Montgomery Academy awarded silver charter mark for anti-bullying

A Bispham secondary school has become the first in the resort to be awarded with a silver charter mark in a campaign led by youngsters to tackle bullying in schools.

By Rebecca Beardmore
Friday, 18th June 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 5:36 pm

Montgomery Academy, in All Hallows Road, was approached by national lottery-funded programme Resilience Revolution in 2019 to pilot its #BlackpoolBeatingBullying campaign, which was created by young people who voted on the top issues they felt needed to be tackled in Blackpool.

Some of the pupils in Montgomery had identified bullying as an issue, but after introducing anti-bullying ambassadors, multiple assemblies on the topic and by keeping pupils and parents informed, the school was subsequently awarded the resort's first bronze charter mark shortly after.

The school has now been awarded Blackpool's first silver charter mark, for its implementation of action plans to tackle any cases of bullying in school.

Deputy headteacher Amanda Morton and Amanda Eaglestone from Resilience Revolution with Montgomery Academy pupils. Picture: Dan Martino/JPI Media

Liz Cumming, assistant headteacher, said: "I am so proud of the pupils at Montgomery and especially our anti bullying ambassadors who have worked incredibly hard to co-produce an effective anti-bullying system.

"To achieve the silver, we have worked through a list of action points and implemented them in the school. Pupils have been given a voice and we have used the charter mark to really make a difference. The charter mark involves all stakeholders in the school, governors, parents, staff and of course the pupils.

"Restrictions have made it a lot harder to put actions into place, especially meeting as a group, but we have changed our ways and have still been moving forward, with virtual assemblies and using our health and wellbeing virtual classroom to promote our anti-bullying message.

"I am so proud of our pupils, the resilience and maturity they have shown this year and will continue to work hard to move us forward, always maintaining our high expectations and encouraging our students to be SMART (safe, mature, ambitious, respectful and thoughtful) in everything they do.

Matthew Corsbie and Olivia Whitewood with their anti-bullying wristbands. Picture: Dan Martino/JPI Media

"I am also thankful to the Headstart team for providing us with a tool to really work towards and the ability to challenge areas that could be improved. We are looking forward to move ahead and are now striving for gold."

The anti-bullying charter mark is the first to be co-produced between Headstart Blackpool - known as the Resilience Revolution - and young people with the aim of ensuring all resort schools are equipped with the tools and knowledge to tackle bullying.

The charter mark has three tiers, bronze, silver and gold, and incorporates factors such as having the anti-bullying policy on show, in an accessible place, and easy to read.

Ollie Gibbs from the Resilience Revolution added: "Blackpool Beating Bullying is the world's first co-produced anti bullying charter, a campaign led by Blackpool young people for Blackpool young people. The campaign invites all Blackpool schools to gain a bronze, silver or gold award and say no to bullying in all its forms.

Taleea Jessop, Caitlin Colledge and Abbie Walsh with Montgomery Academy's silver charter mark award for anti-bullying. Picture: Dan Martino/JPI Media

"We are excited to share the news that Montgomery Academy has now achieved our Silver Blackpool Beating Bullying Charter Mark after surpassing our thresholds.

"Montgomery has created an atmosphere in school where bullying is not accepted, and students are at the heart of this work as anti-bullying ambassadors. Young people report feeling safe in school, that they are aware and understand the anti-bullying policy and that they use the Resilience Framework within lessons.

"Parents and carers of Montgomery pupils also report knowing about the complaint's procedure, the Resilience Framework and that the school website is up to date with anti-bullying resources available.

"The work the school has done to achieve this award is fantastic, they have shown great commitment to reducing bullying across their school."

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