First bronze charter mark for anti-bullying awarded to Blackpool school in new campaign
A Bispham school have won the first bronze charter mark for anti-bullying after teaming up on a campaign with HeadStart Blackpool, to address bullying issues in Blackpool schools.
Montgomery Academy were approached by national lottery-funded programme HeadStart to pilot their #BlackpoolBeatingBullying campaign, which was created by young people who voted on the top issues they feel needed to be tackled in Blackpool.
The All Hallows Road school was chosen to implement the campaign's strategies because some of the children who recognised bullying as an issue were Montgomery pupils, and it was "approachable and open to the idea."
Liz Cumming, headteacher at Montgomery said: "Through the development of the charter mark our anti-bullying ambassadors have worked as a team to collectively come up with a list of action points for the school to move forward and develop.
"This had been through the production of a student and parent guide to anti-bullying, improving the information on our website and presenting numerous assemblies throughout the year."
The charter mark had helped to positively change the culture of the school, and they continue to improve with further ideas to implement, Mrs Cumming said.
The anti-bullying charter mark is the first to be co-produced between HeadStart Blackpool and young people in the town, with the aim of ensuring all Blackpool schools are equipped with the tools and knowledge to decrease 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.
A spokesman from HeadStart said: "The campaign has enabled young people and adults to come together and establish a practical, achievable and purposeful solution to how we address bullying in our high schools in Blackpool.
"The impact on the individuals involved in developments has been fascinating, to see them grow in confidence and agency, with real determination to bring about change.
Liz Cumming and Montgomery Academy have been fantastic partners in rolling out the charter mark, there's a real sense of unity across the school in tackling this issue and the charter mark has proven the ideal vehicle to do so."
Due to the success of the campaign so far, other Blackpool schools have now approached HeadStart to take part.