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Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.

It can happen anywhere, including school, the community, on the internet, even at home and can happen to anyone.

Bullying can take many forms, but the 4 main types of bullying are:

  • physical (for example, hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, theft of personal belongings)
  • verbal (for example, name calling, taunting, mocking, racist remarks)
  • indirect (for example, spreading rumours, excluding people from groups)
  • cyberbullying (for example, bullying by mobile phone or through the internet)

We have a parent and carers guide attached to this page with more information on how to tackle bullying.

Examples of bullying

  • calling people names and making fun of them
  • spreading lies about someone
  • leaving people out and making them feel lonely or sad
  • teasing and embarrassing someone
  • pushing someone around or hurting them
  • taking money or forcing a person to hand over their phone
  • making horrible comments about someone online
  • sending nasty messages or emails
  • taking photos of someone without them saying you can

Prejudice-related bullying

Prejudice related bullying (also known as identity-based bullying or bias bullying) refers to any form of bullying related to the characteristics considered unique to a child's identity, such as their race, religion, sexual orientation or physical appearance. Please see an information sheet attached to this page.

These forms of bullying are not only targeted at an individual, but reflect negative attitudes towards a wider sub-community or group to whom that individual identifies with (or is believed to identify with).

Advice for young people

Bullying can happen to anyone. All of us, no matter how brave or how old, can feel hurt by the way people treat us.

If you're being bullied, you might think that if you tell, it will get worse, or that other people won’t like you. Practical suggestions to tackle bullying:

  • don't ignore it - tell a trusted friend or adult, and remember that it's not your fault, no-one deserves to be bullied
  • keep a record of when it happens and save a copy of any texts, posts, picture or emails you get
  • block anyone that tries to bully you online
  • don't be horrible back - you don't want to get yourself in to trouble too

A bullying incident diary is attached to this page so you can keep a record of what's happening.

You can report online bullying through Think U Know or chat to someone at Childline. This can be online or you can ring them on tel: 0800 1111.

Advice for parents and carers

If your child is being bullied at school:

  • talk and listen to your child and assure them that they will be safe after 'telling' - try to record everything that has happened, use a bullying diary which is attached to this page
  • talk to your child's teacher, explaining what has happened, who has done what, when and so on - try to stay calm or you may be asked to leave
  • check regularly with your child to see if things have improved. If not, continue recording all incidents of bullying and discuss this with your child
  • if you are still unhappy, make an appointment with the head of your child's school, talk to them about what is happening and give them what you have recorded
  • if after meeting with the head you are still not happy, you can make a formal complaint to the school's governing body - they will then have to investigate how your concern has been handled - check your school’s complaints policy or read our information sheet which is attached to this page about how to write a letter of complaint
  • if you are unhappy with the governors' response and if your child's school is maintained by us, you can contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 - we will not get involved until after you have made a complaint to the governing body

We have a parent and carers guide with more information on how to tackle bullying attached to this page.

The complaints procedure for academy schools

If your child attends an academy the complaints officer will not be able to help. Contact the academy directly with your complaint.

The complaints process should have 3 stages:

  1. Informal stage (usually an informal meeting between complainant and staff).
  2. Formal stage (the complaint is submitted in writing to the school).
  3. A panel hearing. If the matter proceeds to a panel hearing, the school must allow the complainant to attend that hearing. They can be accompanied if they wish. There must be at least one independent panel member - someone who is independent of the management and running of the academy.

Further help

The following organisations and services listed can offer expert advice and support on dealing with bullying: