Bullying related to special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Research shows that children and young people with SEN and disabilities are more at risk of bullying than their peers. Public bodies have new responsibilities to actively promote equality of opportunity for all disabled people and eliminate disability-related harassment.

Children and young people with SEN and disabilities, whether in mainstream or special schools, do not always have the levels of social confidence and competence, and the robust friendship bonds that can protect against bullying. All schools should ensure that a whole-school approach is taken to deal with bullying related to SEN and disability, and that it is specifically covered in anti-bullying policies.  

Where children and young people with SEN and disabilities are themselves found to be bullying, in most cases (except those related to specific conditions) schools should expect the same standards of behaviour as apply to the rest of the school community, having made the reasonable adjustments necessary.

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Last updated: 16 October 2015

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