Bullying, Prejudice & Discrimination

Bullying icon

Bullying can have an impact on all children and young people – whether it’s those who are bullied, those who bully others, or those who witness it. The effects of bullying can have significant lasting impacts, and those involved in bullying are more likely to struggle with their mental health in childhood and adulthood. Additionally, children and young people who are bullied are understandably more absent from school and experience lower grades on average than those who are not bullied. The reasons behind bullying should always be understood, and bullying stemming from racism or prejudice should always be recorded and reported as such. 

Bullying behaviours can include being threatened, being left out or excluded, having property destroyed, being physically assaulted, being made fun of or insulted, being made to do unwanted things, and being the subject of rumours or lies. The most common forms of bullying reported by pupils in Devon are being teased, being called nasty names, and being physically assaulted. Insight gained from the most recent Pupil Wellbeing Survey completed in 2021 revealed that appearance was the most common reason for being bullied, including general appearance, body size or weight, and the clothes pupils wear.

Bullying prevention is most effective when taking a whole school approach, involving the entire school community. This may include: 

  • Incorporating a bystander approach where pupils feel empowered to recognise behaviour that is not right and inform an adult 
  • Talking to pupils about bullying, modelling kindness and respect, and encouraging pupils to seek help  
  • Helping pupils to understand what bullying behaviours are  
  • Encouraging communication with pupils  

Bullying incidents should be reported to the Local Authority. This helps to build a picture so that appropriate resources, training, and support can be directed to have the most impact. Bullying, prejudice, and racism incidents can be reported here.

More information about bullying, racism, and prejudice and additional signposting is available on the Devon County Council’s Inclusion pages Bullying – Support for schools and settings (devon.gov.uk) 

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