What’s new

Nurture groups and parental engagement Tackling bullying in schools - part one Aggression at work: Managing yourself and others Managing difficult conversations The art of influence: Creating the best outcome Change management and conflict Managing anxiety at work Interpreting data for 2017 performance Evaluation article: Know your strengths Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Evaluation article: Actively promoting fundamental British values Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Evaluation article: Getting personal  with CPD Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Evaluation article: Parent View — an update Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Nurture groups and parental engagement

Nurture groups are a multi-dimensional group intervention with a whole-school focus, and running them successfully depends on a wide array of different factors. In this third and final article exploring…

Tackling bullying in schools - part one

Bullying is defined as: ‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’. This article looks at the…

Aggression at work: Managing yourself and others

Conflict management is a vital skill for managers. Schools have clear policies on managing aggression in the classroom and playground. In this article Louise Wingrove looks at dealing with it…

Managing difficult conversations

Some conversations are always going to be uncomfortable. In this article, Louise Wingrove looks at managing difficult subjects with care and confidence.

The art of influence: Creating the best outcome

Louise Wingrove looks at how being aware of your impact on others can help everybody get what they need.

Change management and conflict

Nazli Hussein looks at the causes of conflict and the best ways to deal with it, with the best outcomes for those involved.

Managing anxiety at work

With growing awareness about anxiety and the impact it can have on both pupils and members of staff, Louis Wingrove looks at some ways to tackle the problem in the…

Interpreting data for 2017 performance

Tony Powell looks at the three different ways that a school’s academic performance is evaluated.

Evaluation article: Know your strengths

Can you make inspection an enriching learning process that is actually good for your school? Heather Clements of Best Practice Network offers some advice. 

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation

In this article, Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectation in their schools. 

Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence

Tony Powell outlines a step-by-step approach to support schools in achieving the accolade of ‘outstanding’ as defined by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, gives a personal viewpoint of the benefits of bringing in the experts.

Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

Steve Burnage discusses engaging with good practice in the leadership of teaching and learning.

Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement

A high-performing leadership team is at the centre of any school improvement mission. But how do you go about creating an excellent SLT? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network asks…

Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

Adrian Kneeshaw of Carlton Bolling school gives advice on how to focus school spending on improvement planning.

Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school

Matt Bromley offers some advice on turning around an underperforming school in a short space of time while laying down the foundations for sustainable improvement.

Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing

With concerns about mental health rising, what can schools do to help their pupils? Suzanne O’Connell outlines the advice available from the National Children’s Bureau and how it might be…

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty

If you are struggling with a sense of uncertainty, be reassured: you are not alone. 2016 has been a year of upheaval, with the promise of big changes on the…

Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

Tony Powell provides guidance on how to use discussion with pupils as a tool for self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

Tony Powell looks at how to use the feedback from your inspection in school improvement planning.

Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty

How can an expanding multi-academy trust ensure that school improvement doesn’t become a casualty of change? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network looks at the issue and offers some guidance.

Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders

Adrian Kneeshaw looks at how leadership is important to the success of the school, and how to lead effectively.

Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend

In his second article on the headteacher and governor relationship, Tony Powell defines what is meant by a ‘critical friend’.

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations

Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectations in their schools.

Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem

Matt Bromley considers how schools can learn from exam performance data and build this into school improvement.

Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

With new safeguarding guidance released, it’s time to check your arrangements and update your staff.

Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model

This article outlines the Ofsted methodology for determining whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

Steve Burnage offers advice on motivating staff, getting the best from them and building effective teams.

Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND

Suzanne O’Connell looks at a report on baseline assessment in primary schools and it’s affect on identifying children with SEND.

Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement

What do you need to do to make performance management a watertight process that makes a real contribution to school improvement? Keith Wright has some suggestions.

Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust

Tony Stephens, of the Co-operative Academies Trust, looks at what is the best type of multi-academy trust for a school to join or establish.

Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling, gives a personal take on renewing a failing governing body having designed and built one from scratch.

Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

David Birch explains how capturing the views of students can sharpen school self-evaluation and have a positive impact on your school improvement strategies.

Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser?

Frank Norris offers advice on how to choose the most appropriate school improvement partner to work with your school.

Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal

David Birch outlines best practice in the management of the headteacher appraisal process and offers advice for headteachers on how to make the most of appraisal in their own professional development.

Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder

Professional development is a crucial factor in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes, but it could work harder, says Keith Wright.

Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance

Tony Powell looks at how the Framework for governance can be used to clarify the strategic direction of your school.

Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard

There is a new inspection dashboard to go with Ofsted's new Common inspection framework. Tony Powell explains how it can be used.

Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able

Ofsted reports are making it clear. The DfE wants to see secondary schools challenging their most able students. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell summarises the criticisms and recommendations from ‘The…

Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Tony Powell looks at the new key area ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools?

The mental health of children and young people is at the top of the agenda at the moment. Increased anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders are bringing some schools to crisis…

Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

Tony Powell interprets government guidance on assessment to help schools support self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: Actively promoting fundamental British values

Tony Powell advises on how schools can demonstrate that they are actively promoting fundamental British values.

Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement

John Viner looks at research into boys’ underachievement and reviews some successful strategies.

Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

Tony Powell looks at the revised national standards for headteachers and how they should be used by schools.

Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview

Tony Powell discusses how to prepare governors in advance for an inspection interview.

Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation

John Viner explores ways to develop a culture of continual improvement in teaching through lesson observation.

Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development

How can schools translate CPD into genuine improvement for staff? Keith Wright asked leaders to share their views, and discovered an emerging consensus about which approaches work best.

Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able

Tony Powell looks at how to identify the most able pupils, and the key factors that enable the brightest pupils to achieve.

Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability

Tony Powell looks at how the teachers’ standards can be used to evaluate performance and support improvement.

Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom

Since January 2014 there has been increased emphasis on the behaviour of pupils. In this article, Jim Donnelly offers advice on managing behaviour around the school.

Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

David Birch offers advice on effective classroom management and argues that effective practice relies on a combination of the consistent application of agreed policy and the development of awareness and…

Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance, which means that schools and colleges (including academies and free schools) must have regard to it. It contains what schools should do and what they must…

Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement

School improvement is a complex recipe that takes time to perfect. Keith Wright looks at some of the key barriers to school improvement and suggests strategies and systems to overcome…

Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership

Louise Wingrove gives practical advice on how to become a leader your team will want to follow.

Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision

Given that whole-school literacy is central to raising standards of achievement in schools and that it is a key focus for Ofsted, David Birch outlines some of the actions schools…

Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence

Teachers are good at gathering evidence of pupil progress, but many find it difficult to do the same with regard to their own professional development.  Keith Wright looks at the…

Evaluation article: Getting personal with CPD

Less than a fifth of teachers in England’s schools think their continuing profession development (CPD) is any good, according to a recent survey. One of the keys to unlocking the…

Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process

Performance appraisal is crucial to school improvement, but many schools are still without a rigorous and transparent way of carrying it out, says Keith Wright. Here, he analyses the challenges…

Evaluation article: Parent View — an update

Jenny Townsend looks at the importance of Parent View in achieving an outstanding rating in inspection, and how comments from parents are used by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach

Jenny Townsend explores how parental engagement can contribute to school improvement and in particular the role this can play in raising pupil achievement levels.

Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Ofsted’s Parent View means that parents have a direct influence on the decision to inspect. Jenny Townsend examines why this matters to schools.

Tackling bullying in schools - part one

Published: Thursday, 22 March 2018

Bullying is defined as: ‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’. This article looks at the different types of bullying.

Summary

  • Bullying targets different groups and individuals, including on the following grounds: race, religion or culture; SEND; relating to health conditions; children who are young carers; looked after children; sexual or sexist bullying; cyberbully.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility in school to help prevent and tackle bullying.
  • All staff should be aware of the signs of bullying and should intervene if they suspect bullying is taking place.

Bullying can include:

  • name calling
  • malicious gossip
  • teasing
  • intimidation
  • ostracising or ‘leaving someone out’
  • theft
  • damaging someone’s property
  • violence and assault
  • jostling, pinching and kicking
  • extortion.

It is difficult for victims to defend themselves against it. It is important that all types and methods of bullying are tackled.

Different types of bullying

Bullying targets different groups and individuals and includes the following.

Bullying related to race, religion or culture

Racist bullying has much in common with other types of bullying but it is also quite distinct in that it targets the individual’s family and culture as well as their own personal characteristics. Political events and the political climate can have a major effect upon the proportion of bullying associated with race or faith.

This form of bullying can seem to be sanctioned by a wider group of people and the victim might feel that everyone within this group holds the same views.

