17th Dec, 2018

Acocks Green school uses anonymous app to tackle bullying

Felix Nobes 9th Mar, 2018

Over 100 reported bullying cases at an Acocks Green school have been resolved with the help of an anonymous support app.

Cedars Academy on Cedars Avenue has been encouraging pupils to report their concerns through a successful anti-bullying app.

Tootoot education is a safeguarding app that allows pupils to speak about any worries or issues they have at their school.

The academy launched the app to pupils during Anti-Bullying week in November last year and have reported great success with over 100 cases resolved – over 30 per cent of which have been friendship related issues.

According to a recent survey by Ditch the Label, over half of young people in the UK have experienced bullying of some kind.

Of those who were bullied 78 per cent said they had experienced social exclusion and 81 per cent said they had experienced indirect bullying such as silent treatment and rumours.

The tootoot education app lets pupils at Cedars Academy anonymously message school staff about any concerns they may have including bullying, friendship problems and cyberbullying.

They can also use the app if they just want to talk to someone about issues they may have in school or at home.

Upper school & safeguarding leader at Cedars Academy, Mrs Keenan said: “The app has been fantastic for opening an extra line of communication between staff and pupils. It works really well in today’s online environment.

“The pupils have really taken to it, we get a lot of students messaging us through the app about friendship issues, we can get these resolved before they turn into something more serious.”

“Our pupils like how the app is anonymous and this encourages them to use it to talk about anything that’s bothering them.

“It has worked really well with Year 5 and 6 pupils and we’re hoping to launch it to Years 3 and 4 soon.”

Chief executive of tootoot Michael Brennan created the app after his experiences with bullying.

He found helplines such as ChildLine can provide support but because the problem couldn’t be communicated back to his school the bullying continued.

Mr Brennan said: “Bullying can happen in many different ways, it can be name-calling, physical abuse, social exclusion or rumours, it can happen on school grounds or at home.

“All too often pupils don’t speak up because they aren’t confident that their school can help them with a bullying incident and this can make the situation worse.”

“With tootoot, pupils can safely and anonymously tell their place of learning about bullying incidents, so they can be resolved quickly and effectively.”

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