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Schools: Bullying

Question for Department for Education

UIN 223113, tabled on 19 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle bullying in schools.

Answered on

27 February 2019

The Government has sent a clear message to schools that bullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying. They have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies appropriate to their environment and are held to account by Ofsted.

The Department issues guidance to schools on how to prevent and respond to bullying as part of their overall behaviour policy. The guidance outlines the Government’s approach to bullying; the legal obligations and powers schools have to tackle bullying; and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools. In our drive to tackle bad behaviour, we have strengthened teachers' powers to enforce discipline and promote good behaviour. Additionally, the Respectful School Communities tool supports schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline.

The Department is also providing over £2.8 million of funding between September 2016 and March 2020, to four anti-bullying organisations to support schools to tackle bullying. This is in addition to £4 millon that the Government Equalities Office are providing, over the same period, to help schools prevent and respond to Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic bullying.

The new mandatory subjects of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education, will enable schools to deliver high-quality teaching including about acceptable ways to behave, both off and online. The draft guidance sets out that pupils should know about the different types of bullying, the impact it has, the responsibility of bystanders and how to get help. The consultation closed on 7 November 2018 and we are currently analysing the responses, which will help to finalise the regulations and guidance.