A BURNLEY headteacher said staff were taking a ‘proactive’ approach to potential bullying after a rise in reports of pupils receiving abusive text messages.

Brunshaw Primary School issued a letter to parents after two incidents over the Easter holidays were brought to the attention of teachers.


Union officials said more local authority training should be provided to help teachers spot the signs of cyber bullying.

Emma McNicoll, headteacher at the Morse Street school, stressed that the incidents reported had occurred at home, rather than during school hours.

In the letter, the school said: “We regularly teach all children about being safe when using technology. We have become aware of a number of children telling us (or showing evidence of) abusive messages that they have been sent by other children at home.

“We are doing a lot of work around this at the moment. Please be vigilant about what your child is sending or receiving in the way of messages from others at home.”

Mrs McNicoll said ICT lessons would now focus less on the danger of strangers online, and more on the harm pupils could do to themselves and their classmates.

She said: “Parents have come to us to say there have been messages sent to one another and could we keep an eye on things.

“We have decided to be very proactive, even though this hasn’t happened in school. We have spoken to younger and older pupils and changed our ICT learning so that we can get the children thinking about pleasant messages they can send each other.

“Rather than just focus on stranger danger, we want them to think about what they are writing. Children and grown-ups these days often write things online that they would never dream of actually saying.”

Simon Jones, the National Union of Teachers’ Lancashire representative, said members were worried about the rise in text and cyber bullying, adding: “I think more training on e-safety is needed.”