Five organisations will split £1.1 million in funding to provide support and training to schools on tackling bullying, partially reviving a scheme that was quietly shelved last year.
But the Department for Education has refused to say whether the same level of funding will continue beyond next March, nor how many schools stand to benefit.
It was reported last year that the government had ended funding for projects which aimed to tackle bullying of LGBTQ+ pupils. They had received around £3.5 million since 2015.
The government said at the time that future anti-bullying work would be “taken forward” by the Department for Education.
The DfE announced today it was allocating £1.1 million in anti-bullying grants to five programmes to continue its work. The money will go towards projects and programmes that tackle bullying “including LGBT, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and victims of hate-related bullying”.
The Diana Award will receive £290,500, while the National Children’s Bureau (Anti-Bullying Alliance) will get £242,410. £221,595 will go to the Anne Frank Trust, while Diversity Role Models will get £187,530 and Equalteach will receive £163,765.
Anti-bullying funding only guaranteed to next March
The funding is backdated to August of this year and lasts until March 2022. The DfE has said it will fund the organisations for a further two years “dependent on successful delivery of agreed outcomes in year one and the continuation of government funding”.
However, the department would not say when pressed by Schools Week whether the funding would total £1.1 million in future years if approved.
The government has also confirmed the launch of a new support scheme for school leaders.
The £760,000 contract has been awarded to charity Education Support, and will see one-to-one counselling and peer support to around 2,000 leaders at deputy head level and above.
There are 20,000 state schools – meaning the most that could be reached from the scheme was one in ten.
Children’s minister Will Quince (pictured) said it was “crucial that our children and young people know how to treat one another with respect and celebrate one another’s differences”.
“That’s why we are supporting organisations leading in the way with providing schools with specialist support and training for thousands of teachers to help respond to any concerns and to make sure bullying never prevents any young person from fulfilling their potential.”
Updated wellbeing charter due this week
The DfE has also pledged to publish an updated education staff wellbeing charter this week, setting out commitments from the government, Ofsted, education unions and charities, to “promote and protect the mental health of the education workforce”.
Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said schools had a “vital role to play when it comes to preventing and tackling bullying of all types but they cannot do it alone”.
“We need parents, government and social media companies to all to play their part to protect and educate children and young people.”
The announcement follows an outcry over videos posted on the social network TikTok about teachers. A Schools Week investigation found a dozen accounts containing videos abusing school staff with unfounded sexual misconduct allegations, homophobic slurs and insults.