Norfolk Children’s Services believes that every child deserves to learn in a safe environment, free from harassment and bullying.
Bullying is something we all need to take very seriously. It is a deliberately hurtful act, which is repeated often over a period of time. It causes pain and distress to the victim, and is an abuse of power where the bully thinks he or she is in control and the victim feels powerless.
Everyone – staff, pupils, parents/carers and members of the community – has a role to play to stop bullying.
Bullying can range from physical violence to verbal abuse and being cut out of social groups. It also includes abusive texts, emails or nasty notes put on social networking sites (such as Facebook) and websites (known as cyber bullying). Bullying is not a one off incident such as a fight or when two equals have the odd fight or quarrel.
Being a bully, or being bullied, can happen to anyone and can have long-term effects.
Bullying is often secretive and hidden and staff may not always be aware of it. If you think your child is being bullied it is important to talk to the staff in that setting as soon as possible. Schools and settings are keen to address bullying matters swiftly and take steps with you to sort it out.
Bullying can take many forms but it usually includes the following types of behaviour:
Physical – hitting, kicking, pinching, punching, scratching, spitting or any other form of physical attack. Damage to or taking someone else’s belongings may also constitute as physical bullying. This form of bullying is more common amongst boys.
Verbal – name calling, insulting, making racist, sexist or homophobic jokes, remarks or teasing, using sexually suggestive or abusive language, offensive remarks. This form of bullying accounts for about 75% of all bullying.
Indirect or ‘Behind your back’ – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending abusive mail, and email and text messages (cyber bullying). This form of bullying is more common amongst girls.
Cyber– bullying using any form of technology. This includes the following:
- IMS (Instant Messaging Services)
- Chat rooms and Message Boards
- Social network sites
- Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
- Gaming sites, consoles and virtual world
Bullying can happen anywhere: in school, in the home and in the community. At school this could be in the playground, corridors and anywhere where there is no immediate adult supervision. Children can also be bullied to and from school, on the school bus and even in their own home via technology (known as cyber bullying – see What are the different types of bullying? above).
Anyone can be bullied and a child may be a target of bullying and a bully at the same time. There are no natural targets (the preferred word to victims). Some children are bullied for no obvious reason, while others are bullied because they are different in some way. For example, they may have special educational needs or come from a different cultural background.
Bullies often choose people who react to their comments or actions. They know that most of us react to comments about the way we look or our families (usually our mum) so these are the comments they are most likely to use. In Norfolk we are keen to teach children the assertiveness skills to deal with bullying and many schools have trained in these methods (Kidscape ZAP assertiveness skills).
To teach your child assertive responses to name calling, including use of body language, the Broken Record technique, Fogging and Creative Responses, go to Advice for children and young people to help them deal with bullying.
Any of the following behaviour might mean that your child is being bullied:
- Changing their normal route to school
- Reluctant to go to school or regularly complaining of feeling ill each morning
- Returning home with unexplained scratches and bruises, or with damaged books and belongings
- Being unusually hungry when getting home from school, although they have been given packed lunch/dinner money
- Beginning to do poorly in school work for unexplained reasons
- Asking for unusual amounts of money or beginning to steal
- Closing down their computer when you walk in their room
- Changes in emotional state, such as crying, aggression, becoming withdrawn
- Refusing to say what’s wrong
- Starting to bully others
- Avoiding certain activities, for example, where pupils from school are involved
These are only examples and there could be other reasons for these changes. Remember, you know your own child and you will know when something major has changed in their behaviour. If you are worried that something is wrong, ask them directly about it, including asking them whether they think they are being bullied.
Bullying is meant to hurt and can do so both physically and emotionally. It can have a long-term effect on children’s educational, emotional and social development, which sometimes lasts into adult life.
Some children may refuse to go to school and/or become ill, while others may become socially isolated and lonely. Schoolwork can suffer. Over a period of time, their self-esteem can be affected and a few children may become depressed or, in extreme cases, even attempt suicide.
Children can also be affected if they witness bullying, as they may feel guilty for not protecting the target and too afraid of the bully to intervene. Research in Canada found that bullying is most likely to stop when other children intervene. Encourage your child to consider doing at least one of the following actions if they witness bullying:
- Tell an adult
- Tell an older child
- Encourage the child to tell someone
- Show your disapproval to the bully
- Walk away and ignore the bullying
- Tell the bully to stop if it is safe to do so
- Go and get a group of mates to help you stop the bullying
- Form a friendship group for the person being bullied to make sure they are not isolated
There are particular times when your child experiences change in school routines that may leave them feeling vulnerable for a while and fearful of being bullied. These changes could include:
- Changing schools
- Moving sets
- Starting a new subject
- Changing classrooms
- Changing class teacher
- Changing lunchtime arrangements
- Changing travel arrangements
While some of these changes may seem quite minor to adults, they do bring about changes in friendships for children, which could affect their behaviour and that of others. Try to be supportive of your child during these times and encourage them to talk to you about how they feel about this.
Children may find it helpful to know that it is natural for them to be fearful of new situations, but it is unlikely that they will be bullied at these times.
- Take an active interest in your child’s school life and encourage them to develop friendships with others
- Children are influenced by the way their families behave, so try to set a good example through your own behaviour and encourage other family members to do the same
- Be alert to changes in your child’s behaviour, which may indicate that your child is being bullied or is bullying others
- Discuss your concerns with your child and contact the school (see How to recognise the signs of bullying)
We don't have the power to resolve bullying matters within schools. Responsibility for discipline rests with the headteachers and governors. Only the headteacher and school’s governing body can investigate complaints about the internal running and organisation of the school. Complaints therefore need to follow the school’s complaints procedure. Visit Complaints about schools for more information.
Schools have a duty of care to prevent bullying happening on their premises. Taking action for bullying beyond the school gates, which clearly involves pupils from the same school, is at the headteacher’s discretion (Education Act 2006). Most schools will want to know about this and are likely to follow it up. In some cases, the police may be willing to help if you are concerned about your child being bullied outside of school.
All schools must have an anti-bullying policy explaining how it deals with bullying incidents and how it promotes acceptable standards of behaviour. You can get a copy from your child’s school.
Preventing bullying and dealing with it effectively needs staff, pupils and parents to work closely together. Everybody has a role to play and, as parents, you need to be clear about how you can help your child and the school deal with bullying.
Good communication between everyone is essential.
Step one – talk to your child
- Listen – let them tell their story in their own way. Ask what they want to happen next. Find out how they are feeling and take seriously any threats of running away or suicide.
- Reassure them that telling you was the right thing to do.
- Stay calm – try not to overreact in front of your child, however angry you may feel. Try not to rush in and demand to see the headteacher/the bully/bully’s parents as it might be the very response your child was dreading. It could also stop them from saying more, which could make the situation worse. It is important to recognise that the school may be unaware of the situation as bullying is often secretive and hidden.
- Agree what you will do and ensure your child is clear what the next steps are. Keep them involved throughout.
- Keep a record – make a note of what your child says so you are clear about the details of the bullying, for example, who was involved, where and when it happened and how often. This evidence is vital when the bullies are being dealt with. ChildLine has a bullying diary that can be used for this purpose; a copy of this diary is at the end of this section.
- Maintain your child’s self-confidence by giving them opportunities to feel good about themselves and reminding them that you love them.
Step two – talk to the school
- Work together with the school to support your child. Make an appointment with your child’s class teacher to discuss what has happened and be as specific with details as possible. In secondary schools this may be the form tutor, head of year or head of house.
- Talk calmly and reasonably to the school about the problem. Remember that they may not be aware of the situation. Good communication is vital to find a solution. Agree on what to do, keep a record and make sure you explain to your child what is happening.
- Boost your child’s self-confidence and advise your child to be assertive rather than aggressive. Encourage them to tell adults in school if the bullying carries on.
- Avoid approaching another child or parent yourself and discourage bullying behaviour at home or elsewhere.
What happens will depend on individual circumstances and the procedures set out in the school’s anti-bullying policy.
It is reasonable for you to expect the school to:
- Give you a copy of their anti-bullying policy which sets out how the school deals with bullying
- Give you a copy of the schools complaints procedure
- Take your concerns seriously
- Provide a safe learning environment where your child can achieve their potential
- Agree with you and your child about what they are doing to address the problem. If you think it may cause problems for your child and make the situation worse – say so
- Invest time and resources to deal with the problem
- Keep you fully informed of what action has been taken
Bullying is not always easy to solve and there is no single answer to every problem. Many schools are trying to develop a range of methods to tackle bullying, which do not just involve punishing the bully.
You need to remember that schools are not allowed to disclose all the details of actions they may take against other pupils.
If the bullying continues and you are unhappy with how the school is dealing with the matter, you should:
- Make an appointment with the headteacher or a member of the senior management team to discuss your concerns and the actions the school has taken so far
- Ask to see a copy of their anti-bullying policy and discuss whether reasonable measures are being taken to address the problem.
- Ask them to make a record of the meeting and make sure you get a copy
It is always best to try and sort things out with the school as responsibility for discipline rests with the headteacher and governors.
If you do not feel the problem is being addressed, you may wish to follow the school complaints procedure. The school will give you a copy if you ask for it.
You need to follow the steps in the procedure in the order suggested.
