Bullying advice and support for parents
What you can do if a child is being bullied and support available.
If anyone is in immediate danger, always call 999.
Bullying is behaviour, usually repetitive, that is intended to physically or emotionally hurt someone. It can include name calling, teasing, insulting and physical assault.
If the bullying happens at school, club or group it’s best to speak to a member of staff first to try to resolve the problems. If bullying involves a crime, then you can tell the police.
Bullying in school
If your child is being bullied at school speak to the school as soon as possible. Schools are responsible for investigating your concerns.
How a school deals with bullying will depend on how serious the bullying is and the circumstances. All state schools have a behaviour policy, usually published on their website.
A school’s behaviour policy will tell you:
- what behaviour the school expects of its pupils
- disciplinary action and procedures
You may want to look at your school’s behaviour policy so you can refer to it when you speak to them.
If you have raised concerns with your child’s school and you don’t feel the issues are resolved, ask the school for their complaints procedure.
If you’ve followed the complaints procedure, or you think a child is still at risk, you can ask the Department for Education to consider your complaint.
Bullying outside of school
If your child is being bullied at a club, group or leisure activity, speak to a member of staff to try to resolve the situation.
Headteachers at state schools have the legal power to make sure pupils behave outside the school premises. If you see bullying happening where off the school premises, for example on public transport or in a town centre, tell that pupil’s school or headteacher.
Getting advice on bullying
These organisations provide free help and advice for parent worries about bullying.
The National Bullying helpline
The National Bullying helpline offers advice to anyone experiencing bullying. They also talk to worried parents every day about their children and how to stop a bullying problem at school or online.
Family Lives offers a confidential and free helpline service for families. They provide emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life.
Kidscape is an anti-bullying charity that runs assertiveness training courses for young people who've been bullied. There's extensive information for parents and carers on its website.
The Bullying UK website, which is part of Family Lives, has a dedicated area for parents.
The NSPCC website has information for parents on bullying and cyberbullying.