This is always a worry for parents and you can be confident nowadays that any report of this by you, any other responsible adult, and any child must be taken seriously by all schools.

The Government has made tackling bullying in state schools a key priority and independent school are likely to follow that good practice. The Department for Education (DFE) has made clear that no form of bullying should be tolerated.

Bullying in schools should be taken very seriously; it is not a normal part of growing up and it can ruin lives.

It is compulsory for schools to have measures in place to encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils, and to prevent all forms of bullying. The DFE supports state schools in designing their anti-bullying policies, and their strategies to tackle bullying, by providing comprehensive practical guidance documents such as the Safe to Learn material. Regional advisers with expertise in the field of bullying are also on hand to help.

Schools can also sign up to the Anti-bullying Charter to show their commitment to tackling all forms of bullying, and use the principles of the Charter to self-evaluate their anti-bullying policies and practices. You may wish to ask your child's teacher if the school has signed up to the document.

We know that children who stammer, as their speech appears to be different, are sadly quite likely to be the subject of comments or worse by other young children. This is very upsetting for your child and will undermine his self-esteem.

Talk to your child's teacher

As soon as you are concerned talk to your child's teacher, do not decide to wait and see whether your child settles down again. Try to be specific about other children and/or staff involved. If it is the teacher herself who seems to have upset your child it is still important to talk with her in a calm manner and hopefully the matter will be put right at this early stage.

This helpful chat at the school may quickly resolve the situation, especially if your child feels bullied by other children as they can respond very quickly to advice from the teacher. Worrying situations can be nipped in the bud. You can then be reassured that staff are looking out for any more difficulties and know to contact you immediately if they arise.

If you feel you need further support contact your local Parent Partnership service or get their contact details from your local authority. This service is available in every area to provide independent advice to parents of children with special educational needs and may be able to provide a worker who can support you and accompany you to any meetings.

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Text for this whole section: Teasing and bullying