Bullying on the School Journey

A few years ago Paul Vodden spoke at the Modeshift convention about the heart-breaking story of his son taking his own life after being bullied on the school bus.

Since then Paul has worked alongside Nathalie Noret a senior lecturer at York St John University to undertake a study which forms the third Vodden report which was launched on 16 September.

The report research considered:

How many local authorities in England adhere to the government’s recommendation to conduct audits on safety on school transport?

What are bus drivers’ experiences of witnessing bullying on school buses?

What are young adults’ recollections of bullying on school buses?

The report supports the previous Vodden reports in highlighting the prevalence of bullying behaviour on school buses and calls for:

A review and appropriate revision of national policy on the school journey to more clearly articulate the roles and responsibilities of pupils, parents, schools and local authorities in tackling bullying on school buses.

Rigorous mapping and evaluation of interventions currently used by local authorities, bus companies and schools to promote positive behaviour and tackle bullying on the school bus.

Developing and evaluating awareness raising materials for schools and bus companies that a) raise awareness of the issue of bullying on the school bus, and b) provide guidance on how to respond to bullying on the school bus.

Research on the school journey more broadly, examining pupils’ experiences of bullying while walking to and from school, and on other modes of public transport.

Establishing a national network to include those with an interest in safety on transport, for example those from anti-bullying charities, the transport industry, academics and young people.

Those of us working in the field of school travel often consider road safety as part and parcel of engaging with schools, pupils and parents, by being aware of work of anti-bullying organisations we can also help to play our in helping to keep children safe from bullying and promote positive behaviour on the school journey.

Friday the 8th of November is national friendship day which is being promoted by Kidscape with a Walk with Elmer day. Following on from this 11 – 15th November is Anti Bullying Alliance anti bullying week on the theme of “change starts with us” – which includes Odd Socks Day on 12 November.

Many schools will be taking part in these events and so extending our message to include safeguarding from being bullied on the school journey is one we can all help to show our support.

For more information on the Vodden report see - https://voddenreport.com/


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