Whilst schools do have a ‘duty of care’ to protect children from bullying within their grounds, the law is not clear about school responsibility beyond the school gates. Most schools will want to know about such incidents and want to support you, but it is unclear to what extent the school must take action to stop the bullying. It is at the headteacher’s discretion whether they follow up incidents involving pupils from their school which occur outside the school gates (Education and Inspections Act, 2006).
The DfES ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ guidance suggests that schools can do the following and it may be worth parents and carers discussing this with their schools:
- Talk to the Police about problems on local streets (if necessary seek police presence at trouble spots)
- Talk to the headteacher of another school whose pupils are involved in the bullying
- Map safe routes to schools and tell pupils about them
- Talk to pupils about how to avoid or handle bullying outside the school premises
Schools have responsibility for bullying on school contract buses, but not public buses. For the latter this is at the discretion of the school. Parents can ask a school to talk to the transport company about bullying on buses or trains.
If a school declines to become involved in serious incidents parents can contact the Police for advice on 0845 456 4567.
It is not uncommon for children to sometimes be nasty to each other and some do get involved in bullying.
If you are told that your child is bullying and upsetting other children, you have just as important a role to play as the school in helping them to stop this behaviour.
If you find out your child has been bullying:
- Don’t panic
- Find out from the school and your child exactly what has been going on – this will give you a clearer picture of the problem
- Ask your child if there is a reason for their behaviour. It is worth bearing in mind that children can act out their aggressive feelings if something is troubling them or they are going through a difficult time either at home or at school
- Explain that bullying and making others unhappy is unacceptable. Your child needs to get a clear message from you that you disapprove of their behaviour
- Discuss with your child and school staff different ways of behaving and mixing with other children
- Children are influenced by the way their families behave, so try to set a good example through your own behaviour and encourage other family members to do the same
- Give praise and encouragement when your child is being kind to other people and try to create opportunities for them to do something well. By making life better for themselves they may not need to pick on others
If the matter is not dealt with and your child continues to bully, it could lead to them getting into trouble with the school and other authorities later on.
All parents have access to an Attendance Improvement Officer for help and advice on issues concerning attendance. They can be contacted through your child’s school.
Your GP can offer direct help and advice. He or she can also refer to more specialist services with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). This could be with a Primary Mental Health Worker (PMHW) in one of the Norfolk Family Solutions teams, a child psychologist or at a more specialist level, eg a specialist nurse.
- In Norwich, South and North Norfolk, this would be at the Bethel Child and Family Centre in Norwich (Tel. 01603 421950).
- In the King’s Lynn area at Thurlow House (Tel. 01553 815161)
- In the Yarmouth area at the Silverwood Clinic (Tel. 01493 337836) in Great Yarmouth.
Although there is usually a waiting list, if your child is referred to CAMHS, a decision will quickly be taken about how urgently your child needs to be seen, and by which professional, based on information supplied by yourself as a parent and by the GP. If you are very worried about your child’s behaviour, ring the nearest CAMHS Service to you and ask if you can discuss with the Duty Officer.
Discuss the matter with your child’s school. Most schools will also have a school nurse, also known as a school health advisor. You can ask to speak to that person. He/she may be able to offer some specialist advice, or refer to CAMHS directly.
Cyberbullying is the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else. It differs from other forms of bullying as one incident can be classed as bullying (the usual definition for face to face bullying is that it has to happen more than once). There also is not necessarily a power imbalance and some research evidence suggests that many children, who are bullied face to face in school, may use cyber bullying as a way of getting back to those who have bullied them. This means that sometimes the profile of the bully and target are different to face to face bullying.
Being aware of potential difficulties and trying to address these as a parent may help to prevent your child being cyberbullied.
Be aware of what cyberbullying is and how it can happen. If you feel confused about how to advise your child on cyberbullying Childnet offers information on a free ‘Know it all’ DVD that can help inform you about the internet and keeping your child safe. Download a free booklet that accompanies the DVD. Childnet also offers further information and resources, which you can print off for your child. For a list of more useful websites, scroll to the bottom of this page.
Encourage positive use of technology by helping your child to use it to support learning, socialise with peers and explore the wider world. Discuss and promote ‘netiquette’ – responsible online behaviour – and reward your child for this. Tell them this means:
- Respect others online – treat them how you would want to be treated
- Only post or write things online and in text messages that you’d be happy for anyone to see (Think before you send!)
- Use appropriate language when chatting or playing games online
- Pay close attention to a website’s terms and conditions and make sure you’re old enough to be using a site or online service.
With your children, explore the online technologies and websites that they like to use.
Support your child in making responsible decisions on the internet and when using a mobile phone – make sure they are aware of the types of photos and other content that are appropriate to post online (eg no photos in a school blazer or sports uniform).
Be aware that your child could also be involved in cyberbullying. Be alert to changes in your child’s behaviour – especially after using the internet or their mobile phone. Discuss the emotional impact of bullying on another person.
