MHC: Cyber bullying an issue for overwhelming majority of schools
A new survey by Mason Hayes & Curran finds that cyber bullying is an issue for more than 89 per cent of schools, with 16 per cent saying it is an issue “frequently” and 73 per cent citing “occasionally”.
The business law firm polled more than 100 educators and school leaders at its recent webinar, titled “The Big Legal Challenges Facing Schools for 2023”.
The event covered issues including challenging behaviour, data protection and social media, as well as the increasingly complex area of employment law and staff disciplinary procedures.
Catherine Kelly, education partner at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Cyber bullying is exacerbated by the prevalence of smart phones and social media platforms, and the very high percentages of schools experiencing this as an issue highlights that it is unfortunately far too common.
“Along with suitable staff training, it is important for schools to have a social media policy linked to the code of conduct in place, so that there are clear guidelines around the safe and responsible use of social media by students.”
The survey also found that managing staff was the biggest issue facing school leaders (50 per cent), closely followed by managing challenging behaviour (33 per cent). Teachers, more so than any other category of staff, present the biggest challenge in terms of managing under performance with 51 per cent finding this to be an issue.
Liam Riordan, education partner at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Having robust policies in place is critical when managing disciplinary issues concerning under performance of staff.”