Advice for parents

School reporting structure

It is a legal requirement for your child's school to protect its students from bullying. However, the manner in which your complaint is dealt with will vary depending on the school's approach to tackling bullying, internal procedures and the attitude of the staff.

There may be occasions when you feel that a teacher's response to your child's bullying situation has been inadequate. To ensure your child is protected, it is important that you do not give up.

There is a hierarchy of people or bodies you can contact - follow the reporting structure below. 

1. Form tutor or head of year

Schedule a meeting with either your child's classroom teacher (for primary school) or the head of year/head of key stage (for secondary school).

2. Head teacher

Talk to the school administrator to make an appointment with the head teacher. Address your concerns, the actions or inactions that have occurred and how your child has been affected. Refer to the school's anti-bullying policy and establish a course of action on how your child will be better supported.

3. Board of governors

Make a formal complaint in writing to the board of governors, explaining the previous steps you have taken to try and resolve the problem. Their contact details will be available from the school administrator, who is legally required to provide these.

4. A higher authority

For state schools: You can complain in writing to your local director of education. Contact your council for their details.

For private or independent schools: Contact the Independent Schools Council, a non-profit organisation that consists of eight independent school associations. Similar to those carried out by Ofsted, it undertakes detailed inspections on independent schools and takes responsibility for upholding and protecting the standards of the sector.

5. Local MP or councillor

At this stage you can try to enlist the help of your local MP through contacting them in writing or trying to schedule a meeting. Access their details through the find your mp search engine.

6. Moving schools

If despite the above efforts the bullying is still prevalent, you may wish to consider alternative options such as changing schools or even home education.

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.

ZAP anti-bullying workshops for young people aged 9-16

6% of young people experience bullying daily. A ZAP workshop offers practical assertiveness skills so that young people are able to deal with bullying situations effectively.

Find out more

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