- Make sure they stick to moderated chat rooms
- Encourage your children to keep passwords safe. Tell them to ‘Treat your password like your toothbrush – don’t share it with anyone!’
- Encourage them to be careful about who they give their phone number and email address to and to never leave their mobile lying around
Agree on family rules and procedures about what to do if someone is being cyberbullied such as saving the message or text as evidence and telling a trusted adult. Tell them the bullying usually stops when they tell other people about it.
Responding to cyberbullying
When a child is the target of cyberbullying, they can feel alone and misunderstood. It is therefore vital that, as a parent or carer, you know how to support your child if they are caught up in cyberbullying.
- Support and encourage your child if they tell you they’ve been cyberbullied – reassure them that it’s not their fault and that they’ve made the right choice by reporting it to you. Tell them that bullying is not acceptable and inform them of what you will do next by following the tips below.
- Abusive e-mails or text messages will usually stop if there is no response to them. Make sure your child does not retaliate or reply to cyberbullying messages of any kind no matter how abusive. If they continue help your child to save the evidence of cyberbullying. Use online tools or the ‘print screen’ button on your computer and don’t delete text messages on a mobile phone. The service providers should have a number that you can ring to report abusive messaging. Evidence can be shared with your school and if necessary, the Police.
- If the cyberbullying is on a school or community website report it immediately to school staff.
- If you need to, you can help your child to change their contact details (email, online username, mobile phone number) to prevent further bullying. Denying them access to the technology is not the answer.
- Use the security tools on your family’s computer or websites or on your child’s mobile phone.
- If the bullying or abuse starts in a chat room, encourage your children to leave immediately and tell you – you can then contact the moderator or site manager.
- Report cyberbullying. You can report the incident to your child’s school, the website or service provider, and in serious cases the police.
Part of this is taken from ‘Cyberbullying: advice for parents and carers’ Anti-Bullying Alliance pack for schools 2009
Useful websites for parents/carers and their children
- Childnet – a range of resources on technology for children and young people, their families and teachers (www.childnet-int.org)
- CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) – a website that informs parents and adults on how to protect children online. There are a range of useful resources including films. Visit CEOP Centre’s online safety site at www.thinkuknow.co.uk for advice and tips for children, adults and professionals of all ages.
- Chatdanger – a website that informs about potential dangers online, including bullying, and advice on how to stay safe while chatting (www.chatdanger.com)
- ParentFurther – useful information for parents, teachers and children on cyberbullying and how to tackle it.
- Bullying UK – practical help on all aspects of cyberbullying for pupils and parents. User friendly and regularly updated site (www.bullying.co.uk)
- Kidsmart –provides resources including lesson plans, leaflets, posters and games (www.kidsmart.org.uk)
Within Norfolk County Council further information and help are available from:
Your school’s School Support Team - ask your child’s headteacher for their contact details.
Children’s Services Race Equality Officer
Tel: 01603 727890/1
Other useful local and national parent groups:
Parent Partnership Service – for parents/carers of children with special educational needs
Tel: 01603 704070
Norwich Parent Resource Centre – advice for parents of 5 – 13 year olds in the Norwich area
Tel: 01603 747471
Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council (NNREC)
Tel: 01603 611644
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) – free advice and help for parents on all school matters
Tel: 0808 800 5793
Anti Bullying Alliance – key information on where to get help for children, young people, their families and professionals
The Children’s Legal Centre National Education Law and Advisory Unit – free education law advice and assistance
Tel: 08088 020 008 for advice on Child Law and 0845 3454345 for community advice
Kidscape Hotline - advice and information for parents of bullied children
Tel: 08451 205 204
Parentline Plus (now Family Lives) - free helpline offering support for anyone parenting a child
Tel: 0808 800 2222
ChildLine - free national helpline for children and young people. The call will not appear on your bill.
Tel: 0800 1111
Jenny Alexander: When your child is bullied – practical and easy to follow advice. Simon and Schuster, 2006. ISBN 1-4165 2235-2
Michelle Elliott: 101 Ways to deal with bullying – a guide for parents. Hodder and Stoughton, 1997
Sarah Lawson: Helping children cope with bullying. Sheldon Press, 1994
Gael Lindenfield: Confident Children: A parents guide to helping children feel good. Thorsens, 1994
William Voors: The Parents Book About Bullying: Changing the Course of Your Child's Life (Paperback - 15 Sep 2000)
Barbara Coloroso: The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander: From Preschool to Secondary School - How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence (Paperback - 23 Sep 2005)
Evelyn M. Field: Bully Blocking: Six Secrets to Help Children Deal with Teasing and Bullying (Paperback - 15 May 2007)
Sheila Munro: Overcome Bullying for Parents (How to Help Your Child) (Paperback - 29 May 1997)
Alison and the Bully Monsters by Jac Jones, paperback, Pont Books (2000)
Alison Little is scared. Of the dog next door, of the boys down the road, of the bigger girls - of her own shadow, you might say! This is the story of courage and triumph.
