Attempting to deal with bullying is difficult and often frustrating at the best of times. Bullying is such an emotive and stressful issue to deal with, explain and even report.
For parents in particular, you may well be the first or even the last to know about what is happening.
Either way, the following information should help you understand how you should approach your school with your concerns or with a formal complaint.
The first thing you should do is approach the school with your concerns. A number of school professionals can be approached, but often the first and most appropriate person is your son or daughter's class tutor or Head of Year. If a resolution is possible at this stage, you should aim to achieve a set of actions which are put in place to help monitor the situation and progress of any resolution or indeed any problems that could also arise.
If you are not satisfied with how things have gone after that first meeting, then you have the right to make a complaint and raise your concerns officially to the school's Complaints Officer, likely to be the Head Teacher (please check with the school in question). You will need to detail your concerns and basis of complaint in writing and can expect an acknowledgment of your letter within three to five days. In certain cases where the complaint needs to be dealt with urgently, a Head Teacher could refer the complaint to the Governing body.
You can expect to be notified of any outcome within a minimum of 20 days unless there is a swifter resolution or set of outcomes relating to your complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with any outcomes or actions from the initial complaint, within 10 days of receiving the letter detailing any action or outcomes from your complaint, you can now make a formal complaint to your son or daughter's Head Teacher. The school should acknowledge your official complaint and write to you detailing a full explanation of the reasons for their arriving at that decision, and where appropriate, detail what more the school is able to do to seek a satisfactory resolution to your complaint.
You may continue to be unhappy at any outcomes or decisions made, and this means you are entitled to take your complaint right to the schools governing body.
Although it is generally accepted that most complaints seldom get to this stage, Beatbullying knows all too well that a number still do and indeed some go further. At this stage though, the governing body of your son or daughter's school will need to receive, in writing from you, a detailed complaint, with which the governing body will consider your case and evidence given and make a decision within its committee. When you write your complaint to the governing body, be really clear in your letter, detailing everything that you are complaining about and everything you are dissatisfied with regarding the way your complaint has been handled.
The governing body will be made up of a number of committee members, none of whom will have been involved in your case, in order to preserve objectivity and impartiality. The decisions the committee make will be conducted in private and you should be notified if you are requested to attend a meeting with them and be given adequate notice of this meeting.