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Auditing/Monitoring Bullying

Guidance on Recording Bullying and Prejudice-Based Incidents new


Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via social media or the internet).

It can involve verbal taunts, name calling, physical injury, and damage to property, rumour spreading, shunning or ridicule and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of ethnicity, religion, belief, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, or because a child is in care, has caring responsibilities or mental health issues. It might be motivated by actual differences, perceived differences or as a result of association with someone else.

Adapted from; Preventing and Tackling Bullying, DfE

Schools should record not only bullying but also hurtful incidents that impact significantly on individuals, so that they can work to prevent any incident escalating to becoming bullying.

Prejudice-related incident

A prejudice-related incident is an incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility, prejudice or ignorance, based on a person’s perceived or actual ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with someone from one of these groups.

These incidents can also include indirect prejudice driven behaviour that is not targeted at one individual. The impact of this expression of prejudice against an equality group whether intentional or not can be damaging and must therefore be recorded and responded to as a prejudice based incident.

The term ‘Hate Incidents’ is the term widely used by the Police and other sectors to describe this type of incident. Serious prejudice-based incidents should be reported to the Police.

For further advice please see the pages on prejudice-related incidents


Auditing Recording Formats for Hurtful Incidents and Bullying

The following recording formats are provided as a steer to schools that use paper recording formats.  They are of course optional but are based on good practice.  They can be adapted to fit in with you own school’s systems and procedures or used in their entirety.  Some schools will want to use forms 1&3 only, which together would cover the current requirements.  Form 2 was the original form we provided to schools prior to the current Ofsted framework.

Whichever recording format you use, schools should ensure that they record any aspect of incidents (including derogatory language) that are relevant to the ‘protected characteristics’ (Equalities Act 2010) or other vulnerabilities.  

Investigation into allegation of bullying form

The emphasis in Ofsted is all about preventing incidents ever escalating to become bullying and pupils and parents clearly understanding and trusting the school's systems.  With these factors clearly in mind we have updated our recommended format for an investigation into an allegation of bullying.  Do let us know if you find the new traffic light section useful.


Bullying Report and Monitoring Form

The Equalities Act 2010 gives parity across all protected characteristics, so it has been important to update our recording formats to reflect this. 

An integrated bullying and racist incident form is provided for schools to record and monitor bullying cases.

Support provided for bullied child/Action and support provided for child who has bullied New -12/06/14

The emphasis from DfE is increasingly focused on the need to ensure quality incident follow up that resolves issues for all parties and provides appropriate support for the child on the receiving end of hurtful behaviour as well as the child/ren who have been hurtful.  Form 3 is designed to support your thinking about this process and to give you a recording mechanism to capture the follow up undertake.

Form 3a: Support provided for bullied child
Form 3b: Action and support provided for child who has bullied


Anti-Bullying Alliance Bullying Audit Toolkit User Guidance