What is bullying?
Bullying is repeated behaviour by an individual or group that intentionally hurts another individual or group, either physically or emotionally. This can include physical assault, teasing, threats, name calling and cyberbullying and can happen at school, play or on the internet.
What are the signs?
Signs that your child is being bullied include:
- Unexplained bruised or cuts
- Broken or missing possessions
- Worrying about going to school
- Doing less well in school
- Asking for extra money
- Changes in eating habits including coming home from school very hunger
- Changes in behaviour such as becoming withdrawn, aggressive or unhappy without saying why
- Changes in sleeping habit, nightmares, crying in their sleep or bed wetting
- Getting upset or secretive about email, text or phone messages
What a parent can do?
- Listen calmly to your child and take what they says seriously
- Reassure them that it is not their fault and that you’ll find ways to ensure their safety
- Take notes of bullying incidents including when and where, and who was involved
- Contact the school as soon as possible
- Meet with your child’s teacher, or headteacher, to find out what actions they plan to take and when
- Let the school know if the situation has improved or if there have been further incidents
- If you are not satisfied with the school's response make a formal written complaint to the Chair of Governors
- If you’re reporting cyberbullying, keep a record of the date and time of the offending calls, emails or texts - don’t delete any messages you receive
- Seek advice on bullying from the school or online (see links below)
What a parent shouldn’t do
When dealing with bullying, you should remember that the most important issue is your child’s wellbeing and safety. It is highly recommended that bullying occuring in and around a school or involving children from a particular school is dealt with by the school.
School anti-bullying policies
Schools are under a legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their students and must have a written anti-bullying policy detailing how it will address bullying problems as well as its complaints procedures.
Schools have the legal power to impose sanctions against pupils involved in bullying incidents inside of school and outside of school premises such as on public transport or in town centres or local parks.
School staff can also choose to report bullying to the police or local council.
As a parent you should always request a copy of the policy if your child is being bullied so you are aware of the school’s procedures.
What is a hate incident?
A hate incident is any incident where an individual or group else is targeted because they are believed to be different due to age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Some forms of bullying can be described as hate crime.
For more information or if you have continuing concerns about your child’s situation after working with the school contact the Education and Early Years Service.
Tel: 020 7332 1002