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Teachers & Schools
Bullying in schools is a universal problem. The severity of the problem may vary from school to school. In recent years, the constant media attention has made bullying a global issue. Many schools have been forced to evaluate their teaching methods and add new policies on anti-bullying behaviour.

This has created a lot of work for schools and we hope this site will bring together many of the resources available and give them a brief insight and direction on what work needs to be done to promote a safe and healthy environment in school.

The Government has made tackling bullying in schools a key priority and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has made clear that no form of bullying should be tolerated. Bullying in our schools should be taken very seriously; it is not a normal part of growing up and it can ruin lives.

It is compulsory for schools to have measures in place to encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils, and to prevent all forms of bullying. The DCSF supports schools in designing their anti-bullying policies, and their strategies to tackle bullying, by providing comprehensive practical-guidance documents. Regional advisers with expertise in the field of bullying are also on hand to help schools implement the guidance and draw on best practice. (

The DCSF and other agencies have produced a range of guidance for schools about bullying, which may also be of use to people working in other settings. You can download copies here by clicking on the relevant titles below.

This guide is aimed for use by Governors, Head teachers, Lead member for children's services and Local Authorities. This guidance sets out what the law says Children's Services Authorities and schools should do about bullying, in order to promote the well-being of young people and ensure they stay safe. It describes how schools should use the principles of the Anti-Bullying Charter, and the steps they need to go through to create and implement a whole-school anti-bullying policy.

This guidance addresses both responding to and preventing racist bullying. It includes sections on dealing with incidents, addressing racist bullying through the curriculum, staff training ideas and schools ensuring they have effective measures in place.

This publication is non-statutory advice from the Department for Education for head teachers. The document focuses on the growing problem of cyber bullying and what steps schools can take to review their policies. It aims to help schools understand the issue and know how to prevent and respond to incidents.

The Teachers Report (2014

In response, to views from teachers, Stonewall placed the provision of support, resources and training for teachers at the heart of their work. Over the past years, they have worked with over 12,000 schools from across England, Scotland and Wales and created a range of innovative, accessible and age-appropriate resources to help teachers ensure that all their students feel included in their learning. This report contains a lot of findings and further links to resources for teachers and schools.

The Teachers’ Report(2014), presents the findings from the 1832 primary and secondary school respondents across Britain, a subsection of the total sample of 2163 teaching and non-teaching staff in schools and colleges surveyed by YouGov.

This guidance provides advice on dealing with bullying involving children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. It is designed to help schools to support learners with SEN and disabilities. Understand, prevent and respond to bullying of children with SEN and disabilities and eliminate disability based discrimination and harassment.

This document offers advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodie.The document has been produced to help schools prevent and respond to bullying as part of their overall behaviour policy. It outlines, in one place, the Government’s approach to bullying, legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying, and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools. It also lists further resources through which school staff can access specialist information on the specific issues that they face.

Children Act (1989)

All state schools have a duty to ensure the safety and to protect the emotional well-being of every person in its care. If a young person is being harassed or abused, the school must take action to protect them. The duty of care is the same for all. Young people who are lesbian or gay or are being homophobically bullied must be offered no lesser a standard of care than their peers, or indeed, offered inappropriate care.

Education Act (2002)
Two broad aims for the National Curriculum and schools should ensure that it:
  • provides opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve
  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
  • requirements of governing bodies:

The governing body of a maintained school shall make arrangements for ensuring that their functions relating to the conduct of the school are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school.

(Education Act - 2002. Chapter 32. London: The Stationary Office)

Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Head Teachers must have a policy to prevent bullying among pupils that complies to this Act.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Article 3) Everyone has the right of respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. (Article 8)

(Human Rights Act - 1998. Chapter 42. London: The Stationary Office)

National Healthy School Guidance
  • schools should have 'a policy and code of practice for tackling bullying, which is owned, understood and implemented by all members of the school community and includes contact with external support agencies.' (Department for Education and Employment - 1999)
OFSTED Framework for Inspecting Schools (Effective September 2003)
  • inspectors to report on the extent to which pupils are free from bullying, racism and other forms of harassment.
  • to assess how effectively schools deal with bullying incidents
  • to assess the effectiveness of the school's links with parents.
Inspectors will assess the extent to which the school:
  • deals effectively with incidents such as bullying, racism and other forms of harassment
  • does all it can to promote good attendance
  • is inclusive, by ensuring equality of access and opportunity for all pupils
  • ensures that pupils work in a healthy and safe environment
  • seeks, values and acts on pupils' views
Inspectors will assess the extent to which the school actively enables pupils to:
  • understand and respect other people's feelings, values and beliefs
  • understand and fulfil the responsibilities of living in a community
Inspectors will assess the extent to which pupils:
  • are free from bullying, racism and other forms of harassment
  • form constructive relationships with others
  • have confidence and self-esteem
Inspectors will assess the extent to which teachers:
  • promote equality of opportunity
And the extent to which:
  • each pupil has a good and trusting relationship with one or more adults in the school
  • pupils have access to well informed support, advice and guidance as they progress through the school
(OFSTED - 2003. Inspecting Schools: Framework for Inspecting Schools. HMI 1525. London: OFSTED)

  • schools are required to promote race equality rather than to simply react to racist incidents.
  • good practice indicates that the requirements of the Act should be linked to a school's Anti-Bullying Policy.
(Race relations (Amendment) Act 2000. Chapter 34. London: The Stationary Office)

School Standards Framework Act (1998)
  • schools have certain statutory responsibilities regarding behaviour the head teacher shall determine measures (which may include the making of rules and provisions for enforcing them) to be taken with a view to . . . . .b) encouraging good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils and, in particular, preventing all forms of bullying among pupils. (School Standards and Framework Act - 1998. Chapter 31. London: The Stationary Office)
  • outlines government expectations and the legal duty of Head Teachers with regard to bullying.
  • specifically mentions bullying behaviour related to race, sexual orientation, a child's appearance, behaviour or special educational needs.
The emotional distress caused by bullying in whatever form - be it racial, or as a result of a child's appearance, behaviour or special educational needs, or related to sexual orientation - can prejudice school achievement, lead to lateness or truancy and, in extreme cases, end with suicide. < (DfES - 1999. Social Inclusion: Pupil Support Circular 10/99. London: DfES) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UK 1991)

  • schools should have a bullying policy
  • each child should be informed of what to do if they find themselves being bullied
(United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - 1989)