Sesma Against Bullying

Report Bullying

Contacting your Child's School

Primary or Junior school

In the first instance, at a primary or junior school, see the class teacher and explain your worries in a friendly non-confrontational way.

Here are some questions that we suggest you consider:

  • Ask how your child is getting on with others in class and raise any issues of conflict with other children.
  • Ask if the teacher has noticed that your child seems unhappy and isolated and is being excluded from games in the playground or regularly not having a partner to work with in class.
  • Ask the class teacher, or the head of year at secondary school, if he/she can keep an eye on the situation and let you know if they have any concerns.
  • Ask what the teacher suggests would be the best way of sorting it out. At a primary school perhaps the supervisors could take a more active role in the playground by keeping an eye on your child and ensuring that people are not excluded from games.
  • Ask the school if they would consider introducing “friendship seats” or a “buddy bench” if they don’t already, where younger children can go if they have nobody to play with.  Other pupils can ask them to join their games and the supervisors can spot whether one child is on their own too often.
Secondary school

Secondary schools may not be aware that there are some areas of the school pupils feel unsafe, the toilets often come into this category.

By telling the head of year where the bullying is happening, supervision can be increased so that the bullies are caught red handed, meaning that your child can’t be accused of telling tales.

At this stage it can be helpful to try to increase your child’s circle of friends, by inviting a number of children home regularly, to forge stronger friendships.

If bullying continues
  • Keep a diary of what your child says is happening. This should include dates, times and details of the incident together with any witnesses.
  • Write a note to the class teacher or head of year, explaining that the problem is still unresolved and ask for their support in helping to tackle this.
  • Suggest that contact between the bully and your child is monitored and limited, perhaps by the bully moving to another table or set.
  • Ask for your letter to be put onto your child’s school file, together with a note of action taken. You can ask to see a copy of your child’s record to ensure that these have been accurately recorded although you will probably have to pay for copying charges.
  • Ask for a follow-up meeting after a couple of weeks to discuss how things are going

That often does the trick, but if not, it’s time to write to the head teacher, outlining everything that has gone on, and including evidence from the diary to back up your complaint. You also have the option of copying this to the Board of Governors.  Putting a complaint in writing is essential so that there is a record of your concern and this puts the situation on a more formal footing.

Schools have a duty of care, and allowing a child to be continually bullied when the school has been alerted to the problem could be seen as a breach of that duty.

Schools have a variety of sanctions they can use
  • A warning
  • Calling the bully’s parents in to school
  • Detention
  • Internal exclusion within school
  • Fixed term exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion

If bullying is happening in the changing rooms, in the corridors or playground then ask for supervision to be increased. If the school says it does not have the resources then explain that you are not asking for all the children to receive increased supervision, only the bully.

Ask for a copy of your complaint to the head teacher to be answered in writing and for a copy of it to be put onto your child’s school file with a note of action taken.

If the school asks you to go in to discuss the matter, then try to take a partner or friend with you for a bit of moral support.  Make notes of the points you want to make beforehand and be firm and polite. Don’t get into an argument.

After each visit send a letter to the school outlining the points of the meeting and action you have been told they will be taking. Ask to see the school bullying policy if you haven’t already seen it. If you weren’t happy with what you were told at the meeting then say so in the letter.

You can complain to the police if your child has been assaulted at school. Police forces in the UK have school liaison officers who are experienced at dealing with school-related issues.

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales in 10 and if the attacker is younger than this the police will probably not be able to do anything

Writing to the School

If your child has been bullied at school and you are unhappy with the way it has been handled or the bullying has continued, you can write to the school to complain so that they can understand your concerns. It is important to obtain a copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy. Below are some templates for the different types of letters/email you may want to write. 

Letter to form teacher or head of year

Dear <name>,

I am writing to inform you that the bullying has escalated towards my child and would like to know what the next steps are for the bullying to be resolved.

It would be really helpful to arrange a meeting with you to discuss this situation and how we can get the bullying to stop at your earliest convenience.  

Yours sincerely,

<Your Name>

Letter to the head teacher

Dear <name>,

I have been dealing with <name> over the bullying of my child <name> by <name>. Despite discussing this with the class teacher/head of year, the bullying is still going on.

Can you please let me know what your next steps will be and how this will be monitored? Can you also confirm whether you will be involving the family of the child who is bullying my child. Would it be possible for you to increase supervision at the time most of the bullying happens <at break/ in the playground/ in the corridor/ in the changing room>. 

I would be grateful for a copy of your anti-bullying policy. Please put a copy of my complaint onto <name>’s file together with your written response.

Yours sincerely,

<Your Name>

Letter to the chair of governors

Dear <name>,

I enclose a copy of a letter I sent to the head teacher of <> school on (date). Unfortunately, despite writing to the class teacher/head of year and the head teacher, my child <name> is still being bullied by <name>.

As you will see, I have asked the head what they can introduce to stop the bullying (I am not satisfied with their reply/ the bullying has continued). Please investigate my complaint and tell me what steps the governors intend to take to halt the bullying of my child.

As this matter is unresolved I’d like a copy of <name>’s school record to see what action has been taken on my earlier complaints. I understand that I will be asked to pay for photocopying.

I look forward to receiving your response. 

Yours sincerely,

<Your name>