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Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Published at 18:55 GMT 19:55 UK

UK: Scotland

City schools take on the bullies

The city council wants all incidents to be recorded

Schools in Edinburgh are being told to record every incident of racism and bullying as part of a new anti-discrimination policy.

The city council says it wants to outlaw racism and bullying from all its schools.

BBC Scotland's Ken Macdonald reports on the battle against bullying
Edinburgh already records racist incidents in its schools and the new scheme will use the same process to record and monitor bullying.

The council says racism affects the lives of many non-Scottish pupils. The discrimination is not necessarily based on colour as English pupils are among those affected.

Resources targeted

Edinburgh Equality Education Officer Laura Mitchell said they had been monitoring racist incidents for some time and had received useful information to help target resources towards the problem.

[ image: Staff are being told to take action against bullying]
Staff are being told to take action against bullying
But she continued: "We are also aware that bullying takes place that has other influences such as homophobia, sexism, bullying of children with disabilities and so on.

"We hope that the monitoring of this form of bullying will also help us to direct our efforts in that direction."

Teachers and other staff are being told to take action, not just because it undermines school discipline but because it affects pupil performance too.

From now on every state school and community centre in the city will have to appoint an anti-bullying and racism co-ordinator.

Incidents recorded

Every incident will have to be recorded - and levels of harrassment will be monitored centrally.

In extreme cases perpetrators may be excluded from school - or the police called in.

The move is being linked to pro-active schemes in which pupils will be taught to guard against becoming victims - and victimisers.

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