The ability to report and record incidents of bullying behaviour is a crucial part of any anti-bullying strategy. Schools and other settings need to encourage and make it as easy as possible for children and young people to report bullying incidents.
Schools should not be afraid to collect data about levels of bullying. It is very difficult to make whole school change without this data.
There are many ways you can look at data about levels of bullying in school. When you first implement your anti-bullying activity in school, expect to see an increase in levels of reporting bullying. This does not always indicate that you are not responding to the issue well and might instead be a sign that students feel better able to report incidents and more confident in schools’ response.
Over time we expect to see a ‘bell curve’ action that the initial spike in reported bullying starts to decline as your anti-bullying interventions come in to force.
Having a ‘one size fits all’ approach is unhelpful when supporting children and young people who experience bullying behaviour. Therefore having a range of reporting and recording mechanisms is important. In all cases of bullying behaviour it is necessary to act quickly, but even more so if you have a child who may find it difficult communicating or remembering what has happened.
[After I had talked about the bullying and nothing happened] I started to get really angry. They [teachers] hadn’t listened. Made me feel I couldn’t talk to anyone. I started to get really angry and taking it out on my [family] at home, because no one had listened to me.
Child talking about their experience
We have created a short guide below about reporting and recording bullying in order to help make sure your reporting and recording systems are capturing the right information.
Within the short guide on reporting and recording bullying we touch on topics such as:
- How to encourage pupils to report bullying by allowing them to report anonymously, giving them more than one method of reporting and showing them designated staff within the school who can help them
- How to react when bullying incidents are reported such as ensuring that your reaction after hearing the incident is measured, being discreet so other students are not made aware and acknowledging how brave the student was to come forward
- How to use data to understand bullying in your school
- Our checklist on what you should record
- The details which should be recorded when a bullying incident is reported