Red Balloon is a chain of learning centres around the UK. Red Balloon’s aim is to take on severely bullied children – educate them for 12 months, and develop their confidence enough to allow them to return to mainstream school.
A Red Balloon centre is a big house this is so that it doesn’t have a institutional feel to it. It is just like a normal school – operating three terms a year, covering all national curriculum subjects. When I said red balloon was a house it also works like a home. It has – a living room, no staff room, no playground and staff and children use the same facilities. This is because many of the children at Red Balloon centres fear school intensely. Best of all -bullying is not tolerated at all.
Red Balloon take on children aged 9-18 years old from any background. At least half of the children there have attempted or seriously considered suicide. 44% of students in mainstream school -In a survey by OFSTED- asked said they had been bullied. Childline took 2,700 calls about bullying in 2008. Making it the biggest problem facing youth today.
Young people can be referred to red balloon by their local council, school or parents. No more than 15 students go to each centre and children are taught to a good standard with the latest teaching techniques. Parents are kept up to date with their child’s progress at the centres, something that many parents couldn’t get at a mainstream school. Lessons are taught one-to-one so the academic achievement is enormous.
If you are being bullied:
You can call Childline on 0800 1111
Go to www.cybermentors.org.uk to talk to a real young person with experience in beating bullying who can help you receive more help.
If you are afraid of going to school and are interested in joining a red balloon learning centre go to www.redballoonlearner.co.uk
You might like to watch this BBC documentary about the Red Balloon centres at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00w7pmj/Cant_Bully_Me/
Bullying is a massive issue in today’s world and I think it is a good job people like Red Balloon volunteers are willing to help.