Schools must by law have an anti-bullying policy which must be used to reduce and prevent bullying.
Other organisations can offer further information and advice if needed.
Bullying is unacceptable
Bullying can be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour that is repeated over a period of time and can include:
teasing, abusive remarks and name calling
threats and physical violence
damage to property
leaving pupils out of social activities deliberately
up-setting mobile phone or email messages
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 that your child is being bullied can be very upsetting but try to talk calmly to your child about what is happening.
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 and talk to your child's teacher about the bullying.
Talking to teachers
Your child's teacher may have no idea that your child is being bullied.
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 and let them know if the problem continues or if the situation improves.
Find out what the school’s anti-bullying policy is so you know what to expect.
If you have spoken to your child's teachers and school and the bullying doesn't stop, or you are still not happy with the way the school is dealing with it, the following organisations offer support and information:
Parentline Plus helpline
Tel: 0808 800 2222
(Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9.30 am to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 3pm)
Kidscape helpline for parents
Tel: 08451 205204
(10am to 4pm)
Anti Bullying Campaign advice line for parents and children
Tel: 020 7378 1446
(9.30am to 5pm)
Advisory Centre for Education
(advice for parents and children on all school matters)
Tel: 0808 800 5793