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Tackling school bullying

The Government has made tackling bullying in schools a key priority and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has made it clear that no form of bullying should be tolerated. Bullying in our schools should be taken very seriously; it is not a normal part of growing up and it can ruin lives.

It is compulsory for schools to have measures in place to encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils, and to prevent all forms of bullying. The DCSF supports schools in designing their anti-bullying policies, and their strategies to tackle bullying, by providing comprehensive, practical-guidance documents. Regional advisers with expertise in the field of bullying are also on hand to help schools implement the guidance and draw on best practice.

Safe to learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools is the overarching anti-bullying guidance for schools and was launched in September 2007. It can be ordered from TeacherNet's online publications site. The Safe to learn package of guidance also includes specialist advice on cyberbullying, homophobic bullying and bullying involving children with SEN and disabilities. This is in addition to the existing guidance on tackling bullying related to race, religion and culture that was issued in 2006.

The document Guidance for schools on preventing and responding to sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying was published 10 December 2009, forming part of the Safe to learn suite.

In April 2008, the DCSF issued the DVD and resource pack Let's fight it together for school staff working with pupils in assembly and classroom situations.

Schools can also sign up to the Anti-bullying Charter to show their commitment to tackling all forms of bullying, and use the principles of the Charter to self-evaluate their anti-bullying policies and practices.

Cyberbullying of teachers and school staff

On 15 April 2009, the DCSF issued guidance Cyberbullying: Supporting school staff which outlines practical ways of preventing and tackling cyberbullying of teachers and other school staff.

Supporting parents

The Anti-Bullying Alliance and NASUWT, with support from the DCSF, have produced a leaflet to support parents to talk to their children about bullying. Keep an eye on it provides information for parents and adults working with young people on how to spot the signs of bullying and what they can do to help.

Safe from bullying out of school settings

The Government issued two guidance documents on anti-bullying on 15 April 2009. The guidance advises on how to deal with bullying outside school, with versions available for local authorities, youth workers, college staff, play workers, transport providers and children's homes.

Other sources of information:

  • Advice for young people who are concerned about bullying is available on the DirectGov website. You can also find further information on cyberbullying on this site.
  • The Anti-Bullying Alliance, an umbrella group of over 60 charitable and other organisations working in the anti-bullying field, has a range of information and resources for practitioners on their website. 
  • Advice for parents on dealing with the bullying of their child is available on the Parentline Plus website, which runs a helpline for parents whose children are being bullied and provides support through their Be Someone to Tell website.
  • A complete list of organisations that can provide help or support on bullying issues is provided in Annex I of the overarching Safe to learn guidance.

Last updated: 30 December 2009

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