Bullying at school
At Kidscape we understand that getting bullied at school can make life very hard, both for the child and the parent or carer.
We offer advice to support you during this difficult time. We know that the information in this section has helped thousands of children and parents before, and we hope that it will also help you.
Meeting with the school
Once you have spoken to your child and established the details of bullying incident(s), act immediately. Call the school and schedule a meeting. For primary schools this is likely to be with your child's classroom teacher, and for secondary schools, the head of year.
We advise that you do not:
- storm into the school unannounced, demanding immediate action;
- contact the parents of the child/children bullying your child.
This behaviour will only make the situation worse for your child, and potentially inhibit the school's ability or willingness to support you.
Scheduling the first meeting
To ensure the meeting with the school results in effective and immediate action, take the following steps:
Come prepared: During the first meeting with the school, make sure you are equipped to give details of the bullying incidents as described by your child. Be sure to illustrate how they have been affected, and bring along a log of incidents, including any cyber bullying that may have taken place.
Be aware of the school procedures: Familiarise yourself with the school's behaviour and anti-bullying policies. It is a legal requirement for these to be supplied freely to parents. If they are not available online, ask the school administrator for copies.
Set expectations and follow up: Give the school an opportunity to respond. Make sure that a clear action plan has been set on how the school will respond to your complaint and keep you informed of their progress in resolving the situation.
Take further action: If you are dissatisfied with action taken by the school, do not give up. Speak to senior school staff or where appropriate, the governors. In order for your complaint to be dealt with most effectively, follow the school's standard reporting structure.
Will the school deal with cyber bullying?
The school is responsible for protecting students from all forms of bullying, and this includes incidents that happen outside of the school grounds and online. However, there are additional steps you should take to protect your child from cyber bullying. These are outlined in our online safety section.
Should the police be informed?
While it is advisable to speak to the school first, some forms of bullying behaviour may be criminal and should be reported to the police. These include:
- Violence or assault (including sexual assault);
- Theft or intentional damage to property;
- Harassment, threats or intimidation in person or through digital communications;
- Hate crimes - bullying targeted at someone due to their ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or special educational needs and disabilities.
How to keep a bullying log
A bullying log is a simple way to promote open communication with the school and ensure that each bullying incident is recorded. A bullying log will help both your family and the school to better understand your child's experience of bullying, and help inform the steps that can be taken to support them.
Parent Advice Line
Guidance and support for parents and carers of children facing a bullying situation. Call 020 7823 5430 (Mon-Thurs, 9am-1pm, calls charged at local rate) or email the Parent Support Adviser.