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What Happens If The School Does Not Respond To My Concerns?

Some parents have had the unfortunate experience of having brought bullying to the attention of a teacher or school and yet the bullying persists. It may be that the school is unwilling or does not know how to confront a particularly aggressive pupil. It may be that the nature of the bullying is particularly difficult to address e.g. relational bullying.

If you find yourself faced with a situation where the school claims that they have done all they can to help even though your child is still being bullied, you may have to consider other options.

In some situations you may need to invoke the schools formal complaints procedures which may require you to submit your concerns/complaint in writing to the Board of Management. Every school is obliged to have a very specific policy on dealing with bullying (view new Dept of Educ guidelines issues in Sept 2013) and you should also ask to view a copy of the policy so that you are clear as to the procedures. ( The procedures may be a little different if the complaint is about a teacher - read more.)

If you are submitting a written complaint to the Chairman of the Board of Management, outline the problem, what steps you have taken so far and what outcome you are seeking. You may be asked to attend a meeting of the Board of Management to discuss the issue. If so, make notes of points you wish to address and keep a written record of the proceedings.
If following investigation by the school you are unhappy with the outcome, there are some
other formal options open to you - read more.

In rare circumstances you may decide to consider changing schools or alternatively teach the child at home. These are difficult decisions for any parent and you may need to seek advice and guidance from the Department of Education and Skills or from education professionals such as the school principal or counsellor. It is important for you as a parent to be sure that a change of school will have the desired result. There are some issues to be considered, particularly the stress that changing school during a school year will put on your already stressed child. Also there is the possibility that your child may not settle well or that she may be bullied again in her new school. Nevertheless there are some children who benefit greatly from a well planned fresh start. If the situation is serious enough to warrant a change of school and you see no other option, then it is important to prepare your son/daughter well for the move.

Review the Department of Education Resources on Bullying - available here

    The Essential Parents Guide to the Secondary School Years - available from Primary ABC
    The Cool School Programme

    Return to our section focussing on Bullying