Against this background, Prof.
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Carmel Cefai introduced the NESET report , raising awareness about the prevalence of school bullying in many EU countries and highlighting key lessons emerging from the most relevant European and international research that can support policy and practice against such bullying. The report was produced after a careful literature review, also with quantitative research methods with support from the European Commission ET Working Group , and one of the main findings was that homophobia represents a principal cause for bullying and school violence.
The recommendations of the report envisage acknowledging a series of child protection measures against bullying, especially since some of the children exposed to it may be from particular vulnerable groups i. Furthermore, the way forward seems to be the prevention of discriminatory bullying transferred into a strategic focus among Member States.
The need to be proactive is quite high on this issue, dealing with a spectrum of actions tackling the issue of bullying in schools as this also affects children who grow up in rainbow families same-sex or LGBTI-parented families. The presentation highlighted ENABLE's unique approach that combines social and emotional learning SEL with peer support, striving to provide school staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence that can help them establish an effective student peer-support scheme in their schools and develop their students' social and emotional skills.
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The Health and Safety at Work etc Act places a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health of their employees at work. This includes taking steps to make sure they do not suffer violence, abuse or stress-related illness as a result of their work. Employers are legally required to consult their employees and their elected representatives about health and safety arrangements, including their procedures for preventing and monitoring violent incidents. The HSE has published guidance — Violence at Work: a guide for employers — which may also be useful for safety representatives and employees.
Although not specific to schools, the guide acknowledges that education is one of the most at-risk sectors for experiencing violence at work.
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The term violence refers to verbal abuse and threats as well as physical violence. The guidance sets out a number of steps which can assist with the effective management of violence which involves carrying out a risk assessment. The HSE states that all employers should have clear policies and procedures that set out how they will prevent, manage and respond to work related violence.
The NEU has produced a model policy for employers which sets out how they should respond to violence and assaults in schools. Where a school or employer does not have an equivalent policy, NEU reps and local officers should encourage the implementation of this model policy.
All accidents and injuries should be reported, no matter how trivial they might appear. This is as true of verbal abuse as it is of physical assault, as the psychological harm which can follow such incidents can lead to very real illness and mental distress for those who are unfortunate enough to experience them.
The HSE and TUC advise that employers should prepare a specific form for reporting instances of violence and abuse, both physical and verbal. The definition of accidents includes assaults so that injuries resulting from assaults are also reportable.
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Furthermore, any violence or abuse in relation to a protected characteristic age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation may constitute illegal harassment under the Equality Act Following any incident involving violence or assault, risk assessments should also be reviewed in the light of the incident, to identify whether additional measures are necessary. Further advice on all these matters can be found in the NEU briefings on accidents and injuries, and risk assessments.
The SSP initiative aims to provide structured ways in which schools can work with the local police force to achieve the following aims:.
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SSP arrangements can include police officers with a responsibility for liaising with, and visiting, groups of local schools, for instance to deliver training and assemblies. The intention of introducing SSPs was to co-ordinate the various agencies, including the schools, employer and police, work together to develop a protocol based on shared principles, and clearly set out roles and responsibilities of the various partners in the initiative.
In , there were around SSPs in place, with approximately 5, schools involved in such schemes. However, cuts to the police in recent years have had an impact on the availability of SSPs, and it is likely that fewer partnerships are now in operation. This model policy sets out how employer will seek to prevent workplace violence in its schools, and the procedures that will be followed if a violent incident occurs.
The purpose of this guidance is to suggest practical ways in which the school and college environment can be improved for women who are going through the menopause.
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The menopause is an occupational health issue for women educators, as well as being an equality issue. It is important that schools and colleges are suitable workplaces for menopausal women. The purpose of this guide and checklist for reps is to signpost you to advice, and to support you in improving workplace conditions for menopausal women. NEU leadership members are key to supporting women going through the menopause in the workplace. Collaboration between leaders, governors, workplace reps, health and safety reps and a staff support network can go a long way towards creating a supportive environment for women experiencing menopause symptoms at work.
All of them agreed on the absurdity of the proposal.
Europe used to be the same, centuries ago. People used guns to protect themselves from bandits and thieves in country land with no laws, but we moved on and they will too. In talking to European teachers, I found that many acknowledged the delicate nature of gun laws, and focused more on other possible solutions, not fighting guns with guns. Carmen from Madrid says that funding for the prevention of dangerous situations could be part of the solution.
She also points to the importance of working with and investing in student counseling and orienteering to provide a supportive platform for students who need one.
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