Getting help with bullying in Southampton
Bullying between children covers many forms of unacceptable behaviour that can be frightening. It can isolate and damage a young person's self-confidence. Some ongoing bullying can have negative long-term effects on children, leading to depression and even self harm.
No child or young person deserves to be bullied, and every child should be able to expect that they can grow, learn and play in a safe and non-threatening environment, but sadly bullying does still take place.
To successfully challenge bullying, children, young people and their parents and carers need to know where and how to get help when they need it.
Bullying within schools
Each school in Southampton has its own policy regarding bullying, so if you suspect your child is being bullied at school, you will need to contact the school. No school should tolerate bullying.
Bullying outside of school
If you think bullying is happening outside of school, schools can still take action.
If bullying is carried out by pupils in school uniform you can complain to the head teacher and ask for action to be taken in accordance with the Department for Education (DfE) guidance.
On weekends or during school holidays, making a complaint to the police about intimidation, physical attacks or threats can be the best thing to do if the bullies are over 10, the age of criminal responsibility.
The police may be prepared to visit the bully’s home to warn them off but it's unlikely that further action will follow unless there has been an assault with independent witnesses or a long campaign of harassment. If you do this then you are also likely to have contact from Victim Support offering help. You can try to involve the police for pupils aged under 10 but you may not be successful.
Cyberbullying is the use of information and communications technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet, to deliberately upset someone else.
If this is happening within your child’s school, schools have a legal duty to have measures in place to support the person being bullied and to apply disciplinary sanctions to the pupil doing the bullying.
Not happy with how a school has handled your allegation of bullying?
If you are not happy with the action being taken by your child’s school, you can get advice on how to make a complaint by contacting the Customer Care and Complaints team.