Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves.
The damage inflicted by bullying is often underestimated.
It can cause considerable distress to children, to the extent that it affects their health and development and can be a source of significant harm, including self-harm and suicide.
The three main types of bullying are:
- Physical abuse
This can include hitting, kicking, stabbing and setting alight, including for filming with mobile telephones and theft, commonly of mobile telephones.
- Verbal or mobile telephone / online abuse
This can include racist, sexist or homophobic name-calling or threats, and may include sexual harassment. Mobile telephone or online visual image abuse can include real or manipulated images.
- Emotional abuse
This can involve isolating an individual from the group or emotional blackmail.
Each school should have an anti-bullying policy. Parent/carers and pupils as well as all staff should be aware of the anti-bullying policy and what to do when bullying takes place.
Parents, carers and pupils who have any concern about bullying should discuss their concerns with:
- The School (as soon as possible)
- The Education Welfare Service (020 8489 3866)
- The Behaviour Support Team (020 8489 5021)
If you are unhappy with the response from the school, you should follow the school's complaint procedure.
Bullying can include emotional and / or physical harm to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm.
Significant harm is defined as a situation where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, a degree of physical, sexual and / or emotional harm (through abuse or neglect), which is so harmful that there needs to be compulsory intervention by child protection agencies into the life of the child and their family.
Professionals in all agencies should be alert to bullying and competent to support and manage both the victim and the abuser.
- Haringey Anti-Bullying & Discriminatory Incident Framework (PDF, 245Kb)
- Safe To Learn: Guidance on Bullying in Schools (PDF, 483Kb)
- Also see the London Child Protection Procedures and Practice Guidance (external link)
- Haringey Against Bullying (external link)
- ChildLine: Bullying (external link)
- Bullying UK (external link)
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