3.6 Bullying

See 'Further information' below for links to national guidance. 

Please also see the Portsmouth Anti-Bullying Guidance (2018) or Hampshire Bullying Guidance


Definition and types of bullying

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages, social media or gaming, which can include the use of images and video) and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disabilities, or because a child is adopted, in care or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.

(Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Department for Education, 2017)

There are various types of bullying which can be summarised as:

  • Sexual – touching, repeated exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual propositioning; verbal personal comment or deviant desires communicated
  • Racist and faith-based – name calling, derogatory assumptions or generalisations about race, culture, religious faiths and beliefs
  • Homophobic and biphobic – based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and can include name calling, exclusion and gestures, negative stereotyping based on sexual orientation, using ‘gay’ as a negative term.
  • Transphobic – based on actual or perceived gender identity, and can include name calling, exclusion and gestures, negative stereotyping based on gender identity
  • Appearance – based on weight, size, hair colour, unusual physical features
  • Disability – name calling, exclusion, talking over a person, mimicking, physical overpowering (e.g. moving a wheelchair), laughing at a difficulty
  • Health – based on physical or mental conditions
  • Income-based – of living on a low income
  • Caring responsibilities – name calling, negative assumptions/misunderstandings about young carers


Signs of bullying

The NSPCC lists the following signs of bullying to watch out for:

  • belongings getting 'lost' or damaged
  • physical injuries, such as unexplained bruises
  • being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously 'ill' each morning, or skipping school
  • not doing as well at school
  • asking for, or stealing, money (to give to whoever's bullying them)
  • being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn
  • problems with eating or sleeping
  • bullying others.

Dealing with and preventing bullying

All settings should have anti-bullying strategies and procedures on how to refer to Children's Social Care. See Referrals Procedure and Assessment Procedure.

For further information on dealing with an preventing bullying in the school setting, see Preventing and Tackling Bullying (Department for Education, 2017).

Further information

Specialist organisations:

Cyber bullying:




This page is correct as printed on Thursday 20th of June 2024 01:47:16 AM please refer back to this website (http://hipsprocedures.org.uk) for updates.