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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07261: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what recourse there is for parents of children who are the victims of bullying at school.

Answered by: John Swinney 7 March 2017

It is the responsibility of head teachers, teachers, other school staff and local authorities to decide how to address bullying in their schools. We expect that all schools develop and implement an anti-bullying policy, which should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The policy should indicate how the issue of bullying will be raised within the curriculum and how incidents will be dealt with and recorded.

If parents or carers are not happy with how the school has addressed bullying incidents, then they should contact their local authority. If they are not happy with the Council’s response then they may wish to consider asking for their complaint to be reviewed by the council. If they are still not happy with the Council’s response to the review then they can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) who will look at the complaint.

The refreshed “National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People”, which is due to be published later in 2017, makes clear the role of all adults (including parents and carers) in preventing and dealing with bullying as well as what they can expect from others.