Advice & Guidance
What to do if a child is being bullied in Birmingham
If a child tells you that they are being bullied listen carefully and try to stay calm.
Get information & support
Although you may feel upset and angry yourself it’s important that you focus on the child, pay attention to what they are saying, make sure that they are safe and re-assure them. Later you may want to make a note of the key points they have told you about the bullying and get information and advice from Anti-bullying support agencies such as:
- Family Lives: A national charity that works for and with parents: http://familylives.org.uk
- Childline: A national charity where children and young people can talk, email or live chat with someone in confidence:childline.org.uk
- Anti-bullying Alliance: A national alliance of organisations working together to stop bullying. The website has information on how to get help and advice if you, or someone close to you, is experiencing bullying: anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/advice
The school or youth organisation should also have an Anti-bullying Policy which sets out their procedures for dealing with bullying incidents. All children, parents and staff should be able to get hold of a copy and they are often posted on the schools website or can be obtained from the school’s reception.
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
Reporting bullying incidents
Step 1: tell someone at the place where the bullying is happening
Tell someone at the place where the bullying is happening. This could be a trusted member of staff or the named anti-bullying co-ordinator at the school or other youth organisation. They will:
- listen carefully;
- not take sides;
- investigate the incident;
- take action as outlined in the anti-bullying policy;
- keep records;
- follow up;
- keep parents and children informed about what’s happening; and
- seek advice and try again if the bullying doesn’t stop.
Step 2: tell someone else, get more support
If Step 1 has not worked, and the child is still being bullied, tell someone else. This could be a more senior member of staff or you could raise your concerns with:
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the first point of contact for professionals and members of the public who want to seek support or raise concerns about a child www.birmingham.gov.uk/concerned
Step 3: complain in writing
Most cases will be resolved by now, but if not, complain in writing.
Get a copy of the complaints procedure of the school or organisation where the bullying is happening and make a formal complaint to the Head teacher or senior manager.
- they MUST investigate the complaint by following the complaints procedure and setting time limits; and
- they MUST let you know the result.
- If the bullying still hasn’t stopped, seek further advice and you may need to escalate your complaint further, for example to the School Governors or the organisation’s Board of Trustees.
Step 4: in rare cases, make a further complaint
At this point, only a very few complex cases should be left unresolved, but if you are still unhappy you may make a further complaint to:
- the Local Authority
- the Director of Children’s Services
- your local councillor: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/councillors
- Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board: http://www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk
Other courses of action
Anti-bullying Alliance has more information about making complaints to different kinds of school like Academies and Free Schools and how to take a complaint even further.