Updated: Tuesday, 25th September 2018 @ 3:05pm

Zero tolerance approach to bullying: Manchester Communication Academy partners with app Tootoot

Zero tolerance approach to bullying: Manchester Communication Academy partners with app Tootoot

| By Ronan Magee

With bullying still a huge problem among the UK youth – 54% say they've experienced it – Manchester Communication Academy has announced their partnership with anti-bullying app Tootoot.

Research from Ditch the Label and Manchester-based NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) found that over 50% of 12-20 year olds have been subjected to bullying with a further 25% of 9-16 year olds having seen hate messages online.

Tootoot CEO Michael Brennan created the app after his experiences of bullying and cyberbullying meant he was too scared to tell his teachers in case the bullies found out.

"All too often students are scared or aren't confident enough to speak to someone face-to-face about their concerns, for fear of being identified and potentially making matters worse.

"With Tootoot, students are able to safely and anonymously tell their place of learning about their concerns and worries, whether it’s a bullying issue, racism, radicalisation or extremism.

"Tootoot gives pupils the ability to discreetly report cases when they happen, wherever they are, on their own device."

The Academy already takes a zero-tolerance approach to bullying with regular assemblies, classes and workshops surrounding the topic. The school has integrated the app into these sessions, giving their pupils the chance to report concerns anonymously.

The Academy's Health and Wellbeing Lead Miss S Gerrie said: "Our pupils know that we take bullying and safeguarding very seriously and that their concerns will be addressed when they come to us."

The app is now being actively used in over 650 schools across the UK giving 250,000 pupils a platform to express concerns about bullying, cyberbullying, mental health, racism and harassment.

In 2016, the app was awarded funding from the Department for Education for their Make a Noise programme, to provide a further 120,000 students with access to the software.