Types of Bullying

Cyber bullying (online bullying)

Cyberbullying is using the internet, email, online games or any digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else.

Find out more about Cyber bullying from Childline

Homophobic/Biphobic bullying

Homophobic/Biphobic bullying is when people behave or speak in a way which makes someone feel bullied because of their actual or perceived sexuality. People may be a target of this type of bullying because of their appearance, behaviour, physical traits or because they have friends or family who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning or possibly just because they are seen as being different.

Find out more about Homophobic/Biphobic bullying from Bullying UK

Identity based bullying

Children and young people are too often bullied in schools because of their race, faith, gender, disability, sexual orientation or trans status, irrespective of whether those differences are real or perceived.

All schools have to show due regard to the public sector equality duty (PSED). This means the school leadership team needs to actively consider this duty when developing an anti-bullying policy and when reviewing evidence of bullying at school to ensure that efforts to prevent and tackle discriminatory bullying are targeted and effective.

The PSED covers those with ‘relevant protected characteristics’: age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

Find out more about Identity based bullying from the Anti-bullying Alliance

Race and Faith targeted bullying

Race and faith targeted bullying is bullying that is perceived by the victim or any other person to be racist or bullying that targets a person’s faith.

All incidents of racist bullying in schools constitute a racist incident. However not all racist incidents would constitute racist bullying. To determine if racist incident/s are bullying, it is important to have a shared whole-school understanding of what bullying is.

Find out more about Race and Faith targeted bulling from the Anti-bullying Alliance

SEND bullying

Disabled children and those with SEN are more likely to experience bullying in school.

Find out more about SEND bullying from the Anti-bullying Alliance

Sexual bullying

Any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person’s sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls towards other boys or girls – although it is more commonly directed at girls. It can be carried out to a person’s face, behind their back or through the use of technology.

Find out more about Sexual bullying from Beyond bullying

Transphobic bullying

Transphobic bullying is bullying based on prejudice or negative attitudes, views or beliefs about trans people. Transphobic bullying affects young people who are trans but can also affect those questioning their gender identity as well as students who are not trans but do not conform to gender stereotypes.

Find out more about Transphobic bullying from Beyond bullying

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The Legal Framework

Department for Education Guidance

‘Schools which excel at tackling bullying have created an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave. Values of respect for staff and other pupils, an understanding of the value of education, and a clear understanding of how our actions affect others permeate the whole school environment and are reinforced by staff and older pupils who set a good example to the rest.’

The DfE provide a guidance document to support schools in preventing and tackling all forms of bullying:-

Preventing and tackling bullying Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies July 2017 DfE

The guide provides advice and guidance for schools, including outlining the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010; It also signposts to further sources advice.

The Ofsted Framework for School Inspections

Ofsted has launched far-reaching changes to the way it inspects early years provision, schools and further education and skills. These changes will come in to effect from September 2015 and include:

  • the introduction of a common inspection framework for all early years settings on the Early Years Register, maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills providers
  • short inspections for maintained schools, academies and further education and skills providers that were judged good at their last full inspection. These short inspections will be conducted approximately every 3 years
  • significant changes to Ofsted’s inspection workforce. From September 2015, Ofsted will contract directly with inspectors for maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills inspections

Inspectors will assess the extent to which the school or provider complies with relevant legal duties as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, promotes equality of opportunity and takes positive steps to prevent any form of discrimination, either direct or indirect, against those with protected characteristics in all aspects of their work.

Further guidance on the changes can be found by following the links below:-


Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years from September 2015


  • If a child is in danger tell someone immediately

  • Bullying is easiest to stop if reported and responded to early

  • Bullying incidents are most likely to be resolved quickly if everyone works together positively

  • Keep evidence of bullying e.g. emails, texts or web-materials, photos of damaged belongings, doctors letters or records of any injuries

  • Some bullying cases are very complex and may take time to sort out

  • Many agencies are working together to help tackle bullying in Birmingham