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Anti-Bullying – Support and Information for those with SEND

Statistically, children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are more likely to experience bullying during their lives. Some children and young people are not able to recognise or say when they are being bullied, due to their needs, which makes them vulnerable.

Portsmouth is committed to safeguarding children and young people and recognises that everybody has the right to feel safe within their community and the right to feel safe from bullying and the fear of bullying.

In Portsmouth, there is a strong emphasis on restorative practice in schools which is used to foster good relationships, resolve conflicts and bullying and develop empathy. Restorative approaches help to prevent bullying from taking place and to respond effectively to bullying incidents when they do occur.

We have a wide offer of support both in education settings and the community, that can provide advice and information on what to do if you or your child/young person finds themselves a victim of bullying.

Helpful Information and Resources

What is bullying?

What is bullying?

In dealing with bullying, it is important to understand the difference between rough play, a genuine accident, an angry remark and bullying. Below are the differences between bullying and what is referred to as relational conflict.


Repeated, hurtful behaviour

Deliberate or intentional behaviour that causes physical or emotional harm

Imbalance of power

No remorse

No effort to solve the problem

Relational conflict

Happens occasionally


Equal power


Effort to solve the problem

Relational conflict

Happens occasionally


Equal power


Effort to solve the problem

How education settings support SEND children/young people experiencing bullying

Every education setting in Portsmouth produces an SEN report. This report contains all of the information on the SEND support the setting offers. This includes support for well being and social, emotional and mental health. Each individual school/college SEN report and setting policies will tell you how they respond to bullying.

You can find the reports on the education setting websites.

We are continually supporting education settings to develop professionally and support key adults working with children and young people. This includes safeguarding training and bullying. This is also of vital importance to enable staff to confidently deal with bullying incidents when required and to support those affected by bullying.

You should always approach your school leader or SENCO if you have concerns about bullying within your child’s education setting.

Restorative approaches in Portsmouth

Restorative practice or restorative approaches are essentially a way of affecting change in people’s behaviours by focussing on their relationships – seeking to prevent relationship breakdown – or restore it when it has.

By adopting restorative practice as ‘the way we work in Portsmouth’, we have chosen a way of thinking, a way of behaving and a way of being. By thinking, behaving and being ‘restorative’, we have  chosen to reframe our relationships with children and families.

In adopting restorative practice we also will be making significant changes to what it is that children and families receive from public services in Portsmouth.

We have worked with over a third of schools in Portsmouth to train and embed restorative practice into school life.

Video by Resolve Conflict


Local and national support organisations

Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership

National Bullying Helpine – 0300 323 0169 or 0845 22 55 787.  Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Anti-Bullying Alliance

NSPCC – 0808 800 5000

MENCAP Learning Disability Helpline – tel: 0808 808 1111

Safe4Me – Directory of helplines and national organisations.

Get in touch - tell us what you think

Contact the Portsmouth Send Local Offer to gain help, get more information or to leave feedback about the website.

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