All state schools (but not private schools) by law, must have a behaviour policy in place which includes measures to prevent bullying. Some schools will have a separate anti-bullying policy. There is no standardised policy across the UK that all schools must follow – it is decided upon by individual educational establishments so there can be a huge variation from school to school. The policy has to be made available to all staff, pupils and parents. It covers the behaviour and conduct of pupils before, after and during the school day.
UK schools must also follow and abide by the anti-discrimination law to prevent harassment and bullying within their school.
It is important to know that although bullying itself is not a crime and has no legal definition, some forms of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the police. These include: violence or assault, theft, harassment or intimidation (e.g. abusive or threatening calls, emails, letters or texts) and hate crimes. School staff can also report bullying to the police.
- In most circumstances, you should report any bullying to the school in the first instance
- Keep clear records of all contact with the school; phone calls, text messages, visits and meetings
- The school will deal with the situation in different ways depending upon the severity of the bullying. This could include; disciplinary measures, mediation, exclusion or restorative justice
- Any action must take account of any special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils have
Typical process of complaints:
Teacher > Senior Teacher (Head of Year/Department) > Assistant Head Teacher > Head Teacher > Board of Governors > Local Education Authority > OFSTED > Department for Education
If you are not satisfied with the school’s action:
- Raise the situation with the school governors
- Make a formal complaint to the Local Education Authority (LEA)
- Complain to OFSTED on 0300 123 1231 or [email protected]
If you believe that you child is being discriminated against, contact:
- Equality Advisory & Support Service (EASS): 0808 800 0082 (Text Phone 0808 800 0084) for help and advice.
Discrimination can include (but is not limited to); race, colour, nationality, religion, belief, disability, sexual identity, gender or sexual orientation.