App helps Wigan schoolchildren report bullying

An app is helping pupils tackle bullies
An app is helping pupils tackle bullies
Share this article

Thousands of pupils across Wigan are using an app to report incidents of bullying in safety and without fear of reprisals.

Up to 46 schools have signed up to the tootoot phone application to report concerns.

And since its launch a total of 487 incidents have been reported by children and 1,471 by school staff.

The success of the app has been revealed as part of Anti-bullying Week, which is being backed by Wigan Council as part of their #BelieveImOnlyHuman campaign.

Bullying, and the rise of cyberbullying, is a huge issue in all parts of the country with one in five young people in the North West having experienced bullying in the past year.

Pupils and staff have spoken of how safe and empowered the app makes them feel in reporting bullying.

Lily Atherton, who is a ‘tootoot champion’ at Ince CE Primary School, said: “When I help children to log on to tootoot I feel like I am helping them to be happy and make our school a safe place.

“Every school should have tootoot because it’s great. It helps all children at school and at home.”

Jaime Traynor, learning mentor at Ince CE Primary School, added: “The help and support we have received from everyone at tootoot has been exceptional from day one.

“The children are all really enthusiastic about it and find it easy and straightforward to use.”

One of the children at Ince CE Primary said: “I used tootoot and I felt really safe because no one knew that I was telling a teacher about a problem I had and it was sorted out really quickly.”

Helen Sharples, futures director at Rose Bridge Academy, said: “Working with tootoot enables Rose Bridge Academy to give our students another opportunity to let our staff know if they need some support or help with a situation.

“The system empowers young people and we feel it supports the strong pastoral systems we already have in the academy.”

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.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services at Wigan Council, said: “Any form of bullying is completely unacceptable and as a council we proactively support our schools in addressing this major issue. We are very pleased with the take-up and usage of tootoot.

The app helps deliver our aims through The Deal to provide all our young people with a safe environment where they can grow and achieve.”

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.