Bullying in Schools

If your child is experiencing difficulties due to bullying in school, we hope that the information below will assist you in knowing what support is available and what further steps you can take.

What is bullying?

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via social media or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, belief, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, or because a child is in care,  has caring responsibilities or mental health issues. It might be motivated by actual differences, perceived differences or as a result of association with someone else.

Based on; Preventing and Tackling Bullying
Advice for Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies, DfE, 2011

How do schools approach bullying?

Brighton & Hove schools are working to prevent bullying through the teaching of social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) and Personal, Social and Health Education, and through the use of peer mentor and playground buddy schemes. Schools do their best to respond to and resolve bullying behaviour when they are aware of it.

It is important that if your child is experiencing bullying in school that it is reported so that the school can respond appropriately. In most cases the bullying would be reported to the class or form teacher and if the the issue is not dealt with on to senior managers in the school.

Anti-Bullying Policies

Each school is required by law to have steps in place to address bullying; this is usually outlined in the form of an Anti-Bullying Policy. You should be able to access a copy of the policy from the school office or the school web site. The policy will set out the school’s approach to bullying. The school should adhere to its commitments to pupils/students, parents/carers and staff as set out in this policy by following their procedures. The policy may also talk about the responsibilities of parents/carers and pupils/students.

The Access to Education Service.

If you think the school has not dealt effectively with the issue of bullying and this is affecting your child including having a negative impact on their desire to go school then the Access to Education Service can help provide support for you and your family. This could either be in agreement with the school or you may choose to contact them directly. The Access to Education Service may also make contact with your family directly if your child’s level of attendance at school is falling due to bullying or other reasons.

What further steps can be taken if I am unhappy about the support given to me and my child?

If, having been in contact with the school, you are unhappy with the support being given to you and your child and the bullying has not been resolved, these are the steps to make a formal complaint:

Complaints should be put in writing and you should keep copies along with a note of when each complaint was made and to whom. The formal complaints process usually has three stages, but you will need to check the individual complaints policy for the school (concerned) as they can vary. Complaints policies are usually posted on school websites or can be obtained from the school office.

Stage One
Letter of Complaint to Headteacher of the School – parent/carers may want to ask for a formal meeting to discuss what is being done.

Stage Two
Write to the Chair of Governors of the school, enclosing a copy of the letter sent to the Headteacher.

Stage Three
Write to the local authority, sending copies of the letters written at stage one and stage two. You can contact the Standards and Achievement Team to help with logging your complaint by telephone on (01273) 293526.

The address to write to is:

Standards and Achievement Team

Brighton & Hove City Council
King's House
Grand Avenue
Hove
BN3 2LS

Where can I get additional support, information and advice about bullying?

If you are at school and being bullied you can get advice from our help with bullying at school page.

The Family Information Service (FIS) (formerly the Children's Information Service) is a free, impartial service giving detailed information and advice on childcare as well as general information on a wide range of services for children and young people aged 0-19 years and their families in the city.

Parentline Plus is a national charity that works for, and with, parents. Parentline Plus works to offer help and support through an innovative range of free, flexible, responsive services - shaped by parents for parents.
www.besomeonetotell.org.uk is the Parentline Plus bullying web site with some very useful tips and information.

Within the range of children’s services provided by Brighton & Hove City Council additional support may be provided to the school and/or your family by the following teams: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Integrated Youth Support Service, Healthy Schools Team, School and Community Team and Social Services. The school or the Education Welfare Service may co-ordinate the support and involvement of these teams with your family.

The following services may also be involved in supporting your family - Partnership Community Safety Team, Police, GP, voluntary sector organisations (eg Allsorts, MOSAIC).