Bullying is a big issue for thousands of children and their families.
Despite years of research and well-intentioned interventions, it remains a common problem in schools up and down the country. For those affected, almost nothing is more important, and quite rightly so.
The impact of bullying can be terrible and even life-changing. As well as the physical bruises that are sometimes involved, it can cost a child their confidence and sense of security and well-being.
The move in recent years has been away from treating the children involved as the “bully” and the “victim”.
Dealing effectively with the problem has always been extremely difficult. That is more true than ever today as children socialise more online and lots of bullying behaviour moves into cyber-space.
Few would disagree that children who bully often have troubles of their own and need support as much as - if not more than - punishment.
What many parents and teachers worry about is this approach being applied too rigidly and schools now finding it hard to draw a line and say ‘enough is enough’. Our story today about the parents of a nine-year-old who felt they had no choice but to move their children to escape bullying illustrates that widespread concern.