Lords debates educational support and mental health provision for severely bullied children

19 June 2013

Members of the House of Lords, including two trustees of UNICEF, will debate the level of educational support and mental health provision that is available to children who are severely bullied at school, tomorrow.

Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat), who tabled and will open the debate, said:

“Severely bullied children fall through the cracks in our educational and mental health systems – an astonishing 16,000 of them a year, in fact. Many are forced out of school but cannot attend other educational establishments as they are very often the same places attended by their bullies and tormentors.

“These are children who are driven to suicide, attempting suicide and those who are unable to communicate to anyone effectively just how difficult – and threatened - their lives have become.

“Through this debate, I am hoping to raise awareness of this issue and ask the Department for Education to ensure that all schools are aware not only of the extent of the problem, but their responsibility to tackle the issues. This needs to include specialist training for teachers and social workers, and initiatives such as placing anti-bullying champions in schools and recognising the special education needs of these children. Something must be done and done quickly.” 

Other Members scheduled to speak include:

Baroness Walmsley (Liberal Democrat), Lord Northbourne (Crossbench), Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Crossbench) and Baroness Jolly (Liberal Democrat) are also due to take part.

In addition, the Bishop of Truro is expected to make his maiden speech during this debate.

Lord Nash (Conservative) will respond on behalf of the Government.

The debate will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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