The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) represent a broad range of charities, organisations and individuals committed to keeping children safe from bullying and abuse – both face to face and online. UKCCIS and ABA are aware of concerns around rising levels of race and faith targeted abuse online, in our schools and in our communities.
An increase in hate crime and incidents in school has been reported, as well as increased contact from children to Childline about race and faith targeted bullying and over a fifth of teachers saying pupils are subjected to hate crime and speech at school.
No child should have to grow up experiencing bullying and harassment.
In response to this we have worked together to produce these tops tips for schools to help you to begin to formulate a whole-school strategy to preventing and responding to race and faith targeted bullying.
These are some key actions you can take to both prevent, and respond to race and faith targeted bullying in your school.
- Be clear where you stand: Remind all members of the school community that you will challenge any offensive language or comments and that you take all forms of bullying and prejudice extremely seriously. Reinforce this principle through displays, newsletters, notice boards and published information to parents/carers and learners.
- Be clear that any reports of racist behaviour will be taken extremely seriously and this includes activity on social media platforms. Consider sending out an email/ letter to all students and parents reminding them of the school ethos and values, being clear that you will challenge all forms of bullying and abuse.
- Make sure your anti-bullying policy/behaviour policy/e-safety policy includes race and faith targeted bullying and that this is shared through your school website and made readily available to all members of the school community.
- Ensure preventing and responding to bullying (including race and faith targeted bullying) is included in all staff training.
- Never dismiss reports of racism or bullying – be clear you take this seriously and acknowledge their feelings. Listen to them and involve them in your response.
- Encourage all staff and students to be vigilant to bullying, prejudice and abuse – whether face to face or online, and to report any concerns.
- Encourage children to speak to teachers/ support staff if they have any worries or concerns about bullying, prejudice or abuse.
- Record levels of race and faith targeted bullying: Be sure to keep a record of any incidents and take immediate action if you receive a report of bullying or abuse. Being able to provide clear evidence that schools have identified a problem, taken action to tackle it and continue to review it is useful for their Ofsted inspections.
- Consider whether to report racist incidents/faith targeted incidents as hate crimes to the police.
- Children will parrot what they hear at home, in the streets and on social media. Be patient, be kind and always promote inclusion and respect diversity.
- Take a whole-school and cross curricular approach. Involve all aspects of the school community. Take time in assemblies, tutor time and through the curriculum to remind students that they are all equally respected and valued.
- Seek help. It is important that schools seek advice if they are unsure how to handle a situation. At the end of this document you will find a list of specialist agencies that can offer guidance and support.