date received: 27 September 2018
Date responded: 24 October 2018
 
Information requested
 
  • Any data outlining why 1/ harassment, specifically sexual harassment and 2/ examples of sexist bullying were not explicitly included within the Scottish Governments 'Respect For All' anti-bullying approach.
  • Any data of any meetings or communications around the decision to omit harassment from the document.
  • Any data outlining why the definition of 'Sexism and Gender' within Appendix 2 Prejudice Based Bullying is not a gendered analysis of the inequalities experienced by girls.
  • Details of who the members of the working group were that were responsible for drafting the refreshed version of the Respect For All document.
  • Any data in relation to this working group, including actions, minutes of meetings and any other documents made available to or produced by them.
  • Details of who the members of the working group were that were responsible for compiling the supplementary recording and monitoring guidance for Respect For All.
  • Any data in relation to this working group, including actions, minutes of meetings and any other documents made available to or produced by them.
  • Details of the questions and categories that are included within the new SEEMIS bullying recording and monitoring system.
 
Response
 
 I enclose a copy of the information you requested below and in the subsequent annexes.
  • Any data outlining why 1/ harassment, specifically sexual harassment and 2/ examples of sexist bullying were not explicitly included within the Scottish Governments 'Respect For All' anti-bullying approach.
As you will be aware, the Scottish Government published ‘Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People’ in November 2017. It was written for everyone working with children and young people and provides a holistic approach to anti-bullying.

As you are aware, development of ‘Respect for All’ was developed by a Working Group and is also detailed in the minutes contained in Annex A. In addition, members of the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools were advised of the draft policy and contributed to its development.

The Working Group was in agreement that there should be a clear distinction between bullying behaviours and actions which may be considered criminal behaviour, which could include sexual harassment and assault. It was recognised that the term ‘sexual bullying’ was increasingly being used to describe a broad range of very concerning behaviours, including gender-based bullying and sexually aggressive behaviour. The Working Group considered that using the term "sexual bullying" may well dilute sexually-aggressive behaviour or harassment and agreed not to use the term.

‘Respect for All’ draws the distinction between bullying behaviour and actions as a result of prejudice which may be considered criminal behaviour. On page 12 of the guidance you will note that:

‘Some behaviour can be perceived as or assumed to be bullying. However, certain incidents can often be more serious and, in fact, criminal in nature. Understanding the individual circumstances is important to ensure that there is a clear distinction between bullying and criminal offences such as hate crime, child sexual exploitation and gender based violence such as domestic abuse and sexual assault’.

The guidance is clear that if a school feels that there may be criminal behaviour they should seek the advice of Police Scotland.
 
  • Any data of any meetings or communications around the decision to omit harassment from the document.
As above. The Working Group were in agreement that there should be a clear distinction between bullying and actions which may be considered criminal behaviour, which could include sexual harassment and assault. There were no specific discussions, communication or a decision to omit harassment.
 
  • Any data outlining why the definition of 'Sexism and Gender' within Appendix 2 Prejudice Based Bullying is not a gendered analysis of the inequalities experienced by girls.
 
As outlined above, The Working Group were in agreement that there should be a clear distinction between bullying and actions which may be considered criminal behaviour, which could include sexual harassment and assault.
‘Respect for All’ states that if a school feels that there may be criminal behaviour they should seek the advice of Police Scotland.
 
  • Details of who the members of the working group were that were responsible for drafting the refreshed version of the Respect For All document.
 
Details of membership of the working group can be found on the inside cover of ‘Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People’.
 
  • Any data in relation to this working group, including actions, minutes of meetings and any other documents made available to or produced by them.
 
Minutes from the meetings of the Working Group can be found at Annex A.
  • Details of who the members of the working group were that were responsible for compiling the supplementary recording and monitoring guidance for Respect For All.
 
Membership details, minutes and a copy of the guidance published by the working group can be found here:
https://beta.gov.scot/groups/recording-and-monitoring-incidents-of-bullying-in-schools/
 
  • Details of the questions and categories that are included within the new SEEMIS bullying recording and monitoring system.
 
SEEMiS, the Schools Management Information System is owned by all 32 local authorities, not the Scottish Government. I have attached a scanned PDF copy of the Technical Guidance published by SEEMiS which is held by the Scottish Government. This provides the information on the Bullying and Equalities Module you have requested. This can be found at Annex B.

The Equality Impact Assessment record summarises the data reports that the Working Group considered as part of the review. This can be found at:https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/10/6230
 
You will be interested to know that the Scottish Government is taking forward a number of initiatives to tackle sexual harassment. The recently published Programme for Government 2018/19 contains a commitment to developing and delivery a major public awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexism, to run in spring 2019. This will include a specific strand focusing on children and young people.
 
Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS) provide a national sexual violence prevention programme to local authority secondary schools across Scotland. The programme aims to provide consistency in approaches to the prevention of sexual violence and contributes to Equally Safe, our strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls, in its aim to address the systematic inequality, attitudes and assumptions that give rise to violence and abusive behaviour. We are also providing funding to Rape Crisis Scotland to extend their delivery of their Sexual Violence Prevention Programme to public secondary schools in every local authority in Scotland. Since 2016 the programme has been delivered to over 26,000 young people.
 
Education Scotland delivers professional learning to support the development of relationship based approaches at the whole school level. These include restorative, solution oriented, nurturing approaches and Mentors in Violence Prevention. All of these approaches have a strong evidence base.
 
Current Benchmarks within the Health and Wellbeing area of Curriculum for Excellence also provide key stages of learning that children and young people should receive in relation to healthy relationships and appropriate behaviour.
 
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you paper copies.
 
About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

foi-18-02833 Annex A

17 page PDF
540.5 kB

foi-18-02833 Annex B

16 page PDF
609.5 kB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

 
The Scottish Government 
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Edinburgh 
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