ISBN 13: 9781859027523 | ISBN 10: 1859027520
Don't be a Bully, Billy! By Phil Roxbee Cox, hardback, Usborne (2008)
This is a new hardback edition of the popular title from the "Cautionary Tales" series, which help young children to understand and discuss key moral issues. Billy just won't stop bullying but one day he picks on the wrong school kid and very quickly learns his lesson. Repetitive phrases and rhythmic text encourage children to participate in the story. This title is amusingly illustrated by Jan McCafferty.
ISBN 13: 9780746096345 | ISBN 10: 0746096348
Stop Picking on Me: A First Look at Bullying by Pat Thomas Hachette Children (2000)
This approachable picture book explores the difficult issue of bullying in reassuringly simple terms. The fears, worries and questions surrounding this upsetting experience are made accessible to young children. Written by psychotherapist and counsellor Pat Thomas, these superb information books promote interaction between children, parents and teachers on personal, social and emotional issues.
ISBN 13: 9780750028875 | ISBN 10: 0750028874
Willy the Wimp by Anthony Browne
The hero of this children’s book is Willy. He is a very kind and thoughtful character and would not hurt a fly. The suburban gorillas call him Willy the Wimp. With a little bit of good luck Willy saw and wrote in to a body building advertisement. After a lot of very hard work with the body building programme, Willy changed himself dramatically. He is more than able to cope with the suburban gorillas and comes to the rescue of Millie.
Hugo and the Bully Frogs by Francesca Simon
Hugo is a little frog with a tiny croak whose life is made miserable by some big, bad bully frogs. The other animals suggest ways in which Hugo can defend himself, but he is just too timid. Then when bossy old Duck arrives, she soon hits on the answer.
Words Are Not For Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick, hardback, A & C Black (2009)
"Some words are loud and some are soft. Some are kind and some are not." Using simple, rhythmic words and colourful illustrations, this book helps little ones to choose words that are helpful, not hurtful. Features include rhythmic, repetitive text, friendly & ethnically diverse illustrations and humorous touches, plus a page of concise advice for parents/carers.
ISBN 13: 9781408115077 | ISBN 10: 1408115077
Roy the Eagle by Kate O, paperback, Loose Chippings (2009)
Roy the Eagle is teased for wearing glasses. Engagingly told in verse with colourful and forceful illustrations, it was an instant hit when trialled with Key Stage 1 children (ages 5-6), although it can be read to younger children out loud or read by older children on their own. A teacher at one primary school described the book as brilliant and one of the children said 'It is a story isn't it, because eagles don't wear glasses do they?' Another school has used the book to encourage a young girl who is refusing to wear her glasses. The teacher is very impressed and is looking for a cuddly toy eagle they can put glasses on! Children can follow Roy's adventures as he overcomes all kinds of obstacles to discover that the very things that make him different from his friends are what brings them closer together.
ISBN 13: 9780955421761 | ISBN 10: 0955421764
7 – 11 years
The Willow Street Kids: beat the bullies by M Elliot, Macmillan Children’s
The friends move to secondary school and run into bullies – one they knew from Primary school. Contains examples of bullying and how to stop it happening. Available from Kidscape at www.kidscape.org.uk
Buried Alive! by Jacqueline Wilson, Random House Children's Books (2009)
Tim’s quiet holiday in Wales, with his parents and his best friend Biscuits, unexpectedly becomes truly terribly adventurous. An encounter with two local bully-boys threatens to disrupt Tim and Biscuits’s fun but their friendship is also threatened by the arrival of Tim’s ebullient friend, Kelly. Tim tells the story.
Specially written for 9 – 13 year olds, this book faces the issues around bullying, prompts thinking about situation and experiences and offers support in finding appropriate ways of taking control.
paperback, Hachette Children's Books (2006)
Jenny Alexander's approach is to develop readers' psychological defences. Through an entertaining mix of exercises, quizzes and fictional scenarios, she combines common sense with simple cognitive therapy techniques, to build up children's self esteem. Her tone is humorous and upbeat, but always sensitive to the reader's feelings. This new, updated edition takes account of recent technologies such as texting, MSN and bluejacking, which are increasingly abused by bullies.
