What is bullying?

The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as:

the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or through cyber space.

It is vital for all schools and settings to have a shared understanding of bullying. This will benefit whole school community including all school staff, children and young people and their parents and ensure that bullying is not mis-identified and is spotted when it does happen. It is also important to understand that bullying is a group behaviour that involves a power imbalance. No longer do we understand bullying as a bully/victim role. It instead includes many individuals and understanding key character traits of these individuals will help when preventing and responding to bullying incidents.

We have lots of resources to help you to work together to understand bullying ...

For school staff and other children's workforce staff:

Our online training for professionals has a module (module 1) on the definition of bullying. Take a look!

We have developed a presentation that you can use with your school staff and other children's workforce professionals to understand bullying:

Is it bullying? (1 hour training session) 

This sessions discusses: 

    • The definition of bullying  

    • The difference between relational conflict and bullying 

    • Bullying as a group behaviour 

PowerPoint presentation 

Is it bullying activity

Take a look at our bullying and the law guide to understand school duties in relation to bullying.

For children and young:

We have developed a resource for key stage 2 pupils and above about bullying called 'the incident at the school gate'.

You can use the presentation above for key stage 3 and 4 pupils as well as professionals.

Our Anti-Bullying Week 2015 lesson and assembly plans cover the definition of bullying:

Primary schools

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 At 20.32.58

Secondary schools

Cartoon image of the definition of bullying (see below)

Click here to view our easy-read definition of bullying.

United Response have created some easy-read information about bullying here: https://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/what-to-do-if-you-feel-bullied

For parents and carers:

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has a section on our Parent Information Tool to help parents understand bullying and what it is. You can find the tool here.

It might be a good idea to send information about this free portal home to your parents in your school so they are aware of this resource.


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