This Anti-Bullying Week, Caroline Dinenage MP, will present the first ever Power for Good Award to two incredible school workers at a Parliamentary Reception at Speaker’s House on Wednesday evening.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education will give Mr Pittaway from Blue Coat Church of England Academy in Walsall and Mrs Johnson from Orton Wistow Primary School in Peterborough the accolade.
The award, launched by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) to mark Anti-bullying Week, is designed to recognise teachers and school staff that that go beyond the call of duty to help children with issues such as bullying, relationships, family life and mental health.
Nominations flooded in from children across the country bearing witness to the many teachers that take action against bullying and care deeply for the wider needs of their pupils. One student that nominated Mr Pittaway said:
“I want to nominate Mr Pittaway because I feel he has supported me in ways that help me forget about bad things and stop me from getting in trouble. For example he has removed me from situations such as fights and arguments that could have got me in deep trouble. He has spent time helping me by explaining the dangers and consequences of my actions. When I am angry or upset Mr Pittaway makes me laugh and helps me forget whatever makes me angry….Mr Pittaway is a great role model who never judges me for who I am and is always there for me in good and bad situations.”
Jackie Johnson was nominated by an entire year three class, as well as a number of other pupils in the school, one year six student said
“Mrs Johnson goes above and beyond; she helps with my friendship issues and supports me with everything I do. I know I can trust her; I would not be who or where I am at the moment without her”’
Both the school staff demonstrated many of the attributes that the pupils said were important, these included knowing their names, listening to them, smiling at them, not shouting and showing they still care even if they’re having a bad day themselves. The winners will be joined at the Reception by the school Head Teachers and some of the pupils that made the nominations.
Caroline Dinenage MP said:
“Schools should be safe places for children to develop and learn. Teachers work hard to support pupils with issues such as bullying and the Power for Good award acknowledges their contribution, I am incredibly honoured to present this accolade in its first year. Bullying is a serious issue - one that we have to dedicate time and effort to combat. To support schools and teachers we are investing £4.4million on 10 separate anti-bullying projects across the country.”
The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance is ‘Power for Good’ and throughout the week they are calling on teachers, children and parents to use their power for good to stop bullying. The week is sponsored by SafeToNet and the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, with support from Internet Matters.
Georgie Pursey, Co Founder of SafeToNet said
“It is wonderful to see these teachers recognised. We know what a positive influence teachers can have on their students and are thrilled to hear they are teaching that bullying in any form is unacceptable. We are pleased to get behind this year’s Power for Good campaign and recognise we all have our part to play: through the work of SafeToNet we want to empower children and parents to take action against bullying,”
Ben Cohen, founder of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation
“These awards send such a powerful message that we all need to take bullying seriously and do what we can to take action, we believe everyone has a role to play. We fully support the Power for Good campaign and encourage everyone to stand up against bullying. If you witness any form of bullying – tell someone you trust. It may be frightening, but the bullying will just continue if we ignore it.”
Anti-Bullying Week each year shines a spotlight on the issue of bullying, and the winners of the Power for Good Award are examples of how school staff can and do take positive action to stop bullying. The Anti-Bullying Alliance call on all schools to follow their lead.
Lauren Seager-Smith, National Coordinator of ABA said:
“We know there are many schools that despite the challenge of meeting academic targets continue to prioritise the wellbeing of their pupils. We were overwhelmed by how many entries we received, over 100 students or classes got in contact to tell us about an inspirational teacher. We want there to be an acknowledgment that bullying can happen anywhere, and for all school staff to be trained and supported to work with pupils and parents to tackle the issue.”