Anti bullying

What is bullying?

Bournside students have chosen to adopt the Anti-Bullying Alliance definition of bullying which is:

the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.

A useful mnemonic for identifying bullying is ‘STOP‘ – Several Times On Purpose.

Bournside is a school that is fundamentally opposed to all forms of bullying. In October 2018, we were proud to be awarded the bronze anti-bullying quality mark by ABQM-UK (Anti-Bullying Quality Mark-UK) – the first secondary school in Gloucestershire to gain this recognition.

Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre achieved the ABQM-UK Bronze Award because staff, students, parents and governors demonstrated that anti-bullying is a whole school priority in which they all play an active role. Pupils are actively involved in the development of anti-bullying in the school. As a result of their work, the school has established a range of approaches to make sure that the students feel safe and comfortable.

Spokesperson from ABQM-UK

The Anti-Bullying Quality Mark is a national scheme which shows how good schools are at preventing bullying. It challenges schools to set up effective and sustainable anti-bullying policies and strategies and make them part of everyday life. As such, our school has an anti-bullying governor link who is working in partnership with school leaders in order to achieve the silver award.

Incidents of bullying should be reported to the school, using one of the methods listed below in the section titled ‘reporting bullying’. However, should you wish to speak with a member of staff about our school’s work towards achieving the silver award, please contact:

Kevin Warren (Deputy Head of SIxth Form, lead on ABAs and ABQM) at

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

Bournside uses a variety of strategies to help investigate and respond to the rare incidents of bullying than happen at the school, one of which is the student-led Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme.

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (ABAs) are student ambassadors in years 9, 10, 11 and Sixth Form who are trained to support students who are unfortunate enough to encounter any rare incidents of bullying at Bournside. An ABA can be a person who will listen, offer advice or even be somebody to offer a voice for students who may not be confident enough to report a problem. They do not replace the teacher and will always encourage students to tell an adult.

ABAs visit tutor groups in years 7, 8 and 9, frequently throughout each term during tutor time and are visible during student social time via their Anti-Bullying badge (pictured.) They also have a Student Frog page that gives students advice, opportunity to send a referral of concern and keeps students up to date with current anti-bullying events at the school.

The sixth form ABA steering group meet every Wednesday to discuss the latest issues regarding anti-bullying in schools.

Younger pupils value and respect the anti-bullying ambassadors.
Ofsted 2016

Every student has the opportunity to become an ABA ambassador. We asked three of our young people why they joined the scheme:

I became an ABA to support people and to raise awareness of everyone working together to prevent bullying.


It’s the actual ability to make a very real and positive difference. You can see people learning from what we do.


I wanted to make people feel safe in school, have a really good, strong school community where we have no tolerance for bullying.


Anti-Bullying Week

Each year we participate in the national Anti-Bullying Week and have a range of activities for students to raise awareness, and to think about being kind to each other.
Activities for the students include:

  • Stand-up selfie
    Students take a selfie on their own or with a group, to make their pledge for anti-bullying at Bournside. Pictures will be taken against the national Anti-Bullying Week logo. All images taken will then be uploaded onto the school’s anti-bullying page for students to view.
  • Odd Socks Day
    Students are encouraged to wear odd socks for the day. The aim of which is to celebrate differences.
  • Ambassadors club
    A quiet space run by the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors where students can learn more about the ABAs or come and get some advice regarding any bullying-related concerns. Alternatively, they can come and relax in a quiet space and try some challenges and watch some of the anti-bullying videos the team have prepared.
  • Parachute club
    A fun, active session involving the giant multi-coloured parachute. The aim is for students to see that we are all the same. The students involved will have to run under the parachute depending on the criteria that is shouted by the leader of the activity. The theme for this activity is to promote ‘All Different, All Equal’.
  • ‘Lend a hand for bullying’
    Students create and design helping hand logos and paper chains to celebrate ‘what qualities make us unique.’
  • Fancy dress parade
    Sixth Form students come to school in fancy dress for a day.
  • Anti-bullying pledge wall
    Using the jigsaw template, create your own anti-bullying pledge and stand up to bullying with the wall.
  • A short story/poem competition: theme ‘stand up to bullying’.

Contacting the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

If you need to contact the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at any time, you can email them at

Reporting bullying

Students are encouraged to report any incidences of bullying either directly to a member of staff, through the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors or using the ABA email address. Most students find it easier to speak first with their tutors.

Parents or carers can report incidences of bullying directly. The tutor should be the first point of contact. Staff contact details are on the website.

Steering group

The remit of the anti-bullying steering group is to:

  • Evaluate the school’s current anti-bullying provision
  • Contribute to the annual revision of the school’s anti-bullying policy

The group consists of parents, pupils, staff and the anti-bullying link governor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recently the parent forum met to discuss the school’s anti-bullying work and helped to devise a list of frequently asked questions, which may support parents and carers.