A Shared Responsibility

"Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children – and in particular protecting them from significant harm – depends upon effective joint working between agencies and workers/practitioners that have different roles and expertise."

Bullying is one of the key issues that children and young people are concerned about. It is the main reason why they call ChildLine each year, and it is the principal reason about which children and young people contact the Office of the Children's Commissioner. Bullying causes harm to those who bully, those who are bullied and those who watch. Being bullied 'undermines self esteem and confidence, sometimes with devastating consequences.' (Anti-Bullying Alliance, 2006)

The Safeguarding Children Board and Children's Trust Partners and all organisations involved with providing services to children are required to share information and work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people The children and young people should also be consulted on issues that affect them as individuals and collectively.

Since 1999 schools have been under a legal duty to put measures in place to promote good behaviour, respect for others and to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. In practice schools need to draw up an anti-bullying policy linked to the behaviour policy.

Depending on the type, nature and potential seriousness of violence. It is important for all agencies to consider whether to apply safeguarding procedures both to young people being bullied and to perpetrators. Young people being bullied may need to be protected from the child or young person engaging in bullying behaviour using safeguarding processes. If a young person is engaging in these behaviours this may be an indication that they are acting out the prejudices they see, to fit in. It could also be an indication that the young person could be experiencing abuse at home and therefore require some form of safeguarding intervention.

Bullying is still as a major issue for children and young people in the community. The profile of bullying - and how to deal with it - has never been higher. This policy is designed to assist us all in delivering an effective and coordinated response to bullying in all settings. We would like to encourage Children's Social Care, individual schools and other educational, youth, sports, community and leisure settings to work with us in partnership and to draw from this policy to frame their own anti-bullying responses.

If you are worried about your child being bullied there is a lot of advice and guidance to help you: