Thank you to the Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board for allowing us to use this article.

What is bullying?

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 four main types of bullying are:

  • Physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, theft of personal belongings);
  • Verbal (e.g. name calling, taunting, mocking, racist remarks);
  • Indirect (e.g. spreading rumours, excluding people from groups);
  • Cyber bullying (e.g. bullying by mobile phone or through the internet).

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.

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).

Help if your child is being bullied

If your child is being bullied at school, the following procedures should be followed:

  • 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 Incident Diary;
  • 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.
  • Finally if you are unhappy with the the response from the governing body then contact us.


Further help

The organisations and services listed below can offer expert advice and support on dealing with bullying.

National helplines

  • ChildLine – Tel: 0800 11 11
  • Kidscape – Tel: 0845 205 204
    Bullying counsellors
  • Family Lives – Tel: 0808 800 2222
    Free confidential help for anyone looking after a child
  • Get Connected – Tel: 0808 8084994
    Free confidential helpline for young people
  • Samaritans – Tel: 08457 90 90 90
    Helpline for those in distress
  • Advisory Centre for Education – Tel: 0300 0115 142
    Advice line for parents on all matters concerning schools


  • Childline
    is a free, confidential 24 hour counselling service for children and young people in trouble or danger. They offer advice and support to children, young people and adults on a range of topics including child abuse and bullying;
  • Kidscape
    Helps to prevent bullying and child abuse. They provide information, advice and resources on how to keep children safe from harm;
  • Gov.uk – Bullying
    Gives information, support and advice to parents and carers on what to do if their child is being bullied;
  • Bullying UK
    Is an award-winning charity which is dedicated to providing detailed help and advice for the victims of bullying and their parents and carers.