Race and faith targeted bullying

Schools in England have a legal duty to ensure the safety of all children and young people and to prevent all forms of bullying. Staff must act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school (for more information see the Anti-Bullying Alliance guide to Bullying and the Law).

These are some key actions that schools can take both to prevent, and respond to race and faith targeted bullying:

  • Send out an email/ letter to all students and parents reminding them of the school ethos and values, being clear that you will challenge all forms of bullying and abuse. Be clear that any reports of racist behaviour will be taken extremely seriously and this includes activity on social media platforms.
  • Make sure your anti-bullying policy/behaviour policy/e-safety policy includes race and faith targeted bullying and that this is shared through your school website and made readily available to all members of the school community.
  • Encourage all staff and students to be vigilant to bullying, prejudice and abuse – whether face to face or online, and to report any concerns.
  • Take time in assemblies, tutor time and through the curriculum to remind students that they are all equally cherished, respected and valued and encourage them to speak to teachers/ support staff if they have any worries or concerns about bullying, prejudice or abuse. 
  • Remind all members of the school community that you will challenge any offensive language or comments and that you take all forms of bullying and prejudice extremely seriously.
  • Make sure you keep a record of any incidents and take immediate action if you receive a report of bullying or abuse.
  • Children will parrot what they hear at home, in the streets and on social media. Be patient, be kind and always speak from a place of love.
  • Seek help. It is important that schools seek advice if they are unsure how to handle a situation. At the end of this document you will find a list of specialist agencies that can offer guidance and support.

Resources and services

Choosing a resource

It goes without saying that issues relating to bullying, race and faith can be sensitive for staff and students.    There are lots of ways of approaching the subject – and not everyone will agree on the best method. It may be that a resource works well with one group of pupils or in one setting, but works less well in another. For this reason we would urge you take the following steps when choosing a resource or activity:

  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with the resource (e.g if it’s a film – watch it all the way through)
  • Consider whether the resource may provoke strong reactions in any students or may lead to difficult discussions or conflict. How will you manage this? Could there be particular students or groups of students that might need additional support either prior to using the resource, during the session, or after the session?
  • Consider whether you need to consult with a senior member of staff or with parents and carers.
  • Consider whether the resource is suitable for the age group you are working with.
  • Consider whether you need to adapt the resource to make it suitable for the group or individuals you are working with.
  • Make sure you encourage students to talk to you or to one of the agencies listed in this document if they need support or advice following the session.

Countering racism, prejudice and intolerance

 Promoting shared values and community cohesion  

  • Countering extremism An open-access video resource to help build professionals' confidence in challenging anti-Muslim sentiment and promote shared values and community cohesion. There are 30 question-based clips in all, with Matthew Goodwin and Sara Khan, addressing the far right and ISIS respectively. (LgFL)
  • Addressing extremism in PSHE Education A blog on addressing extremism, including far-right extremism in PSHE education(PSHE Association)
  • Bite the ballot: A movement whose aim is to ensure that future generations grow up in a society that embraces diversity and difference; a country where every citizen is inspired to play an active role in democracy, and where everyone works collectively to make ‘-isms’ (classism, racism, ageism, sexism, fascism) things of the past. Includes the provision of democracy workshops for schools.
  • Advice about world issues that may be worrying your students: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/(NSPCC/ChildLine)
  • Range of resources for all ages looking at global human rights (Amnesty International) 
  • Exploring diversity through film (Into Film)

Organisations that may be able to offer additional support 

  • ChildLinesupports all children and young people through a free, confidential service0800 1111
  • Tell MAMA supports victims of anti-Muslim hate and is a public service which also measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents. It is not meant to be a replacement for the Police Service. In an emergency, please call 999. Call us: 0800 456 1226, E-mail: info@tellmamauk.org, Twitter: @tellmamauk, SMS: 0115 707 0007, WhatsApp: 0734 184 6086
  • www.report-it.org.uk Police funded website designed to provide information about Hate crime and aimed at improving the service that Police provide to minority communities. Self reporting and information pack available as well as online facilities that allows you to report hate crime quickly to the Police. Includes information on reporting internet hate crime.
  • Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 www.crimestoppers-uk.org  Call anonymously with information about crime.
  • Equality Advisory & Support (EASS) 0808 800 0082 www.equalityadvisoryservice.com
    Advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights across England, Scotland and Wales
  • Stop Hate Line  www.stophateuk.org
    Run by the charity Stop Hate UK for immediate advice and support. Anyone who is either a victim or a witness of a hate crime will be able to report the incident directly to the Helpline. The aim is to encourage the public to report incidents where they have been called names, physically hurt, or had their property damaged because of another person’s prejudice towards their race, faith, age, sexuality, gender or disability
  • Victim Support 0808 168 9111 www.victimsupport.org.uk  Help people cope with the effects of crime whether the crime is reported or not. Also give information on local victim support groups.
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