Teachers warn of 'brand
The Press Association
Children who cannot afford the
latest brands and fashions face bullying or exclusion by
their peers, teachers warned.
A desire to "fit in" plays a huge role in the products
children want to own, a poll by the Association of
Teachers and Lecturers found.
Almost half of the teachers questioned (46%) said young
people who cannot afford the fashionable items owned by
their friends have been excluded, isolated or bullied as
Andy Cranham, a teacher at City of Bristol College said:
"The need to belong in groups is paramount to young
learners and exclusion is something they see as the end
of the world."
Dr Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary said: "Bullying
of this kind can be quite insidious, it can just be a
look that a child is given. Children feel under immense
pressure to look right and having the key brands is part
But Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying
said she was a "little surprised" that only half of
teachers had seen such bullying.
She said: "Young people are image conscious, and a lot
of bullying is based on appearance. Targeting others for
not having the "right" look, accessory or brand is
unfortunately all too common, but it is precisely the
sort of behaviour Beatbullying can help change."
The poll found more than eight in 10 teachers (85%)
believe possession of fashionable goods is important to
their pupils, with 93% saying brands are the top
influence on what children buy, followed by friends
(91%) and logos (77%).
And the influence of advertising and marketing is much
more significant now, with more than 70% of teachers
saying it has increased from 10 years ago. And almost
all (98%) believe advertising directly targets children
and young people.
Dr Bousted added: "Advertising and marketing have made
our society increasingly image-conscious and our
children are suffering the consequences. Schools and
colleges should be places where all children feel equal,
but it is virtually impossible for schools to protect
their pupils from the harsher aspects of these
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