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Addressing Bullying

Effective bullying reduction requires five elements.

These should be described in a policy that sets out:

  • Vision

  • Definition and Communication

  • Prevention

  • Responding when incidents occur

  • Monitoring and evaluating

  1. Draft your policy with the children and adults.

  2. Provide a child-friendly or easy-read version.

  3. Make sure everyone knows what this policy says and what is meant by ‘bullying’.

  4. Ask parents to commit to supporting your bullying prevention efforts.

  5. Display the policy – don’t leave it filed away.

  6. Ensure new or short term staff members are always shown this policy. Invite children to design displays or posters to advertise it.

  7. Check with staff: is it easy to implement?

  8. Check with pupils that it is working.

  9. Revise if necessary.

  10. Review and update annually as new developments occur.


What should your policy include?

Describe your ethos.

PREVENTION: Outline what steps will be taken to prevent bullying.

These might include:

1. Adults will model respectful behaviour.
2. Every child or young person will have their rights respected.
3. We will work to reduce racism, homophobia, disablist bullying and all forms of 
behaviour driven by prejudice.
4. We will set up easy safe ways for children/young people to report bullying.
5. We will work with anyone who bullies to help them change their 
6. We will work in partnership with parents.
7. We will use sanctions as appropriate.
8. We will consult, pupils, parents 
and staff and review our strategy regularly.

Please put into your policy only those actions that are likely to be carried out in your setting, given the resources, the number of staff and the children and young people who use it.

Our Simple Policy Guide helps you evaluate your policy.


Is your policy gathering dust on a shelf somewhere?

Every member of your school community needs to know what it says and understand it. This includes pupils and parents, all staff, whether teaching or non-teaching, governors and supply teachers or other visiting staff.

To communicate it – take a moment to think about the different audiences you are aiming to reach and work out which methods or media will work best for each audience.

Creating a ‘Communications strategy’ is really useful so that you track key times in the year when you will publicise your policy, and how you hope to reach new pupils and parents, alert everyone to changes and generally consult on the policy’s effectiveness.

Ensure awareness is raised regularly and that all members of the school community are aware of what bullying is and the types and forms it can take . Everyone should know the school’s approach to tackling it. Use art, film, drama, plasma screens, homework books and more to get the message out.

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