Wise Guides: bullying by M Elliot
- Support young people to have a voice
- Liaise with organisations and schools (parents)
- Provide information to families and other organisations on children with ASD
- Disseminate good practice, exemplar materials and guidance at Network Meetings
- Preventative work through the dissemination of SEAL
- To raise awareness of cyberbullying with schools to ensure children are adopting safe practices when using ICT for learning
- Request that the strategy is included on our intranet site ‘Linx’ for all clinicians to view questions around bullying to be asked at initial assessments. Paperwork to be altered to facilitate this
- Staff training on anti-bullying developments – to be explored through ‘safeguarding’ panels
- Information/advice in waiting area
- Ensure all young people accessing the Connexions service are aware of the anti-bullying information, support and guidance we can offer and actively promote the campaign via the Connexions centres
- Contribute to Anti Bullying week by incorporating new initiatives and ideas in to the planning strategy and participating in Anti Bullying week activities via the Connexions centres
- Produce a leaflet for young people making the transition in to FE or employment to educate them on how bullying translates in to post 16 environments and how to deal with it
- Explain to pupils how to stay safe on-line during our first contact with them at their induction
- Publicise and put into practice our ‘Anti-bullying’ policy across the Service
- Act swiftly when we are told of any cyberbullying incidents and monitor pupil forums to spot these
- Encourage all schools to sign up to achieve National Healthy School Status
- Ensure all participating schools have an up-to-date fully functioning policy in order to meet the criteria for Emotional Health and Well-being
- Provide ongoing support to schools to enable them to develop an anti-bullying culture
- Adopt the Norfolk County Council policy
- Include anti-bullying in our induction process
- Encourage the Provider trusts that we commission children’s services from to engage with the Norfolk Anti-Bullying strategy by including reference to it in relevant service specifications
- To actively engage with children and young people to determine the best way the Norfolk Constabulary can support them once a report of bullying has been made to us
- To ensure wherever possible that when a child or young person is the victim of a bullying incident that is reported to us we ensure that Norfolk Victim Support is alerted
- To ensure that where appropriate restorative approaches are considered as a method to reduce the harm caused to the victim and reduce the likelihood of a repeat by the person causing the harm
- Inform schools of the latest DCSF Guidance (i.e. Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools, Racist bullying, Homophobic bullying, Cyberbullying and SEN and Disability bullying) via School Support Team meetings or other meetings. Encourage schools to update their policies using the DCSF Guidance and use Anti-Bullying Policy checklist
- Provide advice, guidance and, where relevant, training to support those who are bullied and those who bully
- Provide guidance to parents/carers who complain to Customer Services, County Hall, of alleged bullying of their child
- Support young people to access the Central Area Youth Work project called ‘Youth Fix’ which provides tone to one support for young people
- Within all of the Central Area Youth Work Team’s projects we will ensure all of our youth work staff are equipped to challenge any bullying and/or oppressive behaviours
- Youth workers will support young people to respect each other by informally educating them and providing a safe space for young people to ‘hang out’ in and to explore coping strategies in
- Recruit parents/carers to attend the Norfolk Anti-Bullying Forum
- Support the Norfolk Anti-Bullying Forum to further consider what they want to know from parents and carers
- Support the further gathering of views of parents and carers to inform activity
- Ensure every school, who has a child with a moderate, severe or profound hearing loss on its roll, has a copy of the NDCS guidelines ‘Bullying and deaf children’
- Ensure the ‘Anti-bullying’ notice board is kept up-to-date in the office and all staff are alerted when new information is placed on it
- Acknowledge the findings from the Enlighten Peer Research Project and support the recommendations in the Action Plan, in particular points 20-23 relating to bullying
- Champion the Norfolk Anti-Bullying Strategy by actively promoting it in all schools with looked after children on roll and encourage them to have an anti-bullying policy and celebrate best practice
- Commission research through the newly formed Virtual School Council relating to anti-bullying strategies in Norfolk and how successful our looked after children feel these are. Use the VS Council to look for new ways of getting the message across to young people
- Will actively promote the Norfolk Anti-bullying strategy within the voluntary youth sector in Norfolk
- Will encourage voluntary sector groups to sign up to the strategy
- Include this in our Youthkit publication
- Communicate the Norfolk Anti-Bullying Strategy to partners
- Continue to have ‘anti-bullying’ as a scenario at Crucial Crew events
- Promote anti-bullying as part of our education delivery
- Continue to support anti-bullying initiatives as and when they occur
- Support and advise parents of children with SEN
- Send useful/helpful information.
