Effective bullying reduction requires five elements. These should be described in a policy that sets out:

  • Vision
  • Definition and Communication
  • Prevention
  • Responding when incidents occur
  • Monitoring and evaluating
  1. Draft your policy with the children and adults.
  2. Provide a child-friendly or easy-read version.
  3. Make sure everyone knows what this policy says and what is meant by ‘bullying’.
  4. Ask parents to commit to supporting your bullying prevention efforts.
  5. Display the policy – don’t leave it filed away.
  6. Ensure new or short term staff members are always shown this policy.Invite children to design displays or posters to advertise it.
  7. Check with staff: is it easy to implement?
  8. Check with pupils that it is working.
  9. Revise if necessary.
  10. Review and update annually as new developments occur.
Policy image5

What should your policy include? Describe your ethos.

PREVENTION: Outline what steps will be taken to prevent bullying. These might include:

1. Adults will model respectful behaviour.
2. Every child or young person will have their rights respected.
3. We will work to reduce racism, homophobia, disablist bullying and all forms of behaviour driven by prejudice.
4. We will set up easy safe ways for children/young people to report bullying.
5. We will work with anyone who bullies to help them change their behaviour.
6. We will work in partnership with parents.
7. We will use sanctions as appropriate.
8. We will consult, pupils, parents and staff and review our strategy regularly.

Please put into your policy only those actions that are likely to be carried out in your setting, given the resources, the number of staff and the children and young people who use it. Our CHECKLIST helps you evaluate your policy.


Is your policy gathering dust on a shelf somewhere?

Every member of your school community needs to know what it says and understand it. This includes pupils and parents, all staff, whether teaching or non-teaching, governors and supply teachers or other visiting staff.

To communicate it – take a moment to think about the different audiences you are aiming to reach and work out which methods or media will work best for each audience.

Creating a ‘Communications strategy’ is really useful so that you track key times in the year when you will publicise your policy, and how you hope to reach new pupils and parents, alert everyone to changes and generally consult on the policy’s effectiveness.

Ensure awareness is raised regularly and that all members of the school community are aware of what bullying is and the types and forms it can take. Everyone should know the school’s approach to tackling it. Use art, film, drama, plasma screens, homework books and more to get the message out.

helpful tips

Top tips for schools responding to bullying Download  

 Responding to bullying. Top Tips for Teachers Download

Quick Practical Tips on addressing bullying download pdf

Longitudinal Study of Young People Who Are Bullied in Schools. This study outlines the characteristics of those who more likely to be involved in bullying. Read More


Ofsted changes. A new Common Inspection Framework came into force in September 2015. Bullying is looked at 

Summary of changes Download

Ofsted The future of education inspection: understanding the changes. Download

See our page on the LAW for help on your legal duties and powers.



How do we know all this will work?

Regular consulting is the key. We monitor effectiveness through our free pupil surveys for members. Currently we have analysed over 10,000 responses.  To help you, we made an infogram by comparing two groups of pupils: One group said their school deals with bullying ‘very well’ and the other said their school does ‘not deal with bullying well at all’. By comparing these two groups of students we could see what their schools did to address bullying and compare the rates of bullying reported in each group. It is illustrated here.
Our anonymous pupil surveys are free to members, have you done one lately? Contact us to have it set up on an encrypted site for your school.