PRIMARY school children will soon discover how the football team they support can lead to bullying.

Workshops will help youngsters at three schools in Redcar and Cleveland learn why supporting Manchester United or wearing a new coat can lead to unwarranted attention - and how to deal with it.

Redcar and Cleveland Council's BEST Unit, the Behaviour and Education Support Team, is organising two-hour sessions for 50 nine to 11- year-olds at South Bank Primary, Middlesbrough, Zetland Primary in Redcar, and Hummersea Primary in Loftus as part of an anti-bullying campaign next week.

Polly Hampton, manager of Best, said: "We have delivered similar workshops in other schools and they have worked very well, raising children's awareness of the issues around anti-bullying.

"It's about giving them some solutions if they're put in that situation - where to go, who to talk to, giving them networks."

One session asks the children to decide which, if any, of the following scenarios could result in bullying - someone laughs at you because you support Manchester United, children make nasty comments about your new coat or you get pushed around playing football.

The children will also be asked to produce posters on how to stop bullies and what to do if you are being bullied, with the winning entries forming part of a poster campaign in schools.

Ms Hampton added: "I think bullying is an issue in most schools, but the more schools that are aware of it, the most successful they are at addressing it."

The Government-funded Best programme works through a 12-strong team, made up of a social worker, family support workers, mentors and health professionals.

It is based at the Innovation Centre at Kirkleatham Business Park, working to improve attendance, behaviour and the emotional well-being of pupils.