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As more and more schools are having to respond to the growing challenge of cyberbullying, it is vital that schools understand the issue, know how to prevent and respond to incidents, and are updated on the legal issues surrounding this challenging subject.

The DCSF has worked with children’s charity Childnet International to provide this guidance, which forms part of the anti-bullying guidance Safe to Learn: Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools. You will be able to find important information and clear advice on the subject, and review how your school takes action.

Quote from a pupil: “I felt that no-one understood what I was going through. I didn’t know who was sending me these messages, and I felt powerless to know what to do.”

Quote from a parent: “Having my daughter show me text messages from nearly everyone in her class all saying derogatory things about her was devastating.”

Quote from a staff member: “The accusation about me which the students put on their website was horrendous. Within hours it seemed that the whole school had read this message.”

This guidance was developed for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) by Childnet International and in consultation with the DCSF Cyberbullying Taskforce, on which representatives of the following organisations sit (in alphabetical order):

Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA)
AOL (UK) limited
Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)
Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
Childnet International
Children's Charities' Coalition for Internet Safety
Cyberspace Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)
Fox Interative Media / MySpace
Get Connected
Google / YouTube
Home Office
London Councils
Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live services)
Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
Mobile Broadband Group
Mobile Broadband Group
National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
The National Association of Schoolmasters / Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
National Governors’ Association (NGA)
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
National Union of Teachers (NUT)
Parent Governors Representatives Network
Professional Association of Teachers (PAT)
The Carphone Warehouse
The Samaritans
T-Mobile UK
Unit for School and Family Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
Yahoo! UK & Ireland
Youth Justice Board (YJB)
York St John University

The Department would also like to thank the staff and pupils at Avenue Primary School, Leicester, and Hamilton Community College, Leicester, for contributing to the development of this guidance.