Bullying by a teacher

Children will complain about their teachers from time to time.  To find out if they are being bullied, ask more about what’s going on, and why it might be happening.

Bullying behaviour from a teacher is never acceptable.

These are examples of bullying behaviour:

  • Public humiliation 
  • Physical punishment 
  • Ostracism or the use of excessive isolation 
  • Unnecessary and unconstructive put-downs 
  • Intimidation or unsuitable fear mongering 
  • Unjustly marking down grades as punishment
  • Regularly making an example of a student in front of the class 
  • Personal comments or verbal abuse that relate to looks, sexuality, gender, disability, race, faith or family background 
  • Excessively strict punishment that is not appropriate for the behaviour and/or age of the child, or sanctions that haven't taken into account any special educational needs and disabilities 

What should I do if my child is being bullied by a teacher?

You must speak to the school if your child is experiencing any of these behaviours.  Follow our advice on meeting with the school

Arrange a meeting with a senior teacher 

Rather than confronting the teacher head on, we would recommend you talk to a senior teacher or member of staff in the school. 

Arrange a meeting with a more senior teacher and ask for a plan to be put in place to ensure your child does not continue to feel like this. It will be helpful to explain the impact that the situation is having on them emotionally and ask for the school to work with you to address this. 

Use our template  log and school contact record as a guide for how to record emotional impact. As with any meeting relating to bullying, agree on an action plan and a time frame. 

Resolving the situation 

These are some ideas for things you could suggest to the school to resolve the situation: 

  • Ask the school for the lessons with that particular teacher to be observed by another member of staff, ideally someone from the senior leadership team. 
  • Ask the school to review your child's behaviour record and to investigate and explain why the issues are only occurring with that particular teacher. 
  • Would there be any option to move class, if there is a different teacher with the same year group? 

What if the school doesn’t seem to be taking action? 

If the school doesn’t seem to be taking the appropriate action, and you are concerned that the staff member involved poses a risk to your child or others, you are within your rights to contact the designated officer at your Local Authority.  Their role is to manage and oversee allegations against adults who work with or volunteer with children.  You could also report a case of teacher misconduct

Parent Advice Line

Guidance and support for parents and carers 

Find out more


Kidscape log and school contact record

The Kidscape log and school contact record is a simple way to promote open communication with the school and ensure that each bullying incident is recorded.


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