Bullying in schools

At last we see the subject of bullying tackled in our various soap programmes, dramas and day time chat shows. What worries me is how much of this still goes on in schools without the victims of bullying and their parents seemingly powerless to stop it.

Aside of the 24/7 bullying via the various types of media available to our children to misuse and become the target of bullying on site bullying still goes on too. What a lot of people do not realise is that even bullying taking place outside of school hours and away from the school premises can have repercussions for the bullies. Students can be excluded from school and from taking exams a point some may need to be reminded of and that they must take responsibilities for actions

If a student’s wellbeing is being affected and his/her school work and attendance suffers then the school have the power to take the bullies to task. Moreover schools must be seen to be taking bullying seriously and following the guidelines and procedures and if you feel your school is failing your child, first point of call after the Head teacher would be the Governors.

Sadly so many children who are being bullied remain silent but there are signs as parents and teachers to look out, the NSPCC and Childline websites list the signs including becoming isolated, change in sleep or eating patterns. Often children who selfharm or who have eating disorders are doing so because of bullying. It is not just children with SEN’s that are bullied though they are often targeted.

Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website:-




Stop the bullies

So pleased to see the increased awareness and publicity encouraging kindness and for children to speak up about being bullied. Too many children suffer in silence.

Sadly most bullies suffer from low self-esteem, may have been bullied themselves and statistically often go on to suffer from depression in later life when they finally reflect on their actions. Banter rarely is banter it’s bullying – questionable teasing is only funny when people are laughing not crying or far worse.

Please read my articles on Innovate My School’s Website including:-



The way we think

We all too frequently use the term ‘glass half empty/full’ when really we may be identifying a friend or colleague’s viewpoint as negative or positive. To a certain degree that is true but on a much deeper level a lot of what we achieve and/or fear in life is down to whether or not we are problem thinking or outcome thinking.

Most of us as we become adult take on board that in life we have to take responsibilities for our actions and make positive steps to achieve our goals and lead a happier life.

It all sounds so simple but for many of course that is not the case. So many people have fixed stumbling blocks which prevent them from getting on with their life and realising their ambitions and dreams.

If our negativity is in relation to our career prospects then telling ourselves we will never improve our situation or get that better paid job is problem thinking whereas if we look realistically at learning new skills to secure that position ..we are outcome thinking.

As I have said only recently when chewing the cud with a special somebody…the brain really is like a sponge and the more we learn the more confident we become.

I know I am fortunate in that I have never lost the hunger to learn new things but for those that are struggling consider seeking some NLP Life and Work skills counselling as that dream may easier to live and closer than you think. As for those stumbling blocks they can be knocked down, walked around or even jumped over..now there’s encouragement for a Monday morning eh?

Work experience and social skills

Many of the more sensible students will have secured volunteering positions for half term and for those of you that were not as proactive or unlucky in your endeavours don’t be disheartened.

Now is the time to start approaching charities and organisations for the forthcoming Easter break. I know parents and teachers alike will be encouraging students to get work experience and improve their social skills.

What students have to bear in mind is that being a great academic is not enough your future university will be looking for characters with a good and interesting CV. Showing personal skills and ability to contribute something of value.

Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website:-



People who know me and my regular followers will know that I often talk about kindness and its value in today’s society. I also encourage parents to recognise all the skills their children have rather than just focus on their academic success.

I am so thrilled that the younger generation of our Royal family are getting involved with charities and organisations that help people with mental health issues and are pro-active in promoting acts of kindness.

The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday was quoted as recognising kindness and respect as well as academic achievements.

Our teens today are struggling with all sorts of pressures and many suffer in isolation and modern media is of no comfort or substitute for real genuine friendships.

Help and support our youngsters they are a generation in trouble.


Changing times

Today I discussed with a colleague how times had changed within education. We spoke about how previously teachers could hit children with a cane, throw black board rubbers at their heads and even wash their mouths out with soap for swearing.The latter I witnessed myself… I kid you not!

