Dealing with bullying in schools

Elizabeth Nassem, Chris Kyriacou

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


    This essay presents a succinct overview of bullying in schools and how it can be dealt with more effectively. The bullying of pupils by pupils in schools has been a concern for many years. In recent years a major effort has been made to reduce bullying in schools. All schools are now required to have a policy on how it deals with bullying, and evidence-based intervention programmes have been introduced to reduce bullying and to guide how cases of bullying are dealt with. However, bullying in schools is still widespread. In this essay we argue that the key reasons for this lie with it being so common that it is viewed as a normal state of affairs which often goes unchallenged by teachers and pupils. In addition, schools too readily use punishment or generic intervention strategies, and, in the context of the pressure on schools to focus on pupils’ academic attainment, schools are often not able to devote sufficient time and resources to providing high quality pastoral care. In order to tackle bullying in schools more effectively, more time needs to be given to listening to what pupils have to say about bullying in order to enable teachers and pupils to work together to develop more effective intervention strategies. Moreover, rather than using generic intervention strategies, a more effective approach would include the use of counselling and mentoring of persistent bullies by teachers, in order to enable schools to tailor the intervention strategy to the precise circumstances within which the bullying occurs. In addition, the school needs to create a school climate within which bullying is viewed as unacceptable and where pupils can act collectively to tackle it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationFabián Society Education Group Essays [online]
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • School bullying


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