Education professionals have a key role to play in supporting young people with a visible difference and creating an inclusive environment for all pupils.
Your school will already have an anti-bullying policy. However, it’s important to ensure that the issues faced by children and young people who have a visible difference are included.
The advice and suggestions on this page are based on research findings and experience of working with children and young people.
We hope this will help schools foster a positive and inclusive school experience for all children and young people, and help ensure your school’s anti-bullying policy supports pupils with a visible difference.
First take a look at this video, which features young people with a visible difference talking about their experiences of bullying:
To ensure your anti-bullying policy support students with a visible difference, follow the guidelines below:
Training for staff
- Regular CPD to equip all staff to prevent bullying and to identify, report and address all incidents involving all forms of bullying.
- Specific staff training concerning appearance-related issues in education. This will include developing and maintaining high expectations of pupils who have an unusual appearance.
- Effectively managing the social challenges associated with visible difference. Just doing the activities in the research will help to prevent bullying.
- Staff need to be confident and comfortable exploring appearance issues with pupils, where appropriate, in the context of lessons and discussions.