Discovering that your child is being bullied at school is undoubtedly distressing and as a parent you are right to want the bullying stopped. In this section we offer you guidance on how best to approach this issue with the school. Knowledge of the correct procedures to follow can make all the difference with regards helping your child. Please take time to read our guidance
All schools have a legal responsibility to maintain standards of behaviour and discipline as part of the OFSTED framework of inspection.
Your child's school should have a clear and well publicised policy on Anti-Bullying stating that bullying is unacceptable in any form. Ultimately your school headteacher is responsible for putting in place strategies to tackle bullying, maintain acceptable standards of discipline and behaviour and to promote respect for all. In addition your school governors are responsible for whole school discipline, the ethos of the school and its values and for putting in place an effective complaints procedure.
While these structures are in place please remember that bullying may unfortunately still occur. It is normal to feel angry and worried for your child's safety and frustrated by a difficult situation. However the fact that your child has been able to talk to you about being bullied and to ask for help is a victory for you. Many children feel unable to talk about it and many keep this problem to themselves. Your child has been very brave in speaking out and has taken a big and frightening step towards resolving what will be a very traumatic situation.
Therefore please be mindful of our guidance should you decide to approach your school about a bullying issue.
- Make an appointment with a member of school staff or if you feel necessary, the headteacher.
- Explain clearly why you have asked for the meeting.
- Allow sufficient time for the matter to be investigated properly.
- Encourage your child to record any further incidents of bullying they experience in a diary as a record of names, places, dates and times.
- At your meeting do your best to remain calm and share details of incidents your child has experienced and the impact it has had on them.
- State your intention to support your child and ask for the school's commitment to ensuring that the bullying stops.
- After your meeting allow time for the school to respond to the incidents and deal with those responsible.
- If the bullying persists make a formal complaint in writing to the Chair of Governors explaining what has happened and what you feel would be a satisfactory outcome.
- Remember that your child's well being and safety is the most important factor – not revenge.