Respect for All: national approach to anti-bullying

The approach aims to build capacity, resilience and skills in children and young people to prevent and deal with bullying.

Ministerial foreword

John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Our vision is to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. A place where rights are respected and where children can access all the opportunities and support they need; when they need it. Our policies are designed to give all our children the best possible start in life. Combined with the defining mission of this Government to deliver excellence and equity in Scottish education, I am certain we can work together to raise the bar for all our children and young people and close the attainment gap.

In the seven years since the first National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People was published, Scotland has seen huge legislative and policy change; such as the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Education (Scotland) Act 2016 as well as equality legislation put in place by the UK Government including the Equality Act 2010, that have put greater focus on our children and young people's health and wellbeing. Alongside that, we now understand more about how children and young people's confidence, resilience, participation and attainment can be affected by bullying both in the short term and long term. We understand more about how and where they experience bullying; how they can be supported and most importantly, how it can be prevented.

I am delighted to introduce Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People. This builds on the positive work which has already taken place in Scotland to address bullying. Respect for All has a fundamental role to play in helping us realise our vision for all children and young people. It provides a holistic framework for all adults working with children and young people to address all aspects of bullying, including prejudice-based bullying. Respect for All reflects Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) and recognises that bullying impacts on wellbeing. In order to thrive and achieve their full potential, children and young people need learning environments which are safe, nurturing, respectful and free from fear, abuse and discrimination.

This Government's focus on challenging inequity for every child to succeed in school and gain the skills for life is being recognised through the Attainment Challenge and the National Improvement Framework for Education. Health and wellbeing is at the centre and of this approach. Respect for All has a fundamental role to play in ensuring that all of us working with children and young people fulfil our responsibility to support their health and wellbeing. This can be achieved through embedding positive relationships and behaviour approaches to prevent bullying in and across learning communities and clubs and organisations.

I hope that this guidance will be a useful resource. This Government remains committed to supporting its implementation through Career-Long Professional Learning ( CLPL) and sharing the promotion of good practice. Through Respect for All, children and young people will be encouraged to value diversity, and develop respectful relationships built on mutual trust and understanding. The most important part of our Early Years and Childcare ( ELC) and school education system is the relationship between our teachers, practitioners, parents and carers, club leaders and children and young people. Its importance should be recognised in the context of our shared drive to raise attainment for all and close the attainment gap to ensure that the focus on children and young people's health and wellbeing is given the importance it deserves.

John Swinney MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Bullying is both behaviour and impact; the impact is on a person's capacity to feel in control of themselves. This is what we term as their sense of 'agency'. Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out. This behaviour happens face to face and online. (respect me, 2015)

partner organisations/agencies who respect/support/enforce anti-bullying


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