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Silhouette of a girl being bullied

Headteachers and governing bodies must, by law, have a policy to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.

Challenging bullying effectively will improve the safety and happiness of learners, show that the school cares and make clear to bullies that such behaviour is unacceptable.

It has been shown that schools with a community focus can be successful in changing the culture of a community and have a positive effect on bullying both inside and outside the school gates.

Tackling bullying together

We are all aware that bullying takes places in all schools to some degree. Unfortunately there will always be a small number of young people who wish to victimise or bully another individual, for whatever reason.

There are many definitions of bullying, but most consider it to be:

  • deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
  • repeated often over a period of time (while recognising that even a one-off incident can leave a learner traumatised and nervous of future recurrence)
  • difficult for victims to defend themselves against.

Bullying can take many forms, but the three main types are:

  • physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings, sexual harassment or aggression
  • verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks
  • indirect – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending malicious e-mails or text messages on mobile phones.

Working with parents

Parental support is often the key to success or failure in anti-bullying initiatives. Useful approaches include:

  • regular consultation and communication
  • providing information about the nature and effects of bullying
  • advising parents of possible consequences of their children bringing valuable items to school, a 
  • putting on a drama to which parents are invited.

Read Respecting Others: Anti Bullying Guidance for information and advice. Additional supporting information, including updates on Anti-bullying Week, can be found on the Learning Wales website.