Archive for the ‘Safeguarding & Protection’ Category

What’s your schools Anti-Bullying Policy?

Monday, May 28th, 2012

By law, head teachers have to include prevention of all forms of bullying in their school’s behaviour policy (Education Inspections Act 2006). The Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA) believes that an effective way for schools to do this is to produce and publish an anti-bullying policy


The Anti-bullying Alliance would recommend the following practice in creating an anti-bullying policy:

  • Encourage a senior member of staff to take the lead in promoting anti-bullying work in the school
  • Work with pupils parents and carers to draft, and then review the policy on a regular basis
  • Make sure the policy begins with clear definition of what bulllying is
  • Make sure the policy includes all forms of bullying – this should include specific reference to bullying relating to race, religion and culture, homophobic bullying, bullying related to special educational needs and disabilities, sexist and sexual bullying, and the use of cyber technology to bully
  • Make sure the policy includes the preventative strategies that the school will use
  • Make sure the policy gives a clear outline of how the school with respond to bullying incidents (including the recording procedure and possible sanctions)
  • Make sure the policy includes clear procedures for pupils or parents and carers who wish to report a bullying incident
  • Make sure the policy includes reference to bullying between pupils outside of school and bullying of staff
  • Make sure the policy references occasions where there may be police involvement (e.g. if a crime has been committed)
  • Make sure the policy is shared with all members of the school community (e.g. through the school website, newsletters)

For Tring School –



Self Defence is not a hobby…

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                   Self Defence is not a hobby, it is a life skill.

I was prompted to write this blog today as a result of recent chats with a couple of parents who have just withdrawn their children from our martial arts classes so they can concentrate on other “hobbies”.  I’m very open to children getting a wide variety of experiences in different past times and sports but I think as parents we should also be looking to equip our kids with a very important life skill – Self Defence.

But what constitutes self defence, well most peoples immediate thought would be physical confrontations, using physical skills to defend yourself, but I believe that 90% of self defence is actually in the mind, attitude and how you conduct yourself.  Self Confidence is the biggest skill to defending yourself, knowing that you can defend yourself physically manifests within the martial artist as self confidence but the discipline and respect tied into formal training is what stops that person crossing the line and using their skills in anger.

I get very dissappointed when I hear Martial Arts and Self Defence being lumped into the bracket of hobbies along with Street Dance, Choir Practice, Golf, Rugby, Cricket etc.  Now I love all of these things, perhaps not Choir as I’m not religious and not street dance as I look like a Lizard standing up right receiving electric shocks when I dance.  But each of these “hobbies” have their place and are great for our kids, the level of choice kids have nowadays is amazing, certainly more than when I was growing up.

But I want to urge all parents, let them have their hobbies but insist they learn the life skill of self defence.  If I were in charge of the national curriculm, I would make it part of school life.  If your kids don’t want to go to school, do you let them stay at home or make them go??  You make them go.  But why?  Because school is important for their future, for their lives!

Self defence cannot be a hobby that can be picked up and dropped, it should be a life skill, it should be the one or two days per week that we as parents say no, your’re going to class, the other three days are for your hobbies.

Tring Martial Arts Academy – Keeping our kids safe!

Written by Christopher Allen, Chief Instructor

Cyber-Bullying – an insight

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Cyber bullying is classed as ‘bullying’ but because it happens online or via mobile phones, it can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are being bullied, you can usually get away from it at home, but if you are being cyber bullied, you simply can’t escape it. This might leave you feeling unsafe even when you are at home. It can also be difficult to see who is doing the bullying. People are able to cyber bully people anonomously by hiding their computer’s IP address or their phone number. The number of people being cyber bullied may also be much bigger than other types of bullying.

How can someone be cyber-bullied? There are lots of ways in which someone can become a victim of cyber bullying.

Email Sending abusive or nasty emails to someone. The emails might also go to a group of people who then may join in the bullying. Sending emails containing inappropriate things and computer viruses is also considered bullying.

Instant Messaging or chatrooms Using instant messaging or chat rooms to send threatening or abusive messages to someone and asking others to join in.

Social Networking Sites Creating fake profiles in order to make fun of other people. Using them to leave abusive messages or impersonate someone.

Mobile Phones Sending abusive text messages, video or photo messages as well as sharing videos containing abusive content.

I’m being cyber-bullied – MAKE IT STOP!

Although cyber bullying can’t physically hurt you it can still make you feel bad and is still a form of emotional abuse. No one has the right you make you feel like this. It might seem that there is no way to make it stop, but there are things that you can do to prevent it from happening or make it stop.

