Reviewed September 2018
Introduction.We believe that all individuals within the school community have the right to develop their learning, skills and knowledge in a safe, secure and supportive environment, free from intimidation, prejudice or discrimination of any kind, and they should be guided to extend this beyond school into the wider community. This is carried out through:
- Teaching, modelling and promoting respect and tolerance for each other
- Helping everyone towards an understanding of what is right and wrong
- Supporting everyone in forming good relationships
We believe in encouraging an environment where individuality is celebrated and everyone can develop without fear. Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those other children who watch and less aggressive students can be drawn in by group pressure. Bullying is not an inevitable part of school life or a necessary part of growing up and it rarely sorts itself out. It is clear that certain jokes, insults, intimidating/threatening behaviour, written abuse and violence are to be found in our society. No one person or group, whether staff or student, should have to accept this type of behaviour. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a child best be able to benefit from the opportunities available at the School.
Why is an Anti-Bullying Policy necessary?
- The school view bullying as totally wrong and unacceptable and it will not be tolerated. The School believes that its students have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. All institutions, both large and small, contain some numbers of students with the potential for exhibiting bullying behaviour. If a school is well disciplined and organised, it can minimise the occurrence of bullying. The School also has a clear policy on the promotion of good citizenship, where it is made clear that bullying is a form of anti-social behaviour. A preventative approach to bullying and the importance of respecting others is also taught in PSHE and assemblies and is promoted in all aspects of school life.
- It is important, therefore, that the School has a clear written policy to promote this belief, where both students and parents/carers are fully aware that any bullying
complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly. In some instances of bullying the school may feel it necessary to involve the police.
Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can take the following forms:-
- Physical. A child can be physically punched, kicked, hit, spat at, etc.
- Verbal. Verbal abuse can take the form of name calling. It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical/social disability, homophobic or personality, etc.
- Exclusion. A child can be bullied simply by being excluded from discussions/activities, with those they believe to be their friends.
- Damage to property or theft. Students may have their property damaged or stolen. Physical threats may be used by the bully in order that the pupil hand over property to them.
- Cyber bullying. Using on-line spaces to spread rumours about someone or exclude them. Can also be in the form of text messages, including picture and video messaging.
- Psychological. Reducing a person’s self esteem or confidence through threatening behaviour, taunting to teasing.
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, and tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures, “the look”).
- Racial – because of or associated with an individual’s race, ethnicity or nationality such as racist taunts or gestures
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic – because of, or focused on the issue of sexuality/gender
- Religious – because of their faith or beliefs
- SEN/ Disability – because of an individual’s learning or physical condition or needs
- Home Circumstances – bullying of young carers or looked after children
- Bullying - due to appearance or health conditions.
What can you do if you are being bullied?
- Remember that your silence is the bully's greatest weapon!
- Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied, and that it is wrong!
- Be proud of who you are. It is good to be individual.
- Try not to show that you are upset. It is hard but a bully thrives on someone's fear.
- Stay with a group of friends/people. There is safety in numbers.
- Be assertive - shout "No!" Walk confidently away. Go straight to a teacher or member of staff.
- Fighting back may make things worse. If you decide to fight back, talk to a teacher or parent/guardian first.
- Generally it is best to tell an adult you trust straight away. You will get immediate support.
- Teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a manner which will end the bullying and will not make things worse for you.
If you know someone is being bullied:
- Take action! Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and on their own.
- If you feel you cannot get involved, tell an adult immediately. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without implicating you.
- Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully.
As a parent:
- Look for unusual behaviour in your children. For example, they may suddenly not wish to attend school, feel ill regularly, or not complete work to their normal standard.
- Always take an active role in your child's education. Enquire how their day has gone, who they have spent their time with, how lunch time was spent etc.
- If you feel your child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, inform the School immediately. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
- It is important that you advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse!
- Tell your own son or daughter there is nothing wrong with him or her. It is not his or her fault that they are being bullied.
- Make sure your child is fully aware of the School policy concerning bullying, and that they will not be afraid to ask for help.
As a school:
- Organise the community in order to minimise opportunities for bullying, e.g. provide increased supervision at problem times.
- Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying, and the appropriate way to behave towards each other, e.g. the PSHE programme.
- Establish a “buddy” system using trained Post 16 students to be available to lower school students wishing to report bullying issues.
- Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints, involving parents where necessary.
- Review the School Policy and its degree of success.
- The School Staff will continue to have a firm but fair discipline structure. The rules should be few, simple and easy to understand.
- Avoid using teaching materials or equipment which give a bad or negative view of any group because of their ethnic origin, gender, etc.
- Encourage students to discuss how they get on with other people and to form positive attitudes towards other people. This includes a review of what friendship really is.
- Encourage students to treat everyone with respect.
- We will treat bullying as a serious offence and take every possible action to eradicate it from our School.
- Encourage a restorative approach following incidents to eradicate any further issues.
- Encourage all students to use appropriate language around school and challenge any inappropriate language including that of a racist, ethnic, sexual, transphobic or homophobic nature.
Action to be taken when bullying is suspected:
If bullying is suspected we talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses. If any degree of bullying is identified, the following action will be taken:-
- Help, support and counseling will be given as is appropriate to both the victims and the bullies.
- We support the victims by:
- offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with their class teacher, or another teacher if they choose.
- informing the victims’ parents/carers.
- offering continuing support when they feel they need it.
- arranging for them to be escorted to and from the School premises.
- offering them with an opportunity to have a restorative meeting with the perpetrator
- taking one or more of the seven disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.
- We also discipline, yet try to help the bullies by:
- talking about what happened, to discover why they became involved. Often in the form of a restorative meeting.
- informing the bullies’ parents/carers.
- continuing to work with students who have bullied in order to remove prejudiced attitudes as far as possible.
- arranging a restorative meeting with the victim so that they may understand the hurt caused.
- taking one or more of the seven disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.
- Bullies will be warned officially to stop offending.
- Parents/Carers of bullies will be informed.
- Bullies may be excluded from the School premises at break and/or lunch times.
- We may arrange for bullies to be escorted to and from the School premises.
- If they do not stop bullying they will be excluded for a fixed period. The number of days will depend on the individual case.
- If they then carry on they will be recommended for a further fixed period of up to five days.
- If strategies to modify bullying behaviour are unsuccessful then bullies may be recommended for permanent exclusion.
- All incidents MUST be recorded on the Bullying log and Heads of House and LT will keep a log and get regular emails to ensure bullying and the safety of students is followed up with regular communication.
- Parents who have reported an incident or concern will be contacted to discuss their concerns.
Childline - is the free 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK. Children and young people can call the helpline on 0800 1111 about any problem, at any time, day or night. Childline’s counsellors are there to help find ways to sort things out.