Reports freely available at - National Centre Against Bullying

Reports freely available at - National Centre Against Bullying

Bullying, difference and disability -research and viewpointsDr Colleen McLaughlinUniversity of Cambridge Faculty of Centre Against Bullying Conference 2012Melbourne, AustraliaJune 15-16, 2012

Background• Anti Bullying Alliance at the National Children’sBureau• Council for Disabled Children• Contact a Family• University of Cambridge Faculty of EducationRichard Byers, Caroline Oliver and Rosie PeppinVaughan• Lamb Enquiry and• New legislation

Questions•Evidence of disproportionatebullying of pupils with SEN/D?•Vulnerabilities of pupils with SEN/D?•Challenges faced by schools?•Evidence of most effective forms ofprevention and response?

Children with SEN/D are disproportionately atrisk• significantly increased risk ofbullying or victimisation for pupilswith SEN/D• 80% pupils with learning difficulties• 70% pupils with autism• 40% pupils with speech andlanguage difficulties affected

Children with SEN/D are disproportionatelyat risk• pupils with mild or ‘hidden’disabilities and pupils receiving adultsupport may be at greater risk• bullying occurs in mainstream andspecial – isolation a key factor• pupils with SEN/D can be bullies too

Relational bullying and children withSEN and/or disabilities• more evidence of relationalbullying than direct• ostracism and peer difficultiescommon• pupils with SEN/D ridiculed andsubjected to name calling

Relational bullying and children withSEN and/or disabilities:• new forms of bullying – cyber, sexualbullying, social manipulation – alsopresent• some bullying extreme – continuumfrom ostracism to sexual abuse and hatecrime

Social skills, language + communication•many traits in pupils with SEN/Dmake them vulnerable – but•social skills, language andcommunication are key issues –they underpin social competence•social engagement a key protector

Social skills, language + communication:• mainstream alone not a resolution• subtle shifts in responses can makepupils vulnerable to isolation• communication, social skills and socialacceptance key factors inreducing vulnerability

Schools face a number of challenges• detecting existing levels and forms ofbullying can be problematic• staff uncertain about pupil selfreporting– trust teacher ratings more• evidence that staff underestimate ordeny problems

Schools face a number of challenges• logistics of intervention problematic: atlevels of management, policy,awareness-raising and practice• some schools still focus on ‘problemchildren’ rather than attitudes, cultureand social context

Evidence on effective approaches• more research needed on effectivepreventative and reactive responses• accessing views of pupils with SEN/Dcan be problematic – more work neededon this aspect• more monitoring work also needed

Evidence on effective approaches• some interventions engage empathythrough peer education• some focus on direct peer support• but peer support requires conducivesocial context in classroom, school andwider community

Looking back + looking forward• It matters to all• Understanding the dynamic• - social behaviours• Interventions that show promise• Preventative + reactive• Working on social conditions of classroom and peergroup – empathy• Organisational conditions – agency and support forstaff + pupils

Young people’s viewsIn your letter there’s the word ‘disabled’- you put downthe reason we’re being bullied. The word disabledexplains why we’re being bullied.They don’t really see me.• Powerful impact of being bullied – omnipresence.• About difference and the treatment of differenceby adults and others - impacts• Importance of non- punitive approaches

Family and carer perspective• Severity and impact• Emotional complexity• Unsatisfactory response from school (68% foundit unsatisfactory)

The Agenda for the future• Research – joint practice development• Lack of evidence for practitioners to work with.• Warrant for the evidence• Practice• Curriculum policy and ethos – social domain• Student involvement in developments• Practitioners training• Monitoring• Policy• Head teacher awareness and development• Development of public awareness

Publication on this workMcLaughlin, C., Byers, R. and Oliver, C. (2012)Perspectives on bullying and difference: theexperiences of young people with specialeducational needs and/or disabilities. London:National Children’s Bureau.

Reports freely available at for Disabled Children (2010) Responding to bullyingamong children and young people with SEN and/ordisabilities: the views and experiences of children and youngpeople with SEN and/or disabilities [McLaughlin, C., Byers, R. and Peppin Vaughan, R. (2010)Responding to bullying among children with specialeducational needs and/or disabilities: a comprehensiveliterature review+ Briefing papers for Head teachers, teachers, policy makers,parents and full reports

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