Dealing with bullying

Bullying, in whatever form and for whatever reason, has no place in schools.

Being bullied

If you are being bullied at school, there are procedures to support you and there are organisations that offer help and information and advice if you need it.

For more information visit the NI Direct website at Dealing with bullying and getting support.  

Legislation and guidance for schools

The Department has taken pro-active steps to tackle bullying through the development and publication of guidance.

The Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, requires all grant-aided schools to include within their discipline policy, an anti-bullying policy which includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. The effectiveness of these measures is monitored through the regular cycle of school inspections of pastoral care arrangements.

Guidance for schools in developing effective anti-bullying policies is included in the Department's publication 'Pastoral Care in Schools - Promoting Positive Behaviour'.


The Department provides funding to assist Childline NI to continue to provide their helpline for children and young people who wish to talk to someone about any concerns or worries they may have, including fears about bullying.  The helpline is open 24/7 and is free of charge - Tel: 0800 1111

Counselling Service in Schools

The Independent Counselling Service for Schools (ICSS) is available in all grant aided post-primary schools allowing pupils to speak to a trained counsellor about their concerns or fears around bullying.  Pupils can self refer or be referred by the school or their parents/carers.

Research into bullying

In October 2011 the Department published a research report on The Nature and Extent of Pupil Bullying in Schools in the North of Ireland. The findings show little change in the level of bullying behaviour reported by pupils compared to earlier studies published in 2002 and 2007.



Back to top