• Talk to someone you trust like a parent or teacher. They can help you to sort it out. Or you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to speak to someone who can help you. 
• Don’t reply to any messages you receive, as this may encourage the bullies.
• Keep a copy of the abusive emails, texts or messages that you receive and when they were sent to you. 
• Never give out any personal details on the internet such as your real name, address, age or phone number. Even telling someone which school you go to can help them find out information about you. 
• Change your online nicknames or user ID to something different. 
• Block email addresses and/ or complain to host website.
• Report the abuse through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website.

We are able to teach your children self-confidence through our martial art programmes see

The Three P’s of Bullying Proofing your Child

Friday, February 17th, 2012


1)     Prevent

Using awareness to avoid bullies on the playground, in the hallways, in the lunchroom and anywhere you go.


2)     Prepare

 ASSERT YOURSELF – Teach your child to face the bully by standing 10 feet tall and bullet proof, using a strong voice. Your child should name the bullying behaviour and tell the aggressor to stop.

QUESTION THE RESPONSE – Ann Bishop, who teaches violence prevention classes in the USA, tells her students to respond to an insult with a non-defensive question, “why would you say that?” or “why would you want to say that and hurt my feelings?”

– USE ‘I WANT’ – Communication experts suggest teaching your child to address the bully beginning with ‘I want’ and say firmly what he wants changed: “I want you to leave me alone” or “I want you to stop teasing me”.

AGREE WITH THE TEASER – Consider helping your child create a statement agreeing with their teaser. Teaser – “You’re dumb.” Child – “but I’m good at it”

IGNORE IT – Bullies love it when their teasing upsets their victims, so help your child find a way to not let his tormentor get to him. Try pretending they’re invisible or walk past them without even looking at them

MAKE FUN OF THE TEASING – Fred Frankle, author of ‘Good Friends are Hard to Find’, suggests victims should answer every tease with a reply, but not tease back. The teasing often stops, Frankle says, because the child lets the tormentor know that hes not going to let the teasing get to him

3)     Protect (The last resort)


Practise with your child – Guard Stance – “I don’t want to fight you, but I will have to, PLEASE leave me alone!” This is a very visible stance that communicates to the bully this is unacceptable and alerts staff or people around that something is wrong.

Help your child learn to deal with bullying by increasing their confidence and equipping them with valuable self defence and life skills.  Call 01442 768057 or see our website


More on Cyberbulling…

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Recently I was a victim of cyberbullying – yeah crazy I know but I received a malicious email via my website where this person called into question my abilities and suggested we meet up for a fight, obviously I have no intention of meeting up with “Mr Softy” the name he put on his email, but it made me wonder just how many people suffer from this type of bullying which is really abuse?

According to the BBC ( The charity Beatbullying’s study for Safer Internet Day spoke to 4,605 young people aged 11-16 across the UK.

28% said they’d been bullied over the internet or a mobile phone.

One in 13 said they had been threatened repeatedly – suggesting that as many as 350,000 secondary school pupils have experienced constant cyberbullying.

Victims found the cyberbullying left them wanting to avoid school, suffering from lower confidence, and living in fear of their safety.

But it’s not just children who are victims of cyberbullying – one in ten teachers say they’ve been harassed too. Beatbullying is calling for internet and mobile companies to do more to support children and young people.

Have you been bullied online?

The best thing to do if you’re being bullied, whether online or not, is to tell someone, report it to your parents or if you are a parent then consider contacting the Police, no one should have to suffer from this idiocy.

Call to Change Anti Bullying Law

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Leading education lawyers and charities are calling for a change in the law to protect vulnerable young people from extreme bullying in England and Wales.

Head teachers are not being held accountable for violent and abusive pupils and anti-bullying guidelines should be strengthened, they claim.

The Children’s Legal Centre said more parents had been seeking legal advice.

But the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said “hyper-accountability” already existed.

England Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said the government’s measures were working, but recognised procedures for parents needed to be strengthened. He said a bill to address this was already in parliament.

The call comes after the Westminster government launched a campaign to help tackle bullying against children with special needs.

Mike Charles, an education lawyer, said schools are too often trying to avoid responsibility.

“I’m seeing a rise in the number of people turning to the law, heads are not being held accountable,” he said.

He wants heads to be forced to report and act on all cases of bullying, and an independent adjudicator to access every school.

