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Anti-bullying guidance issued to schools

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The government has launched a campaign to tackle the growing problem of bullying using mobile phones or the internet in schools.

‘Cyberbullying’ can involve sending offensive messages or violent images to intimidate or harass. The government estimates more than a third of 12 to 15-year-olds have experienced some form of cyberbullying.

The Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) launched a package of initiatives it hopes will help teachers, parents and pupils fight cyberbullies, including film, online media and advice packs.

Ed Balls, DCSF secretary, said: "Cyberbullying is a particularly insidious type of bullying as it can follow young people wherever they go and the anonymity that it seemingly affords to the perpetrator can make it even more stressful for the victim."

‘Call for more action’

Teachers' union NASUWT welcomed the measures, but general secretary Chris Keates added "more and urgent action is required".

"Unfortunately, as good as the government's guidance undoubtedly is there is still more that needs to be done. At present the guidance relies on industry self-regulation as a key strategy for preventing abuse. This is unlikely to work,” he said.

‘Involve pupils in anti-bullying campaign’

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, suggested cyberbullying could be better undermined by involving children more.

"It is only by active and positive engagement of the inclusive school community that we can beat this problem," he said.

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