- Refer to other agencies/helplines
- Regularly review the Cultural Services Safeguarding Children, Young Adults and Vulnerable Adults Policy, and the Library and Information Service “Making Libraries a Safe and Welcoming Place” Guidelines and update if necessary
- Contact all libraries to promote the National Anti-Bullying Alliance Campaign in November
- Promote the Anti-bullying strategy to our partner agencies
- Publicise the Anti-bullying strategy on our website
- Ensure that bullying remains a key part of the staying safe agenda
- Link to the Anti-bullying website from NGN website
- Include regular reminders about the Norfolk Anti-bullying strategy in NGN news
- As individual governors, ensure anti-bullying policies and procedures are embedded in our schools and ensure our governing bodies monitor and evaluate these
- In all areas of work with young people we will challenge any form of intimidatory behaviour
- Deliver anti-bullying presentations in Norfolk schools and anti-bullying week
- Participate and contribute to anti-bullying meetings/initiatives in Norfolk and with other agencies to implement them. Helping to ensure Norfolk children are able to staying safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution (4 every child matters outcome)
- All Council staff to be briefed on the issues of bullying and aims and objectives of the anti-bullying strategy
- Through the Safer Parks Initiative, neighbourhood wardens, parks and open spaces officers and other staff to be proactive in ensuring that the City’s parks and open spaces are a safe and bully free environment to play
- The Council’s neighbourhood’s staff that are most likely to come into contact with bullying and were it is observed be required to report it to the Neighbourhood Wardens or Safer Neighbourhood Teams for appropriate action. More serious occurrences will be reported through the Council’s safeguarding procedures
- Deliver the “Respectful Relationships” Programme in primary schools
- In terms of anti-bullying and work: raise awareness of the incidence and impact of domestic violence and the importance of understanding this
- In work with individual children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse, we help them to explore their feelings, build self-esteem and deal with anger and acceptable behaviours
- Continue to support Anti-Bullying Strategy (including Anti-Bullying week)
- Support and mediate parental complaints (the process)
- Continue to offer support to families of vulnerable groups of children and young people and to monitor numbers (to possibly identify whole school cluster issues)
- Draw up an anti-bullying policy
- Actively promote the Norfolk Anti-Bullying Strategy to our staff
- Ensure all our staff involved in play or leisure work with young people are trained and equipped to challenge bullying and/or oppressive behaviour
- Will ensure wherever possible that, when a child or young person is the victim of a bullying incident that is reported to us, we will alert Children’s Services
- Give presentation in schools to raise the awareness of bullying
- Support victims of bullying
- Support Norfolk Anti-bullying week and the anti-bullying forum
- Make teachers more aware
- Discuss some of resources with anti-bullying group
- Use the DVD for form
- Continue use of bullying box.
- Continue use of mentors for reporting/discussing problems with
- Update our anti-bullying strategy using school council and peer supporters
- Introduce SEAL across whole school
- Build upon the initial success of our peer support scheme
- Run annual anti-bullying month (January)
- Issue Anti-Bullying leaflet to parents
- Publish anti-bullying information as separate section on school website
- Provide a named person for children to go to
- Extend activities for anti-bullying week – each class present a ‘something’ for special assembly; whole school poster competition
- Revise anti-bullying policy with input from school council and definitions from each keystage included
- Peer mentoring
- Have a named Anti-Bullying Coordinator
- Involving children more - year round approach
- Review the school’s current Anti-bullying Policy in the light of new guidance
- Ensure that a student friendly version is available on the school’s intranet
- Develop the anti-bullying role of the peer support team
- Revised anti-bullying policy with school council
- Hold a parents forum to clarify definition of bullying and to educate parents on how to deal with problems associated with bullying, both in and out of school
- Continue to develop SEAL curriculum, to promote anti-bullying work within the school
- Get pupils to produce bullying hot spot maps for the school grounds and building
- ‘Train’ pupils in the use of ‘fogging’ and ‘I’ language
- Have special assemblies in anti-bullying week and review anti-bullying policy
- Produce business cards for all our pupils with advice on how to deal with bullying, posters around the school and a school website
- Support the introduction of a peer-mentoring scheme to help pupils that are being bullied and a telephone number through which pupils can report incidents of bullying
- Bookmarks which will be handed out by the library when pupils take out books
- Include discussions with our pupils as part of our ‘Safeguarding Children’ week
- Put forward our recently written Bullying Policy to staff and governors for consultation
- Set up a pupil nominated method of making staff aware of their ‘worrier’
- Produce a guidance booklet for parents, in consultation with them
- Update the leaflet produced for children by the School Council to include cyberbullying in all its forms
- Ensure cyberbullying is addressed and included in work on anti-bullying throughout the school
- Launch “Talk to Taylor” project to provide support for students who do not feel comfortable talking to staff
- Involve students in consultation process to update all of our anti-bullying policies
- Devise strategies to better educate parents on what consists of bullying and how they can help
- Provide information and training on cyberbullying for parents and families
- Develop a more consistent restorative approach throughout the school
- Review the impact our policy has had and adapt accordingly
- Develop anti-bullying signs for display around the school
- Introduce SEAL throughout the school
- Initiate a play leaders and playtime monitors programme
- A new web page detailing the support on offer from Peer Supporters with links to websites and anti-bullying strategies
- A leaflet will be given to all new students with information about Peer Support and the service they provide
- A new advertising campaign to promote anti-bullying
- Participate in anti-bullying week each November
- Standing item on staff meeting agenda
- Encourage children to tell a member of staff if they feel they are being bullied they think others are being bullied
- Introduced the SEAL curriculum
- Train Year 6 as playground buddies
- Ensure we review our anti-bullying policy annually
- Work in each class to look at definitions and what can be done
- Run a series of Assemblies on Bullying, to include the MENCAP ‘Don’t Stick it, Stop it’ short films (interactive)
- Further enhance the whole school ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to dealing with bullying. Empower all children with strategies
Talk about it
You should tell your parents, teachers and other adults that this is happening to you. Don’t feel ashamed, it’s not your fault. If you don’t think you’re being taken seriously, tell them how it makes you feel and ask them to help. They should help you resolve the conflict and help you let the bully know how you feel. The bully might be surprised at how bad they are making you feel.
