Sunderland school’s gold star for beating bullies

Students from St Aidan's RC school, Matthew Cain,  Kevin Sibly, Kiernan Carroll, Owen-Jack Semley and Sam Crowe have been awarded a gold chartermark for their anti-bullying work.

Students from St Aidan's RC school, Matthew Cain, Kevin Sibly, Kiernan Carroll, Owen-Jack Semley and Sam Crowe have been awarded a gold chartermark for their anti-bullying work.

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A WEARSIDE school has double cause for celebration after clinching a top accolade.

The former St Aidan’s RC School is not only celebrating being granted academy status, but also being awarded gold in Sunderland’s Anti-Bullying Charter Mark.

Gemma Hogg, head of Key Stage 3 at the Willowbank Road school, said they applied for silver status, but Sunderland City Council’s anti-bullying co-ordinator, Dorothy Maddison, was so impressed they were awarded gold.

Ms Hogg said: “We are delighted that the hard work of students and staff has been recognised. Our students and their parents know what to do and who to speak to if their son is involved in any kind of bullying, whether it be name-calling or cyberbullying.”

Sam Crowe, 17, the academy’s head boy, said: “I think this award really shows how much hard work has gone into tackling bullying at St Aidan’s and with the change to academy status the mood around the school is one of constantly pushing to be the best we can be.”

During the past year, the school’s anti-bullying team, which is made up of students, staff, parents and governors, has led the changes.

Projects have included assemblies and workshops, new procedures to deal with bullies, greater support for victims, peer mentoring and more rigorous training for staff.

Headteacher Stephen Hammond said: “We are delighted to achieve academy status for St Aidan’s. It will enable our governing body to develop improved resources for the educational and welfare benefit of our students.”