Physical and emotional

In a BBC Breakfast News report Debbie (name changed to protect her children) said she had no choice but to consider legal action against the school her two teenage children used to attend.

She claims teachers stood by and watched as her son was attacked – in front of her – by about 40 other pupils.

“They had these temporary metal road signs the triangular ones and they just attacked him with it, beating him.

“Watching your kids being persecuted for no reason – it’s heartbreaking,” she said.

She says her children have been kept out of class for nearly a year because of physical and emotional bullying by other pupils.

The school says Debbie’s child’s special needs were behind many of the problems, and any bullying took place outside the school.

Alison Fiddy, from the Children’s Legal Centre, backed the call to stress the responsibility of head teachers. “We need to see heads being held accountable,” she said.

But Mick Brookes, general secretary of the NAHT, said head teachers were already held to account in a number of different ways and “hyper-accountability [is] out there already”.

Mr Coaker said: “There is a bill before parliament at the current time which will allow those procedures to be strengthened in the small number of cases where things haven’t worked.

“That will allow parents to go to the local government ombudsman,” he added.

‘Distressed child’

The National Bullying Helpline has called for a new code of practice for schools, similar to one used in the workplace by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

The helpline’s chief executive Christine Pratt said she wanted outsiders brought in to schools to investigate bullying claims and take pressure away from parents.

“We believe teachers are not necessarily the right person or individual to address a complaint from a parent,” she said.

“That just raises another issue of conflict and then the parent is in a situation where they’ve got a credibility issue and they’ve got a distressed child at home.”

Tring Martial Arts Academy – Helping to Keep our Kids Safe! – for more information on our classes see

I think my child is bullying others – what should I do?

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

I found this great article by a site called and thought everyone should read it.  Typically its in the US because they always seem to be one step ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to things like this, nevertheless it’s well worth reading.

Your gut instinct is right; bullying must be taken seriously. There can be serious short- and long-term consequences for everyone involved, not just the victim of bullying.

The Committee for Children reports that:

  • Children who bully are more likely to experience a decline in their peer group status, which becomes more and more important in your child’s social development as they enter the teen years; and
  • Children who bully and continue this behavior as adults have greater difficulty developing and maintaining positive relationships.

It can be difficult to hear that your child is bullying others, but denial won’t help the situation. The first step is to talk with your child about what you have heard. KidsHealth recommends a few questions to ask your child that might help get the conversation started and help you understand the situation so you can take appropriate action:

  • How are things going at school and at home?
  • Are you being bullied?
  • Do you get along with other kids at school?
  • How do you treat other children?
  • What do you think about being considered a bully?

Signs that My Child Is a Bully

Given the short- and long-term consequences not only for victims but for the bullies as well, it is important to keep an eye out for signs that your child may be bullying others. The Committee for Children reports that a child who bullies may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Frequent name-calling (describing others as ‘wimps’ or ‘jerks’);
  • Regular bragging;
  • A need to always get his own way;
  • Spending a lot of time with younger or less powerful kids;
  • A lack of empathy for others; and
  • A defiant or hostile attitude (easily takes offense).

Tips to Help Your Child Stop Bullying

  • Schedule an appointment to talk with school staff such as your child’s teacher(s) and the school counselor. School staff that work with your child every day may be able to help you understand why your child is bullying and provide you with some tools to work with your child.
  • Explain to your child that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Stop any show of aggression you see, and talk about other ways your child can deal with the situation. Establish appropriate consequences for her actions such as taking away privileges and allowing your child to earn them back with appropriate behavior.
  • Examine behavior and interactions in your own home. Is there something at home that is encouraging this type of behavior such as violent media of some kind in the form of video games, television or movies? Are there interactions that may lower your child’s self-esteem such as constant teasing or taunting by a sibling? When you discipline your child, are you focusing on how the behavior is unacceptable rather than your child?
  • Talk with your child about who his friends are and what they do together. Peers can be very influential, especially for teens. If your child is hanging around with kids who bully and encourage bullying behavior, you may want talk with him about getting involved in activities that will help him make other friends.
  • Talk with the parents of your child’s peers about bullying. Discuss your concerns and what you can do together to change the behavior of your children.
  • Model respect, kindness and empathy. You are your child’s role model and she will learn to treat others with respect by watching you.
  • Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician about your child’s behavior. They may have some tips and they may be able to refer you to a mental health clinician that will be helpful in understanding and resolving the problem.
  • Be realistic. Your child’s behavior will not change over night. When you are talking with your child, try to focus on how the behavior is unacceptable, not your child, and show your support for your child with praise for appropriate behavior.
  • Continue to work and communicate with school staff as long as it takes. They should be your allies; working with you to not only put an end to your child’s bullying, but also to prevent any bullying in the school.

