National Context

Bullying is implicated in around 15 cases of child suicide every year (Marr and Field 2001).

Tackling bullying has been identified as a key priority by Government for many years and this looks likely to continue with the new coalition Government into the future following the 2010 White Paper ‘The Importance of Teaching’ which re-emphasises the need for schools to continue to both record and respond appropriately to bullying. Furthermore, it specifically recommends that the new Ofsted framework has as one of just 4 key areas ‘Behaviour and Safety’, the latter ensuring that inspections take adequate account of the ways in which a school deals with bullying.

New duties on statutory and commissioned services (Children’s Act 2004) including those that provide residential services to children and young people have introduced important anti-bullying safeguards, although schools in particular still retain considerable autonomy.

Through Healthy Schools, PSHE and SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning), schools have developed wide ranging consultation methods to ensure the voice of Children and Young People help to prioritise bullying and shape some of the approaches against it.

Law, Policy and Guidance

The Law

  • Education Act 2002
  • Education Inspections Act 2006
  • Children Act 2004

Equality Duties

  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
  • Disability Equality Duty
  • Equality Act 2010

Government Guidance

  • Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools, 2007
  • Working together to Safeguard Children, 2010
  • Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, 2006
  • Improving behaviour and attendance, 2008
  • Safe from Bullying, 2009
  • OFSTED HMI 465 Bullying – Effective action in secondary schools
  • Bullying Today: Office of the Children’s Commissioner 2006

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Last updated: 16 October 2015

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