Bullying is unacceptable. If your child is being bullied at school, the school should have policies and procedures in place to support you. There are also organisations which can help and offer further information and advice if you need it.
How can you identify bullying?
Bullying can be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour that is repeated over a period of time. Bullying doesn't always happen face to face. Sometimes, bullying can happen through text messages, email or over the phone.
- teasing, abusive remarks and name calling
- threats and physical violence
- damage to property
- leaving pupils out of social activities deliberately
- spreading rumours
- upsetting mobile phone or email messages
What to do if your child is being bullied
Your child may not directly tell you that they are being bullied but may display other symptoms such as headaches, irritability and anxiety, and may not want to go to school. If your child is behaving like this or out of character and you suspect they are being bullied, try talking to them about:
their progress with school work
- friends at school
- what they do at lunchtimes and breaks
- any problems or difficulties they are facing
Finding out your child is being bullied can be very upsetting, but if this happens try to talk calmly to your child about what is happening and:
- make a note of what they say: who was involved, where, when and how often?
- reassure your child that they have done the right thing by telling you
- tell your child to report any further incidents to a teacher straightaway
- talk to your child's teacher about the bullying
When you talk to your child's teacher, remember they may have no idea your child is being bullied.
Try to stay calm and:
- give specific details of what your child says has happened:
- give names, dates and places
- make a note of what action the school will take
- ask if there is anything you can do to help
- stay in touch with the school - let them know if the problem continues or if the situation improves
- find out what the anti-bullying policy is for the school (every school should have one), so you know what to expect
If you are not satisfied, who can you contact next?
If talking to your child's teacher does not solve the problem, you could:
- check the school's anti-bullying policy to see that procedures are being followed
- discuss your concerns with the parent governor or other parents
- make an appointment to discuss the matter with the head teacher and keep a record of the meeting
- if this does not help, write to the chair of governors