Tring Martial Arts – keeping our kids safe

Anti Bullying Advice

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Courtesy of Bullying UK 

Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it.

We all know that bullying goes on in every school but it’s the way it’s dealt with which makes the difference between life being tolerable or a misery.

How to solve the problem

If you are being bullied, tell a friend, tell a teacher and tell your parents. It won’t stop unless you do. It can be hard to do this so if you don’t feel you can do it in person it might be easier to write a note to your parents explaining how you feel, or perhaps confide in someone outside the immediate family, like a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin and ask them to help you tell your parents what’s going on.

Your form tutor needs to know what is going on so try to find a time to tell him/her when it won’t be noticeable. You could stay behind on the pretext of needing help with some work. If you don’t feel you can do that, then go to the medical room and speak to the school nurse.

The best idea is if a teacher can catch the bullies red-handed. That way, you won’t get into bother from anyone for telling tales. It will be clear to everyone what has been going on. Don’t be tempted to hit back because you could get hurt or get into trouble.

Bullying includes:
  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Posting insulting messages on the internet or by IM (cyberbullying)
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Sending you offensive phone texts
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them
Hitting someone is an assault.

Try to stay in safe areas of the school at break and lunchtime where there are plenty of other people. Bullies don’t like witnesses. If you are hurt at school, tell a teacher immediately and ask for it to be written down. Make sure you tell your parents.

Bullying is upsetting

Bullying is very upsetting and if you feel you can’t cope, tell your parents and go to see your doctor. Many doctors are very sympathetic about the effects of bullying and yours may be able to write a note for the school explaining the effect that bullying is having on your health.

You could think about judo or martial arts classes so that you are confident you can look after yourself if necessary.

If people are making nasty remarks about you then it may be because they are jealous. Perhaps you’re better looking than they are or work harder or perhaps the teachers like you better. One way of dealing with remarks is simply to say …yeah, whatever, …. each time so that you show them that it isn’t having the effect of upsetting you in the way they think.

The bullies will have worked out what buttons to push to make you upset.

They may make remarks about:
  • Your weight
  • Your looks
  • The colour of your hair
  • Your family
  • Your schoolwork
  • If you are popular
  • If you work hard
  • If you have a disability
  • If you are a different religion, colour or culture
  • If you wear spectacles or a hearing aid
  • If you have dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • If you’ve been off school due to illness

Bullying UK gets emails from pupils who have stopped eating because they’ve been called fat, or stupid because they have dyslexia. One girl tried to burn her freckles off because of cruel remarks.

The thing all these pupils had in common is that they were perfectly ordinary, nice people who had the misfortune to come up against a very nasty person.

Tring Martial Arts Black Belt Academy – Striving to keep our kids safe!

Poker Face!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Some young people don’t know how to respond to being teased and bullied and show the embarrassment and anger on their faces. This is what bullies and teasers want! They want to SEE it bother you! Once they see it bother you they will do it again and again to see the same reaction over and over again.

Use the Poker Face! The term “poker face” came about from the card game poker. The term is used to describe how people in the poker game are supposed to make a bets – they use a blank expression on their faces when betting money (the poker face) so the other people in the game cannot read the expression to find out if the person betting money is holding good cards or bad cards. If someone has a happy face on they have a good hand so the others in the game do not bet a lot of money. If someone has an angry or sad face on they have a bad hand so the others bet A LOT of money. Are you starting to get it? The secret to playing poker correctly is the “Poker Face.” The secret to dealing with bullying and teasing is the Poker Face! How? Well by keeping an emotionless and expressionless face on while being teased and/or bullied sends the other kid the message that the teasing and/bullying “WILL NOT GET TO ME NO MATTER WHAT!” This prevents the bully or teaser from thinking you are a good target for bullying or teasing. This works! Use it all the time! by Tom Letson NJ SAC LPC

Tring Martial Arts Academy – Keeping Kids Safe – Tel 0845 094 8805



Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Posted by Christopher Allen 

Sadly there are often times when our children lack sufficient positive role models in and outside of school. This leaves the door wide open for influences that may not be compatible with the views and values you hold dear or want to pass on to your kids.

It doesn’t have to be this way! There is a solution to keeping your child “on track” and giving him/her the skills needed to succeed in today’s world…

Secret Revealed…