Tell a friend what is happening
Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for the bully to pick on you if you have a friend with you for support.
Say ‘No’ really firmly, then turn and walk away
Don’t worry if people think you are running away. Remember, it is very hard for the bully to go on bullying someone who won’t stand still to listen.
Try not to show that you are upset or angry
Bullies love to get a reaction – it’s ‘fun’. Every time you get angry or upset they will do it more. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone. As someone said to us, ‘they can’t bully you if you don’t care’.
Don’t try to please the bully
You might think ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ The answer is probably nothing. Anyone can become a target. The important thing is not to try to change yourself to make the bullying stop. If they pick on your trainers and you get a new pair, they’ll probably find something else to pick on.
Show them you’re not bothered
There are a number of tactics for deflecting name calling. Bullies soon get bored if they can’t see you getting upset or angry. You could try some of these:
- Agree (in a ‘so what’ manner) – eg ‘Yes, I do like maths’, ‘Yeah, I smell’, ‘Yep, you’re right, I am an idiot’
- Disagree – eg ‘No, I’m not a grass’, ‘No, I didn’t give you a dirty look’, ‘No, I won’t give you my phone’
- Compliment yourself with an opposite – eg ‘No, I’m not stupid, I’m actually pretty smart’, ‘No, I’m not a weirdo, I’m just too cool for you to understand’, ‘I’m not a freak, I‘m unique’
- Agree, but – eg ‘Yes, I know I’m not cool but I am happy the way I am’, ‘Yes, I know I’ve been upset lately, but I’m working on it’, ‘Yeah, my trainers are rubbish, but I can’t afford anything else’
- Humour - ‘I’m not stylish enough to be gay’, ‘I’d love to be perfect like you but it’s just not happening is it?’, ‘I know I’m ugly, thank God for plastic surgery, right?’
- Broken record – eg I’d like my bag back please … I’d like my bag back please … I’d like my …’, ‘Can you leave me alone please … Can you leave me alone please … Can you …’, I’m not listening to you … I’m not listening to you …’
Try to think up funny or clever replies in advance
Make a joke of it. This might be difficult so write down the names you are being called and ask family and friends to help you think up some funny answers. Practice them at home until you feel confident enough to say them. Replies don’t have to be wonderfully brilliant or clever but it helps to have an answer ready. Practice saying them in the mirror at home. Using prepared replies works best if the bully is not too threatening and just needs to be put off.
If you can’t think of a clever answer or a ‘fogging’ answer, just shrug your shoulders and say ‘Whatever’, ‘Bothered?’, ‘Heard it all before’. Again, the bully can’t argue and may get bored.
Sometimes asking the bully to repeat what they said can put them off
Often bullies are not brave enough to repeat the remark exactly so they tone it down. If they repeat it, you will have made them do something they hadn’t planned on and this gives you some control of the situation. This works especially well for the nasty comments during lesson times!
Always tell an adult
If it happens at school, tell a teacher you trust. If it’s outside the school tell a parent or any other adult that you trust.
Don’t fight back if you can help it
Most bullies are bigger or stronger than you. If you fight back, you could make the situation worse, get hurt or be blamed for starting the trouble.
It’s not worth getting hurt to keep possessions or money
If you feel threatened, give the bullies what they want. Property can be replaced, you can’t.
Try to avoid being alone in the places where you know the bully is likely to pick on you
This might mean changing your route to school, avoiding parts of the playground, or only using common rooms or lavatories when other people are there. It’s not fair that you do this, but it might put the bully off.
Being left out
Try talking to one of the group
Usually you’ll know the one in the group who is feeling bad or is weaker/kinder than the others. Get him/her alone or phone them at home. Ask them why you are being left out; how they would feel if they were being treated as badly as you are; why they are joining in; and say that you know they’re not like that really – appeal to their good side.
In all cases
Keep a diary of what is happening
Write down the details of the incidents and your feelings. A written record of the bullying makes it easier to prove what has been going on.