A specialist academy in Sunderland is celebrating getting a big pat on the back.
New Bridge Academy has been recognised for its work after reaching the highest level in its efforts to tackle bullying.
The Craigshaw Road school received a platinum level anti-bullying charter mark from Sunderland City Council.
The prestigious award is for its preventative measures against bullying and ensuring the safety and happiness of all its students.
The school is part of The Ascent Academies Trust and works to meet the needs of pupils with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health issues.
It also received an award for combating cyber bullying and its work to promote internet safety.
New Bridge Academy anti-bullying co-ordinator Dave Foley said: “We are exceptionally proud to be the first specialist academy in the city to be honoured with the platinum level award for our efforts.
“Some of our students may have experienced harassment or discrimination before coming to New Bridge Academy, so preventing bullying is extremely high on our agenda and we have a zero tolerance of any form of persecution.
“Our great anti-bullying team, made up of staff and students, works extremely hard to ensure that any bullying is tackled head-on.
“We attend regular training events and work with other schools in the area, always instilling the importance of sticking up for others and not being a bystander.”
As well as having a weekly drop-in centre for students, the academy also stages a full anti-bullying week each November where the whole school body takes part in workshops and events both in and out of school.
Dave added: “Even though we have now achieved this level, anti-bullying is an ongoing issue and something that we keep on top of all of the time.
“We use tutor time each day to talk about any problems that may arise and it’s great to see how our students and staff really support each other.”
The Anti-Bullying Charter Mark is a tool created by young people to help schools and other establishments showcase the work they do to prevent bullying.
Awarded by young people, it involves the whole school community in bringing about positive change.
Schools work through the categories of clinching bronze, silver and then gold awards and in New Bridge Academy’s case, the ultimate platinum award.