Bullying has been taking centre stage in the media recently.

According to education standards watchdog, Ofsted, nearly half of all pupils have suffered some form of bullying at school, with 58% of those in primary schools and 41% in secondary’s claiming they had been picked on, though how much of this was from teachers and how much from other pupils was not revealed. What was clear was that mostly the abuse concerned the way the abused looked, including hair colour, weight and the wearing of spectacles. Some teachers pointed out that the parents and carers of the children harboured racist, homophobic and aggressive attitudes that were at odds with the values they were trying to instil.

Bullying can have tragic consequences, witness the 12-year old boy from Harrogate who hanged himself in June, reportedly over being bullied. Continue reading


The French government has decreed that all schoolchildren have to eat meat if they want to have a school lunch, and bringing a packed lunch as a vegetarian alternative has also been banned.

The measures have been brought in to protect French agriculture and maintain the demand for meat, and its price. They are to be extended to kindergartens, colleges, prisons, hospitals and old people’s homes.

In the UK vegetarians such as Sir Paul McCartney have condemned the moves as a violation of human rights.


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is introducing tough new rules governing racy and provocative images on billboards, which are claimed to have the effect of sexualising children.

Some images which have been used by the clothing and perfume companies will be banned from placement within 100 yards of schools and the more sexual will be banned altogether.


The National Trust, the UK’s largest and richest charity with 74 million visitors a year has fought off a legal claim for compensation of £300,000 after an 11 year old boy was killed and three others injured, one now using a wheel-chair, by a two ton, 70 foot tree branch that broke off and fell on them during a school visit to Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, Norfolk four years ago.

The High Court found that the National Trust were not legally liable for the accident.

It is, of course, open to the very rich Trust to do what many feel would be the decent thing, rather than the legal thing ,and pay the above amount, which for them would be a very small sum of money, without admitting liability. When you lose the hearts and minds of donors and potential donors a small victory in court can become a very large loss in the marketplace.