Study information

Purpose of the research

The aim of the current study is to offer an initial, broad exploration of Educational Psychologist (EP) experiences of bullying within their professional roles. In so far that both researchers are aware, such an exploratory piece of research has not been conducted. 

About this study

This study uses a survey questionnaire design. If you choose to participate in the study you will be asked questions about any experiences of bullying within the EP profession you have had, or whether you have observed bullying. Additionally the survey will explore your experiences, or not, of a range of behaviours within the past 12 months. This survey is for qualified EPs to complete.

Who is conducting this study? 

This study is being led by Dr Dan O'Hare, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol. The study has received ethical approval from the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies Ethics Committee, reference 16439.

Participation is voluntary

Participating in this study is completely voluntary and you are free to stop completing the survey at any time.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. It will remain open until 18th March.

Given the potentially sensitive nature of the survey, we would encourage you to complete the survey at a time best for you, in a comfortable and safe space. If bullying within the profession is something that you have been affected by, you may wish to complete this survey with a supportive person nearby or available.

Benefits and risks of participating

Bullying experiences are recognised as a sensitive topic for research (Fahie, 2014) and as such, the survey topic itself may trigger distressing emotions. As result we have included signposting to a range of supportive organisations both before and after the survey. If this topic is one that is particularly sensitive for you, we would encourage you to save relevant support information before completing the survey. 

We do think that there are potential benefits to the study. Understanding the nature, frequency, type and/or severity of bullying in the profession is important and we hope that our research offers a basis from which these experiences are understood, validated and as a first step towards positive action. 

Understanding if bullying happens within the profession can contribute to the development of professional skills and support i.e. supervision, leadership, conflict management, emotional support

We also think that having information about bullying experiences within the profession will enable professional bodies to generate a support offer.

Due to the nature of this exploratory and anonymous survey, the researchers are unable to offer individualised support, however we have signposted to various organisations that can offer suppport if you need it.

Procedures for withdrawal from the study

You are free to stop completing the survey at any time and incomplete surveys will not be included in our analysis. In the survey we will not collect any identifying information, and so once the survey is complete and you have submitted your responses you will be unable to withdraw them as there will be no way for us to identify your data.

The survey data

All of the data we gather will be completely anonymous and stored securely in a password protected folder on the University of Bristol’s servers. 

It is University of Bristol policy that all research data be stored in an anonymised format and made freely and openly available to other researchers via the Bristol Research Data Repository. We will store all survey data, securely and anonymously in this data repository.

What we will do with the information provided in the survey

We will analyse the data to help us develop our understanding of any experiences of bullying that EPs have had within the profession. From this analysis we hope to disseminate our findings in a number of ways including:

  • Conference presentations

  • Webinars

  • Academic publication

  • Blog articles

  • Policy briefing specifically for professional bodies and EP services 

Contacting us 

If you have any questions, queries or complaints, please contact Dr Dan O’Hare in the first instance at dan.ohare@bristol.ac.uk

You are also able to contact sps-ethics@bristol.ac.uk