1. In November 2017, the Scottish Government published updated anti-bullying guidance. The focus of ' Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People' is on prevention and early intervention and this must be reflected in all anti-bullying policies. We know that the most successful interventions are embedded within a positive ethos and inclusive culture rather than just focussing on individual incidents as and when they occur.
2. Within Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) all staff are expected to be proactive in promoting positive relationships and behaviour in the classroom, playground and the wider school community. In addition, in fulfilling the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) Standard for Full Registration teachers demonstrate their commitment to the professional values of Social Justice, and Trust and Respect, and to developing positive relationships with all learners.
3. All children, young people, staff, parents, carers and partners should feel welcomed and supported within a school which is inclusive and respectful of all. The most important part of our school education system is the relationship between our teachers, practitioners, parents, carers, children and young people.
4. It is important that schools develop a culture of cooperation between teachers, support staff, parents, carers, children and young people and the wider learning community. The strengths and assets of children and young people should be recognised by staff and an ethos of participation and decision making by young people seen as a core part of how the school is managed.
5. The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended) provides a comprehensive legal framework for the provision of additional, targeted support for children and young people who face barriers to learning. Children with additional support needs may experience bullying differently and may be targeted because of their additional support need. In addition, social, emotional or behavioural needs which can arise from bullying, may be considered an additional support need if the bullying is having an impact on the child or young person's learning, including those children and young people who are demonstrating bullying behaviour.
6. ' Respect for All' recognised that a streamlined and uniform recording and monitoring process by local authorities and schools would help to identify key measures and actions that can be undertaken to address incidents of bullying. Bullying behaviour may be a result of prejudice that relates to perceived or actual differences. There is a need to address the root cause of prejudice as well as effectively respond to incidents as they arise in school settings.
7. Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and promote positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour. The focus should always be on prevention and making improvements at a local level to ensure the correct support is in place for our children and young people. Implementing preventative strategies should result in an overall reduction in bullying incidents.
8. The Bullying and Equalities Module within the SEEMiS system has been identified as the most appropriate tool for schools and local authorities to record and monitor bullying incidents. A number of updates will be made to the Bullying and Equalities module which will be effective from 27 September 2018.
9. Independent schools are responsible to their own Governing Boards and should have robust recording and monitoring systems in place.