Bullying related to special education needs and disabilities

Research shows that children and young people with SEN and disabilities are more at risk of being bullied than their peers. They might also find it more difficult to report the bullying and lack the confidence or peer group support to be able to do so. In some cases, children may not even recognise that they are being bullied and may be less aware of the structures to deal with it when they are.

Bullying related to appearance or health conditions

Those with health or visible medical conditions may be more likely than their peers to become targets for bullies.

Bullying related to sexual orientation

Homophobic bullying is possibly the form of bullying least likely to be self-reported. The pupil may not want to report bullying as it can also mean disclosing their sexuality. Homophobic language can be common in schools but does need challenging as otherwise pupils can think that homophobic bullying is acceptable.

Bullying of young carers or looked-after children

Children may be vulnerable to bullying because of their home circumstances. It might be that they are the carer for a relative or that they are living with foster carers. Their different life style and commitments can make them stand out from other children and can add to the difficulties which their home circumstances can already present.

Sexist or sexual bullying

This can affect both genders. It often includes name-calling, comments and overt looks. There may be incidents of uninvited touching, innuendos and propositions and pornographic imagery or graffiti may be used. In some cases, this kind of bullying can be treated more lightly by peers who may regard it as socially acceptable. It can, however, have a profound affect on individuals.

Cyberbullying

This is a method of bullying rather than a type of bullying. It can be defined as the use of ICT, particularly mobile phones and the internet, to deliberately upset someone.

Bullying can be linked to other differences that pupils exhibit. For example, in some contexts, pupils who are considered to have more or less money than others might be bullied. Children and young people who are particularly able might find themselves bullied just as much as those who are less able.

What your role might be

Your role will be defined as part of the school’s anti-bullying policy. However, it is everyone’s responsibility in school to help prevent and tackle bullying. Depending upon your job description within the school, it is likely that you will be expected to:

  • be alert to signs of bullying
  • helps support and create an ethos where bullying is less likely to occur
  • recognise when there are signs of bullying taking place
  • intervene where you suspect bullying is taking place, either through referring the behaviour to a more senior member of staff or addressing the issue with the pupils concerned (which strategy you adopt will depends upon your role in the school)
  • record any incidents that you have witnessed and ensure that others within the school are aware of what has happened and that plans are in place to address it
  • apply sanctions (according to your role in the school).

You should follow the school’s system of recording bullying incidents. It should include opportunity for you to note:

  • what happened and how often
  • who was involved and who was a witness
  • where it happened
  • what has been done already.

How we might know that bullying is taking place

Most, if not all organisations, play host to some form of bullying. It may be low level, for example through the use of unkind words or phrases or leaving someone out. Low-level bullying can be particularly difficult to pick up and can go on for a lengthy period of time.

The fact that it might be drawn out can mean that it is particularly distressing for those experiencing it.

It is important that staff are aware of the signs of bullying and where it might be likely to take place. It is up to the whole school community to address it and spread the message that bullying, in whatever form, is not acceptable.

Signs of bullying

Early signs that a child is being bullied could be:

  • withdrawn behaviour
  • deterioration in work
  • erratic attendance or spurious illness
  • persistently arriving late at school
  • general unhappiness or anxiety
  • clingy behaviour around adults.

Physical symptoms could include headaches, stomach aches, fainting, fits, vomiting or hyperventilation. Victims can become depressed and this can continue into their adult lives. It can lead in the worst case to suicidal thoughts.

Pupils can be very reluctant to discuss bullying with a member of staff, particularly if it is homophobic bullying. Suspected bullying should never be ignored and staff should seek advice from a member of the school leadership team or their line manager if they suspect that bullying is taking place but are unsure what to do next.

High-risk areas

There are high-risk areas where bullying is particularly likely to take place. These include:

  • toilet areas
  • the playground, in particular any areas that are a little more difficult to see by supervising adults
  • corridors.

If you are on duty you should be particularly vigilant around these areas. There is also the likelihood that there will be areas outside of school that are vulnerable including:

  • on the way to and from school
  • on board vehicles used for school transport.

Pupils are the most knowledgeable individuals in relation to what goes on in a school. It is important to keep lines of communication open and provide opportunity for pupils to put forward their suggestions for how bullying might be addressed and where they think risk factors exist.

Toolkit

About the author

Dr Suzanne O’Connell was headteacher of a junior school in Warwickshire for eleven years. During her teaching career she has worked in primary and middle schools in Coventry, Bradford and Leeds. She now works as a freelance education writer and editor. Suzanne can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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