Cambridge Independent Neuroscience and Psychiatry Services


  • Know that bullying is never acceptable in any way.  It is not 'part of life', 'part of school', 'part of childhood' or 'part of growing up / becoming tough'.  
  • Bullying takes various different forms and virtual methods are now often used, which can be very powerful.  
  • Teachers and parents are often not able to monitor or identify or understand the various virtual methods young people now use to communicate.  This can be very serious; some young people have committed suicide as a result of bullying.
  • Know that bullying is very common and it does not mean that you are (or your child is) weak or disliked if you are (or your child is) being bullied.  Childline recorded 24 000 counselling sessions with children in the UK due to cyberbullying in 2016/7. It is estimated that more or less 16 000 children in the UK are absent from school due to bullying.    
  • Children often avoid talking about being bullied, so it is often helpful to ask directly.
  • Early detection and intervention is paramount and affects outcome or prognosis directly.   
  • The bully often experiences violence or bullying in his own life and repeats the behaviour he or she has experienced with others.
  • Know that bullying can and should be stopped, but it often means that adults must work together to manage the problem.
  • There is a very thin line between bullying and abuse and some would agree that there is no line at all.  Please see Abuse for possible consequences and for signs to look out for. 
  • Bullying can be very serious and can have serious consequences ranging from medical problems (direct and indirect cause) to developmental problems (physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language development) and mental health problems.
  • Parents should be pro-active and not accept anything less that a good and helpful response from professionals involved. 
  • Helpful Links offer information on further support.
  • Please liaise with your GP and/or school directly if you have any concerns. 

Children need to be in an environment where they can openly and comfortably, without consequences, share their concerns.  

Adults and professionals must share concerns, communicate effectively, document clearly and work collaboratively to promote a safe environment for children.  

  • Tell someone you trust immediately, ideally your parent, a teacher or an adult friend.  Keep them up to date.
  • Keep a record of specific details of bullying.  Date, time, place, the people present and what happened before the incident, during the incident and afterwards.  Include which teachers were present, what was said and what was done.  Try to be factual rather than emotional on this record.  Your emotions are very important, but keep it recorded separately.  If there are any physical lesions on children, such as bruises, the child should be taken to the GP to formally document evidence and to assess the child's physical health.  GPs are often very helpful in supporting parents and schools in difficult circumstances. 
  • Don't retaliate or give the bully the satisfaction of seeing that it bothers you.
  • Behave calm and confidently or walk away. 
  • Discuss a strategy with an adult that you trust and have an action plan to deal with difficult situations. 
  • Parents should check the school's anti-bullying policy and schools need to take responsibility.   
  • Parents should put their concern to the schools in writing.  Parents should ask the school what their management plan to prevent further bullying will include and should work with school to ensure that the behaviour is discontinued.
  • Parents should liaise with their GP if they have ongoing concerns. 

 Bullying should never be accepted. 

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