[Skip to content]


What is Bullying?

The Department for Education, 2007, defines bullying as:

‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group, physically or emotionally.’
Bullying can take lots of different forms and children and young people can be targeted for a number of reasons. Sometimes children and young people do not realise that what is happening to them is bullying:
  • Physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, taking and damaging belongings
  • Verbal – Name calling, tainting, mocking, making nasty comments, making threats
  • Emotional – leaving people out / deliberately ignoring, gossiping, spreading rumours
  • Cyber-bullying – bullying using text messages / phone calls, picture / video clip on phones, instant messenger, email, chatrooms, web sites / blogs.
  • Racist / religious - Includes verbal and physical, in addition racist jokes and graffiti, also refusing to play with people from BME groups
  • Homophobic - Motivated by prejudice against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people, Includes verbal, physical and cyber
  • Sexual / sexist - Includes abusive name calling, gestures, comments about appearance, innuendos and propositions
  • Special educational needs / disabilities - Bullying will focus directly on the disability or impairment of the victim
Bullying can have a serious and lasting impact on a child’s life and on those around the child. It can also affect the person carrying out this behaviour, their supporters and bystanders.
No child or young person should have to tolerate bullying behaviour. It is our responsibility to safeguard them against such experiences.