Thankfully we have come a long way and teachers are better behaved and hopefully so are the children. My colleague was in her 80’s and interested to learn about safeguarding and how staff are not meant to be ‘touching’ children -and those of us who have had safeguarding training know that even when administering first aid one has to be mindful and only act appropriately.

Equally teachers are now coping with far more stress factors than in our day at school aside of  league tables; drugs, self-harming and of course cyber-bullying not all changes are for the better and life is not easy for our teenagers. The opportunities are vast but the pressures are too.

The main advice is to keep an open communication line and take an active interest in one’s children not just their friendship groups but their well-being too. Parenting the most rewarding yet difficult assignment you will ever be given.

What we cannot see

I sincerely hope our Prime Minister’s intentions to increase budgets for mental health assistance within the NHS and the Education sector comes to fruition. Sadly the things we cannot see are often dissmissed.

I was reminded today on an early morning walk as I approached a rather dense bush which was concealing a number of birds vocalising loudly… I couldn’t see them but they were there. This can be true of people in need of help with emotional problems they are struggling to overcome. If one has a leg in plaster or anything visual we automatically find people engaging and giving us sympathy.

I make a point of asking if somebody is ok whether they have a leg in plaster or not and I am mindful that people that either haven’t had children and/or their’s grew up in a different time seem indifferent to the stress of our teens today. It’s tough, the pace of life and expectations is great and with the added pressure of exams and continuing increase of cyber bullying and self-harming ..they need our help and support not our criticisms.



After the long Christmas and New Year break it is very hard to get back on track and re-focus one’s mind on our careers and/or studying.

With the return to University for the January exams I wish all students well. Remember: plenty of sleep, keep well-hydrated and have regular breaks from the studying. Exercise if you have time as that is so important to well-being, and, dare I say a little sugar treat now and then.  During exams keep both of your feet firmly on the floor being grounded really helps with concentration and helps one relax. If your legs are in knots so are you!

I know a little of how you feel  I have two courses waiting my attention and focus so less of the procastinating and more action Ms M.

Part of my new year’s action plan is to be more tidier…getting there it’s a slow process and my deadline is to have made great in-roads by the weekend.

Making the right choices

Sometimes in life we are faced with making a difficult decision and after a lot of soul searching and balancing up the negatives and positive we may still be left in a bit of a quandary as to what to do. Are we making the wrong choices for the right reasons and is our reason big enough?

Discussing weighing up the benefits of ‘getting experience’ with a colleague earlier today we touched on how certain sectors are quite unprofessional and small minded in their approach and maybe without realising can be quite offensive in questioning one’s skills and abilities.

We both agreed that the minute one starts to justify one’s skills the battle is lost, though of course we have to make allowance for ‘the other man’ maybe not fully understanding the high calibre of staff they are talking to nor respecting their CV and qualifications quite as much as they should do.

This situation and the question on being ‘ over qualified’ and whether one should dumb down one’s CV is one often run past me by colleagues wondering what to do for the best in searching for that dream job/project in their advancing years.

There are a lot of people who truly do not value self-development as much as those of us mature students who spend many hours gaining extra qualifications with a continual hunger for learning.

This week I am faced with making a few myself..and I am deliberating..time for cuppa and a choccy digestive – easy decision for me!


Working for experience

Over the past few weeks I have had several chats with fellow professionals about the value of experience and what to encourage our children to get on their CV.

I am still working on projects for experience for my own newly acquired skills and this never ends if you have a hunger for learning. Whilst we don’t want our children to be exploited there is no getting away from the fact that they do need to do voluntary/community work and preferable within the chosen field of their proposed career.

Recently I met and chatted to somebody from a national charity who agreed volunteers often go on to be offered permanent position. Reverting to the subject of students; they of course need to be able to impress their selected universities that they are right for their course and an excellent candidate for their university.. So that personal statement needs to demonstrate good social skills -remember it’s not just about the exam results.

Please visit Innovate My School’s website and view my articles on tips for writing personal statements and developing social skills:-