Bullying in schools

If you suspect your child is being bullied, don't ignore it, find a quiet time to talk to them and explain that bullying is unacceptable and they don't have to put up with it.

Our inclusion, attendance and welfare service can be contacted for further information and advice about bullying but you should always contact your child's school first to discuss the matter. It's important you request to speak with the most relevant person within your child school; this may be their class teacher in a primary school or perhaps their Head of Year in a secondary school.

Schools take allegations of bullying seriously and will investigate the matter. You'll need to provide:

  • the name(s) or a description (if your child doesn't know the other child's name) of the alleged bullies
  • details of what has taken place
  • specific details such as locations and times

Bullying can include:

  • threats and physical violence
  • racist, homophobic or sexist behaviour towards others
  • name calling
  • damage to property
  • leaving pupils out of social activities deliberately
  • spreading rumours
  • cyber bullying - bullying by mobile phone or online (for example email, social networks and instant messenger)

Bullying isn't:

  • quarrelling with friends
  • short term arguments
  • occasional teasing
  • bickering

The school will deal with the matter sensitively avoiding (where possible) making the situation worse. This will normally involve speaking to individual students and collecting evidence to support any disciplinary action that may follow.

All schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy and have to record all incidences by category, such as racial, homophobic, sexual or cyber.

If after the investigation, you aren't satisfied with the outcome, your child's school will have a complaints procedure which will allow the matter to be investigated further.

Email educationwelfare@plymouth.gov.uk for more information and advice.