King’s Lynn parents fear pressure _ survey

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Ninety per cent of parents in Lynn believe their child is under pressure to ‘fit in’ at school, a new survey suggests.

While 81 per cent of parents with children aged from between four and five are concerned that their children feel this pressure, 98 per cent of those with children aged from between 15 to 16 believe they are currently experiencing pressure to conform.

The study was conducted by Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools and BulliesOut, a charity that promotes awareness and prevention of bullying and comes at the launch of a new charity partnership between the two organisations.

Linda James, CEO of BulliesOut says: “In 2015 there is more pressure than ever before to fit in and we strongly believe this could be a factor in bullying and self esteem issues in children. We should encourage children and young people in London to build supportive and inclusive peer groups that recognise and value individuality.”

The partnership will offer children practical support through a new range of performing arts workshops designed by Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools to help young people explore the themes of individuality, peer pressure and inclusive supportive peer groups.

Sarah Kelly, of Stagecoach TAS, said: “At Stagecoach, we believe in helping children reach their full potential and are proud to create safe and supportive environments where young people can learn, try new things and be creative without fear of failure.

“Our classes help children build their self-esteem and express themselves confidently, developing skills that benefit them in all aspects of their lives. We’re excited to share our expertise and help Bullies Out develop a unique programme using performing arts to inspire and engage children in the topics raised by this research.

“We’re delighted to be working with Stagecoach TAS to find creative ways to help young people build inclusive, supportive peer groups that recognise and respect people’s individual differences.”

In addition to uncovering the high levels of pressure to conform, the study found that 58 per cent of parents in London feel their child has been victim to some form of bullying and almost 28 per cent have heard their child put themselves down.

Stagecoach Theatre Arts will raise money for the charity throughout 2015 culminating in the annual Charity Gala performance.

Stagecoach, founded in 1988, has over 600 schools across the UK and is growing in popularity overseas with schools in Australia, Canada, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Malta, Spain, South Africa and the USA. Weekend classes and after school classes offer quality training in drama, dance and singing to young performers from four to 18 years, and help build confidence and develop communication through performing arts skills.