Information for Parents and Carers - What is Bullying?
What is Bullying?
Bullying may be defined as the unjustified, prolonged display of aggressive verbal or physical behaviour on the part of one individual or group toward another. Much harmless childhood play may appear aggressive in its nature and this is quite normal. However, aggression becomes unacceptable when it is used to torment, to inflict pain or to humiliate others. It is behaviour motivated by such intentions that merits the term “bullying”.
Bullying is as common in the workplace or the home as in the school playground, although it is frequently disguised as “being assertive”, “standing up for one’s rights”, “exercising discipline” or “controlling others”.
The responsibility for tackling the problem of bullying lies not only with the school but equally with families and the community.
Education & Social Care is committed to working in partnership with others to eradicate bullying in schools.
How do schools deal with bullying?
Every school has a policy on pupil care, welfare and positive behaviour that includes anti-bullying statements. This will state the general strategies and procedures in place within the school and outline the action taken to combat bullying. This may include aspects such as:
- encouraging children to talk about bullying and related issues on a regular basis
- involving parents, teaching and non- teaching staff in developing anti- bullying policy
- being observant of social relationships between children, watching especially for any signs of unexplained distress
- encouraging the reporting of bullying incidents and dealing with these sensitively
- supporting and counselling both victims and bullies appropriately and in general through the social education curriculum
- keeping a record of incidents
- regularly reviewing school procedure and practice in an effort to reduce the risks of bullying behaviour occurring
What will the school do if my child is involved in a bullying incident?
If a school is satisfied when investigating an incident that bullying has taken place, then the parents of all those children involved will be informed.
Staff will work with parents to decide on the best ways for both school and family to support the children concerned.
What do I do if I think my child is being bullied?
You should first contact the school and arrange to speak to the appropriate member of staff. According to the policy within the school, this may be your child’s class teacher, or a designated member of the school staff or the Headteacher.
The outcome of this meeting should be an agreement between you as to what investigation or action is required.
What if I feel nothing is being done?
You should first discuss this with the Headteacher. If you are still not happy with any action taken following this meeting you do have the right to raise this with a Quality Improvement Officer in Education & Social Care
Education and Social Care