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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 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. We have developed a helpful
distinction 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
  • Accidental
  • Equal power
  • Remorseful
  • Effort to solve the problem

Relational conflict

  • Happens occasionally
  • Accidental
  • Equal power
  • Remorseful
  • 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. Click here to see a list of links.

In addition to this, we have created the  Portsmouth anti-bullying guidance and resource pack for schools. This has been well received both locally and nationally. On page 47 you can see specifically how settings support those with SEND.

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. Click here to read more about this.

Video by Resolve Conflict

Click here to read the Portsmouth City Council Restorative Practice Strategy. 

Portsmouth Anti-bullying Strategy 2018 - 2020

To read Portsmouth City Council’s anti Bullying Strategy click on the link below.


Useful Anti-Bullying SEND Resources

  • Parent Carer Interactive Anti Bullying Tool created by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Click here to view.




Helping your child/Young Person with SEND to stay safe online - CyberBullying

Lots of children and young people spend a lot of time online. Virtual environments and social media platforms can provide some benefits to children and young people with SEND and allow them to socialise with others more easily. Sites such as YouTube, Instagram and live gaming streams are really popular, so it’s even more important that parent carers and the children/young people themselves are aware of how to stay safe whilst online.

We have listed some useful links below that can help you support your child or young person with this.

If you have any serious safeguarding concerns please always contact the Portsmouth Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub . Click here for details.

What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying via electronic means. This could be via a smart phone, computer, laptop, tablet or online gaming platform. It can take place on a range of online or mobile services, such as text, email, social networking sites, video-hosting sites, messenger, photo sharing services, chat, webcams, visual learning environments and online games. ( as defined by the Anti-Bullying Alliance).

Click here to read the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s guide on cyber bullying for schools and professionals.

Click here to read a Young People’s guide to Cyber Bullying.


Advice for staying safe online

  • Court Lane Junior School in Portsmouth have created a really good list of resources and information to support online safety. Click here to visit their website. 
  • Childnet International have produced a guide for parent carers to help support young people online. You can read it here.
  • Staying safe online videos for children aged 6-9 years created by Childnet International. Click here to view. 
  • Cerebra -Learning disabilities, autism and internet safety: a guide for parents. Click here to read. 
  • Tiger Mobiles – Guide to support how to keep your child safe on their phone. Click here to read. 


Dealing with Cyberbullying – Tips from the National Autistic Society

Children and young people with SEND find social networking, forums, emailing, instant messaging, texting and online gaming an easier way to socialise. They can help children build up self-esteem and confidence with positive interactions and can encourage them to interact with others.

However, your child may not be able to recognise cyberbullying as easily as their peers. As a result, you may want to monitor their use of the internet or mobile phones. Be aware of any changes in your child’s behaviour. If they suddenly don’t seem keen to get onto the computer, then this could mean some bullying has taken place. Here are some suggestions of how you can make things safer:

  • get to know more about the technology and social media your child uses
  • understand the risks, and take an active interest in how and with whom they are interacting
  • use parental settings for mobile phones, laptops, tablets or games consoles
  • use filters for applications
  • use privacy settings for online gaming and social media sites

Try making an agreement with your child about how devices must be used. Establish appropriate behaviour online and help your child to identify when they or others are being bullied online. Encourage your child to share any messages that are nasty or upsets them with you.

As part of the agreement you may want to ensure that your child understands that:

  • they must never disclose personal information
  • everything posted online can be traced back to the individual
  • online or offline, everyone must be treated with respect
  • they should think before they post – written communication can be misconstrued

Click here to read NAS’s parent carer guide to bullying.


Local and National 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.


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

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