Counselling and mediation are among the tools being used to tackle bullying in school.

The issue has become a key priority for schools in and around Swindon and different methods of dealing with it are being highlighted in National Anti-Bullying Week.

Alex Pollock, who co-founded Men’s Mental Health Swindon, stressed the importance of supporting those who have been bullied and suffer from mental health issues subsequently.

He told the Adver: “There’s plenty of research and insight to show the direct correlation between bullying, and the long term on mental wellbeing - particularly in children.

“If you notice changes in behaviour or any symptoms of depression or anxiety in your child as a result of bullying, it’s important to try and address these in conversation.

“Be sure to be mindful in trying to provide a safe and non-judgemental environment to have these chats, and also to be discreet.”

Bradon Forest School in Purton has several initiatives. Assistant headteacher Paul Dipple said: “We are pro-active in our promotion of positive relationships, which is our core approach to maintaining strong relationships within the student community.

“That said, as every school, we have procedures in place to react to incidents of bullying and we have the staff and procedures in place to respond to issues swiftly and effectively


Each year group has a dedicated pastoral member of staff who deals with any incident of bullying. “Students are actively encouraged to report any incident they witness to any member of staff,” Paul said


New College interim head of student services Thom Young said bullying is something that is not tolerated there.

“We have an array of mechanisms for students to support anyone one who may have been a victim of bullying.

“Every student on a daytime programme has the support of a progress coach who they see on a weekly basis and is a key point of contact should they be struggling with anything, including bullying.

“Any incident of bullying is investigated and responded to appropriately.”

There are specialist services within the college that students can be referred to by their progress coach, this includes wellbeing and counselling teams and specialist support for students with additional needs.