Bullying on school journeys
Bullying can happen anywhere. If your child is reluctant to go to school, asks you to go with them, wants to leave home earlier or later or comes home upset, with lost belongings, torn clothes or unexplained injuries they may be being bullied on the school journey.
Changes in behaviour
Keep a watchful eye and find time to gently ask your child whether anything is worrying them about the school journey. Look out for changes in their usual behaviour.
If they tell you they’re having a difficult time on the school journey take it seriously. They may not use the word bullying but might talk about name calling, being pushed around, having their belongings taken from them. Disabled children and those with special educational needs can be especially at risk. Let them know that you are here to help and that together you will make it stop.
Legal right to safety
Your child has a legal right to be safe on their journey to school. Bullying is a safeguarding issue. This means it is everyone’s responsibility to keep your child safe wherever they are. There is also a new emphasis on ‘contextual safeguarding’ which means looking at all areas including physical spaces where a child may be at risk.
Tell the school
If your child is being bullied on the school journey, tell the school. They have powers to discipline children for behaviour outside of the school gates. If your child has been harmed or is at risk of harm they have a legal duty to take action.
If your child is in danger
Bullying can be criminal. If your child is physically harmed, sexually assaulted or threatened with harm contact the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 60 for railways, or 101 for the police. If your child is in immediate danger dial 999.
Parent Advice Line
Guidance and support for parents and carers
ZAP workshops for children impacted by bullying (available online and in the community)
ZAP workshops bring together children facing a similar situation and teach a range of tools to increase assertiveness, build confidence and help manage bullying situations.