Wigan schools get anti-bullying app

Year seven pupils with Michael Moore (left) and James Winterbottom
Year seven pupils with Michael Moore (left) and James Winterbottom

Technology is helping to lead the fight against bullying at Wigan borough schools.

Schools like St Peter’s RC High in Orrell have been signing up to tootoot, an app which lets pupils report any concerns they have in an easy-to-use format.

Through tootoot young people can alert teachers to a wide range of issues from bullying, cyber bullying, racism, extremism, radicalisation, sexism, mental health and self-harm.

Pupils at St Peter’s were talked through how the app works and have been signed up to the service.

Michael Brennan created the app after he was himself the victim of bullying but was too scared to tell his teachers in case the bullies found out.

Wigan Council is the first authority in the UK to offer tootoot to all its schools through a match-funding programme to provide tootoot for the next four years.

Tootoot is a Leigh-based company which has worked with more than 1,000 schools across the world with children in New Zealand, Italy and Dubai among those to benefit from the reporting tool.

Mr Brennan said: “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, as a first step to resolving them. Based in Leigh, I am delighted that we have been able to partner with Wigan Council in order to provide all schools in Wigan borough with tootoot pupil voice and safeguarding platform.”

St Peter’s headteacher Andy McGlown said: “Our students know that when they share a problem with us we will work with them to resolve it.

“But it can be daunting to take the first step and tell someone. If Tootoot can help more of our young people tell someone earlier about anything that is causing them concern then it will mean that we can help them sooner and reduce anxiety.”