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Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. Bullying that happens online, using social networks, games and mobile phones, is often called cyber bullying. A child can feel like there’s no escape because it can happen wherever they are, at any time of the day or night.

Bullying is behaviour that is:

  • repeated
  • intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
  • often aimed at certain groups, for example because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
  • An imbalance of power where the child who bullies uses their power to control or harm others

Both children who are bullied and those who bully others may have serious and lasting issues.

Practitioners must be alert of the possibility of bullying and must always take action if they think children are being bullied both to protect the child who is being bullied and to investigate why the other child is bullying.

Schools should have an anti-bullying policy and it is helpful to have a child friendly version in addition, this can be developed by the School Council.

Bullying should be part of the PHSE curriculum in schools throughout the year. Public Health have developed for schools a Partnership for Education, Attainment and Children’s Health (PEACH) framework which is a matrix to support schools in identifying areas for improvement and informing their curriculum planning.