Sharing your concerns around bullying
Approaching a school or other organisation about a bullying incident can be daunting, but remember it is in their best interests to help you resolve the situation.
Make an appointment to speak to the head teacher, senior youth worker or another adult your child feels comfortable with.
Calmly explain to them what has been happening - this will be made easier if you have details of when the incidents have taken place – then discuss what you would like to happen next and how you can proceed together.
A school or organisation should not suggest that the bullying is your child’s fault. They should not suggest changing classes or moving schools as a solution, nor should they claim that the bullying is not their responsibility because it happened online.
Children and young people open up to those they believe can or will help them. Adults in school or youth work settings must respond in a supportive way.
Don’t expect the situation to be fully resolved at the first meeting.
Schools and other organisations often employ a variety of methods to prevent and tackle bullying; some will have an immediate effect, others may take longer. They will also need time to investigate the incident(s).
Don’t expect the person(s) involved to be automatically excluded.
Exclusion alone will rarely change bullying behaviour and schools are likely to employ other options.
Agree a plan of action.
At the first meeting, agree a plan of action going forward and set a date to meet again to review the situation. It can be helpful to keep in touch with the school or organisation, but important to remember that keeping the relationship positive will be more beneficial to all parties in the long run.
Ask for a copy of their anti-bullying policy.
All schools and local authorities should have one, so you should ask to see both. Individual services and youth groups should also have one, as should the organisation they belong to.
Familiarise yourself with the national policy.
Scotland’s national anti-bullying policy, 'Respect for All'
sets out the approach people across Scotland should be taking to anti-bullying work and how bullying behaviour will be dealt with if it occurs.
If you have time, it would be useful to get a copy of the policy before your initial meeting with a school or organisation so you can familiarise yourself with these practices.
Be tactful and careful when talking to others.
If the bullying is happening in the community, you may need to talk to a neighbour or parent. It is important to keep the channels of communication open and remember your child will probably want the situation to be resolved with minimum fuss.