Bristol ideal specialist

Bristol Ideal award

What the Bristol Ideal award is, what your school needs to do to achieve it and why we have the Bristol Ideal award.

About the Bristol Ideal award

The Bristol Ideal award is a set of standards for schools to follow to:

  • tackle domestic and sexual violence in Bristol
  • promote healthy relationships, respect and gender equality

The standards focus on:

  • preventing domestic and sexual abuse
  • identifying and supporting pupils, families and staff who might be victims

The Bristol Ideal award is supported by Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

What you school needs to do to achieve the award

You must make changes in your school to help prevent and increase awareness of domestic abuse. This could include:

  • changes to the school’s physical environment
  • making improvements to the curriculum 
  • investing in leadership and training

You must complete the award within 1 year.

Use our online system to:

  • see the award criteria and guidance 
  • tell us you’re starting to work towards a specialist award
  • send us evidence of your work
  • track your progress
  • submit your finished work

Go to the online system

Download the award criteria (pdf, 985KB) (opens new window) .

Guidance and resources

We have advice, training and resources, such as lesson plans and example policies, on our domestic violence and PSHE topic pages. 

Why we have the Bristol Ideal award

Schools have an important role in:

  • promoting equality, respect and healthy relationships
  • identifying children who might be living with domestic violence
  • giving children a safe place to get support

Young people consistently agree that violence prevention work should happen in the school (Barter et al, 2015).

It’s important for schools to raise awareness and try to tackle domestic abuse because:

  • 1 in 5 children in the UK have been exposed to domestic violence, and often have little or no support. If a child lives in a home where there's domestic abuse, they're likely to be at risk of other types of abuse (
  • children who witness domestic violence may have impaired educational attainment and struggle with self-esteem and forming relationships (Byrne and Taylor, 2007).
  • the repercussions of domestic abuse are felt in the classroom, and schools may be seen as a protective or resilience factor (Byrne and Taylor, 2007)
  • girls are more likely than boys to report experiencing abuse in their relationships, young adolescents are just as likely to experience abuse as older teenagers (
  • about 66% of girls and 32% of boys aged 14 to 17 report having experienced one or more types of abuse from an intimate partner (Barter et al, 2015)
  • young people are no less likely than adults to experience severe abuse (Safe Lives, 2017)
  • a school should be “an environment in which pupils feel safe, and in which bullying, discrimination and peer-on-peer abuse – online or offline– are not accepted and are dealt with quickly, consistently and effectively whenever they occur.” (Ofsted Handbook, 2019)

After you achieve the award

We’ll send you:

  • a certificate
  • awards logos to use on your website or letterheads

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