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What is it?

Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.

It can happen anywhere – at school, at home, in the community or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.

What are the different types?

There are lots of different types of bullying, bullying can include:

  • Verbal abuse, such as name calling and gossiping
  • Non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs or text messages
  • Emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone
  • Exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone
  • Undermining, by constant criticism or spreading rumours
  • Controlling or manipulating someone
  • Racial, sexual or homophobic bullying
  • Physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing
  • Making silent, hoax or abusive calls
  • Specific use of disablist language
  • Online or cyber-bullying.

How do I identify it?

You can’t always see the signs of bullying and no one sign indicates for certain that a child’s being bullied. Look out for:

  • belongings getting “lost” or damaged
  • physical injuries such as unexplained bruises
  • being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning, or skipping school
  • not doing as well at school
  • asking for, or stealing, money (to give to a bully)
  • being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn problems with eating or sleeping
  • bullying others.

Who can help?

All professionals have a duty to provide a safe environment for children and young people. This includes protecting them from bullying and responding quickly and appropriately when concerns arise.

Recommended self-care and management tips?

• Ensure you have a robust anti-bullying policy that explains what you will do as professionals in your organsiation if a child is being bullied.
• Establish an ethos that everyone cares for each other and bullying will not be tolerated. Ensure that all staff have had recent training so that they have to a good understanding of what constitutes bullying and be clear on what action to take if a child comes to them for help or if they witness bullying.
• Share anti-bullying messages through the workplace either through what you deliver or through posters and signs.
• Record information about individuals or groups, types of bullying, places and times. Analayse your records to identify patterns and use this information to update your polices and procedures

See NSPCC – Keeping children safe for further ideas.

Services available?

Actionwork Theatre and film in education.

In addition to the international anti-bullying roadshow Actionwork provides a wide range of theatre-in-education programmes, shows and creative workshops on all kinds of issues and topics such as health, racism, cyberbullying and homophobia.

Anti-Bullying Alliance Anti-bullying alliance provides expertise in relation to all forms of bullying between children and young people. They have experience in working with a vast range of clients including the government, youth charities, journalists, documentary makers, public services, schools and colleges, children’s homes, young offender institutes and businesses.

Anti-Bullying Network Anti Bullying

The Anti-Bullying Network is an independent operation with the following objectives:
• to support anti-bullying work in schools;
• to provide a free website;
• and to offer an anti-bullying service which will include the provision of training, publications and consultancy services

Direct Gov Information for young people on cyberbullying, bullying on social networks, Internet and email bullying, bullying on mobile phones, bullying at school, what to do about bullying, and information and advice for people who are bullying others and want to stop. The NSPCC Speak out Stay safe programme, offered at no cost to schools, will ensure all children aged 5-11 learn this essential safeguarding information in a lively, interactive and memorable way.

See NSPCC – Speak out stay safe service

Bullying UK
Bullying UK provides free, confidential advice for parents and schools on bullying, how to spot the signs and how it can be prevented and reported. They also advise parents on the action to take if they are unhappy with the school’s response and provide templates for letters of complaint.

Kidscape support young people, parents and professionals to tackle bullying across the UK.
They provide a free one day workshop, ZAP, for children and young people aged 9-16 who have experienced bullying which their parents can attend as well.

The Cybersmile Foundation
The Cybersmile Foundation work to stop cyber-bullying by supporting those that have been bullied online and changing the behaviour of those who bully. Their online Help Centre provides free advice for parents and children.

Respect me
Respect me is Scotland’s anti-bullying service that provides advice and support for adults and young people including a practical checklist for parents on what to do if their child is being bullied.

Shelf Help

The Shelf Titles are part of a national scheme aimed at improving emotional health and well-being.

The Shelf Help booklist is aimed at young people, and offers advice about issues such as bullying and exams, as well as mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress and OCD. The titles have been chosen and endorsed by professionals. Copies of the titles are available for loan from the Central Library. More details can be found on the library web pages.