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Helping you and your child deal with cyberbullying

Wednesday 5th February 2014

Bullying comes in many forms and in recent months bullying online or 'cyberbullying' has been very much in the media spotlight. With charities warning that this type of bullying is on the rise, it's fast becoming a main concern of parents up and down the country.

It can happen to any child on any social network but research shows that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are more likely to have a negative experience online.

Currently Contact a Family is working in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) which includes Achievement for All, Mencap and the Council for Disabled Children. Our aim is to reduce the incidence and impact of bullying on children with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) in schools.

The good news is that although children with special educational needs or a disability are more likely to experience bullying online, they are also more likely to report it, so it's vital that you talk to your child and work with them to stop the bullying.

Schools in England and bullying

Our anti-bullying expert Angie Fenn said: "It's important for parents to remember that schools in England can help. If the bullies attend your child's school, report the bullying to the head teacher. There is a legal duty of care towards pupils. This means the school must look after the safety and wellbeing of their pupils as a reasonable parent would.

Schools must have a behaviour policy which outlines measures to encourage good behaviour in schools. Some schools have a separate anti-bullying policy which may set out how bullying is reported, recorded and what action will be taken.These policies must be made available to parents, and may be on the school website.

Behaviour policies can include the behaviour of pupils off-site, and as long the policy makes this clear, there is no reason why a head teacher cannot take action against bullies using social media outside of school hours.

For guidance in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - check our online guide for more information."

Check our online resources for more

Put together by our experts, we have a wealth of online information to help you deal with bullying. Including:

If you have any questions about your individual circumstances then please do give our freephone advice line a call on 0808 808 3555 or private message us on Facebook or Twitter.

Related items

  • Watch our video explaining more about our anti-bullying workshops that we are hosting in some areas.
  • Listen to our parent adviser talk more about bullying and how it may affect your son or daughter.