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Bullying at school

How can I help my child if they are being bullied

If your child is being bullied, don't panic. Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken.

 

  • Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do. Try and establish the facts. It can be helpful to keep a diary of events to share with the school or college.

  • Assure them that the bullying is not their fault and that they have family that will support them. Reassure them that you will not take any action without discussing it with them first.

  • Don't encourage retaliation to bullying - such as violent actions. It's important for children to avoid hitting or punching an abusive peer. Reacting that way has negative and unpredictable results- they may be hurt even further, and find that they are labelled as the problem. Rather suggest that they walk away and seek help.

  • Find out what your child wants to happen next. Help to identify the choices open to them; the potential next steps to take; and the skills they may have to help solve the problems.

  • Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).

  • Discuss the situation with your child's teacher or Head teacher - or the lead adult wherever the bullying is taking place. Every child has a right to a safe environment in which to learn and play. Schools must have a behaviour policy which sets out the measures that will be taken to prevent all forms of bullying between pupils. For more information on making a complaint about bullying, visit Making a complaint

 

Schools and the law

By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.

This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is.

Anti-discrimination law

Schools must also follow anti-discrimination law. This means staff must act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school. This applies to all schools in England and Wales, and most schools in Scotland.

Northern Ireland has different anti-discrimination law.

Reporting bullying

You should report bullying to your school in the first place - or someone you trust if it happens outside school, for example in a club or online.

Tell the police if the bullying involves a crime.

Schools - reporting bullying

School staff will deal with bullying in different ways, depending on how serious the bullying is.

They might deal with it in school, for example by disciplining bullies, or they might report it to the police or social services.

Any discipline must take account of special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils involved may have.

You can complain about a school if you think it hasn’t dealt with your concerns.

Police - reporting bullying

Anyone can make a complaint to the police about bullying but it’s usually a good idea to speak to your school first.

If you’re reporting cyberbullying, keep a record of the date and time of the calls, emails or texts - don’t delete any messages you receive.

Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

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