Free article: Improving teacher recruitment and retention: part 1 Free article: Get ready to win strategic school improvement funding Reputation management for schools Experience shared: Effective mentoring 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 Free article: Know your strengths Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Free article: HR and the successful school: A case study Free article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Free article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Free article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Free article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Free article: Transforming a failing school Free article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Free article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Free article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Free article: Managing uncertainty Free article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Free article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Free article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Free article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Free article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Free article: The governing body as a critical friend Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Free article: The exam post-mortem Free article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Free article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Free article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Free article: Baseline assessment and SEND Free article: Deconstructing the link between SEND and poverty Free article: Making performance management count in school improvement Free article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Free article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Free article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Free article: Headteachers’ appraisal Free article: Making CPD work harder Free article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Free article: The government's Prevent guidance Free article: Improving provision for the most able Free article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Free article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Free article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Free article: Actively promoting fundamental British values Free article: Raising boys’ achievement Free article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Free article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Free article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Free article: Challenging 
the most able Free article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Free article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Free article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Free article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Free article: Four steps to school improvement Free article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Free article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Free article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Free article: Getting personal  with CPD Free article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Free article: Parent View — an update Free article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Free article: Effective parental engagement

Free article: Improving teacher recruitment and retention: part 1

In the first part of a two-part article, Matt Bromley looks at ways to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

Free article: Get ready to win strategic school improvement funding

How do you make a successful bid for a slice of the government’s Strategic School Improvement Fund? Best Practice Network’s Liam Donnison asks two school leaders who have done so…

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PLMR’s Sam Dalton talks about how schools can manage reputational impact when a crisis hits.

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Steve Burnage explores the professional development potential of a productive and focused mentoring relationship from the perspective of the mentor.

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…

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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…

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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.

Free 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. 

Free 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.

Free 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.

Free article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

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

Free article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

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

Free 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…

Free article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

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

Free 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.

Free 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.

Free 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…

Free 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.

Free 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…

Free article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

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

Free 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.

Free article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

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

Free 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.

Free 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.

Free 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’.

Free 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.

Free article: The exam post-mortem

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

Free article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

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

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

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Free article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

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Free 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.

Free article: Deconstructing the link between SEND and poverty

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Free article: Making performance management count in school improvement

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

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Free article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

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

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Free article: Headteachers’ appraisal

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Free article: Making CPD work harder

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Free 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.

Free article: The government's Prevent guidance

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Free article: Improving provision for the most able

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Free article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

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Free article: Actively promoting fundamental British values

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Free article: Raising boys’ achievement

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Free article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

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Free article: Challenging 
the most able

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

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Free 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.

Free article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

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Free 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…

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

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Free 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…

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

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Free article: Effective parental engagement

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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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