Bullying and cyberbullying

Bullying is a frightening experience. It can isolate children and young people and damage their self-confidence or lead to more serious concerns.

Bullying takes place in and out of school, and online. It can come from anyone around the child not just their peers.

Parents, carers, teachers and other professionals have a duty to act if they suspect or discover that a child is being bullied.

Bullying can seriously affect your child. It doesn’t just involve physical abuse. It can include emotional and verbal abuse, racist remarks and cyberbullying.

The impact of bullying can often be underestimated. It is important that as a parent or carer you can recognise the signs and impact of bullying and get help for your child. 

Types of bullying

Bullying can include:

  • name calling
  • making things up to get others into trouble
  • being put down or humiliated
  • being teased
  • stealing others belongings or money
  • damaging others belongings
  • taking friends away to make someone feel excluded
  • spreading rumours
  • threats and intimidation
  • making abusive phone calls or sending abuse texts and e-mails
  • hate crimes such as racial, sexual, transphobic, or homophobic comments or bullying someone because they have SEND

Cyberbullying

Bullying can also take place online. This is known as cyberbullying. Signs of cyberbullying are:

  • sending threatening or abusive text messages
  • creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos
  • trolling – the sending of menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
  • excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups
  • shaming someone online
  • setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child
  • encouraging young people to self-harm
  • voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
  • creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name
  • sending explicit messages, also known as sexting
  • pressuring children into sending sexual images or engaging in sexual conversations

Signs of bullying

Signs of bullying can include:

  • coming home with cuts, bruises or injuries
  • torn clothes
  • asking for stolen possessions to be replaced
  • often ‘losing’ lunch or dinner money
  • changes in mood or more often bad tempered
  • wanting to stay at home
  • aggression with brothers and sisters
  • anxiety and insecurity
  • being quiet and withdrawn

What to do next

If you suspect that your child or a child you know is being bullied, talk to their teacher, the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or the school's headteacher. 

By law, all state schools must have a behaviour policy in place. This includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.

This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is. You can find this on the school’s website or request to see it from a member of staff.