ANTI-BULLYING POLICY AND GUIDELINES
Reviewed: March 2020
Approved by Governors: March 2020
Next review: March 2023
‘Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’
(Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Advice for headteachers, staff and governing Bodies, October 2014, Department for Education)
At Shawclough we are very strongly of the opinion that bullying in all its forms is NOT an inevitable part of school life or a necessary part of growing up. We also believe that bullying very rarely sorts itself out. Bullying in any form will not be tolerated and we have put in place an effective system that will immediately deal with any reported incidents.
THE AIMS OF THE POLICY
The aims are
To state our attitude towards bullying.
To indicate what we believe are the characteristics of bullying.
To inform the School Community of those beliefs.
To outline procedures towards eliminating bullying from the school.
However it is important that we state that where two children of equal "power" who have a "disagreement” that may occur on more than one occasion is not regarded as bullying but the school will still treat the situation a something that needs to be resolved fairly for all concerned.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
It is very important that when children and parents report what they believe is an occurrence of bullying that they are clear what it means.
At Shawclough “bullying” means when one or more children pick on another child or group of children and in doing so they:
Say nasty things and call names. Use racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic language to hurt them.
Or threaten to hurt them.
Or telling others what to do.
Or physically hurt them by hitting, pinching, biting, pushing, kicking or chasing after.
Or tell others untrue nasty things about them.
Or send nasty notes or verbal messages.
Or prevent them going where they want to go for example by blocking a door.
Or try to exclude them from a group of children.
Or tease them in a nasty or unfair or unkind way.
Or take damage or hide their equipment or possessions.
Or intimidate them to hand over their equipment or other possessions.
These things will happen more than once over a period of time.
With the children we use the STOP (Several Times On Purpose) definition for them to distinguish between falling out and bullying.
The rapid development of technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying which can happen 24/7, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click. For more information on how to respond to cyber-bullying and how pupils can keep themselves safe, please refer to the Childnet guidance on the following link
WHAT WE HAVE IN PLACE ALREADY
- A loving and caring ethos and practice throughout the school.
- No tolerance of bullying or fighting in the school.
- A school which is a well ordered community in which the children are aware the standards of behaviour and care expected of them.
- All staff contributing to that caring, loving ethos.
- A broad curriculum that includes discussion about the issue of bullying and conflict resolution and an opportunity for children to bring the issue to the attention of peers, e.g. circle time.
- A Headteacher taking a major part in the process.
- A No-fighting Agreement letter sent to all parents at the beginning of each school year that requires them to respond if they don't agree or cannot support the approach.
- A written guidance pamphlet for children and parents about bullying.
- All staff and Headteacher involved from the start of an alleged bullying incident.
- A high profile anti-bullying attitude throughout the school that is reinforced in many arenas for example assembly, circle time.
- A recording system in place with standard letters to parents.
- A very high level of support from the children.
- A Children's School Council in which Councillors can bring attention to such matters.
- Regular surveys of the children to check that no bullying is going on.
- E-safety policy
- Equality, Diversity and Community Cohesion policy
HOW WE PROMOTE POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
We are a Right Respecting school and the children and staff know what is expected of them and why it is expected. The teachers at the beginning of the year, agree in consultation with the children, a charter of rights to respecting (known as promises in Phases 1 and 2). These are also displayed in the classroom, dining room and playground. This is further supported within lesson time where teachers and children explore issues – what is bullying, what are the causes of bullying, what are it’s effects, what would school be like if bullying was acceptable, why should we try not to bully one another, what can we do to stop bullying, what dilemmas do we face when trying to stop bullying. In addition to that the teachers are working with the class groups each day/week e.g. Circle time, discussion, dealing with complaints from children of bullying, discussion of kindness and friendship etc
There are also many links to other policies – Order and behaviour – PSHCE - Out of classroom supervision – Equality, diversity and community cohesion – assemblies and CAW themes that need to be looked through in conjunction with this policy.
PROCEDURES TO BE TAKEN BY ALL STAFF IN THE SCHOOL WHEN AN INCIDENCE OF BULLYING IS REPORTED
If bullying is suspected:
- All members of staff must dealt with the incident immediately -
- It may be to find out what has happened and to decide to pass the incident on to a senior member of staff.
- In dealing with the incident it may well involve consoling and support the individual if they have been the victim,
- It will involve questioning the child to establish the facts as far as they see them,
- It will involve seeing all the children including any who say they witnessed the bullying,
- It may be necessary to put the children in separate places to allow a cooling-down period if they come with different stories or are angry with one another,
- It may be necessary to send them immediately to the Headteacher.
- When the children arrive the Headteacher will talk with the alleged victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses who either name.
- The Headteacher will keep a written record of the facts (not the speculation) of the discussion agreed by both in the No-Fighting Contract book (Copy of a page is attached in the appendix).
- The record will be available and may be used for future reference. The record will be used to monitor the range of incidents and those involved so that evaluation of patterns of incidents may be identified. Additionally it will illuminate if the policy is working.
- The record also has a reminder to give feedback to the victim and the bully as well as the children's class teachers and to the parents of those involved.
This process may take some time, which the Headteacher will give to the process because high importance is attached to it.
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 victim and the bully:
The victim will be supported in the following ways:
- By offering an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with the Headteacher or others as appropriate.
- By asking the victim if they want the school to inform their parents.
- By offering continuing support as appropriate when they feel they need it.
- By making any necessary arrangements to ensure that they feel safe both at school and on their journeys to and from school.
- By taking one or more of the seven disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.
The bully will be helped and disciplined in the following ways:
- By talking about what happened, to discover why the child became involved in the bullying and encouraging their understanding of what they are doing, to have empathy with others and to stop doing it.
- By informing the bullies’ parents.
- By carefully monitoring the bully in order to support them in their examination of the reason they have needed to bully and to educate them to examine any prejudiced attitudes they hold and to develop understanding and empathy for others.
- By taking one or more of the seven disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.
And if the bullying reoccurs
The procedure outlined about will be followed again. However this will be further supported by the introduction of a "circle of peers". These children will be friends and years groups members of the victim. These children will be brought to support the victim and to confront the bully. They will tell the bully of the affect of the bullying and will be there to support the victim should the incidents reoccur.
Bullying Outside School Premises
Head teachers have a specific statutory power to discipline pupils for poor behaviour outside of school premises. This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises including cyber bullying.
Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted upon. The Head teacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.
A record will be completed by the person investigating of the incident on the pro-forma and retained in the “Fighting Incident File” which is kept and Maintained in the School’s Office. This is available for staff to read. The data kept in the file is used as the basis for the Headteachers Report to the Governors.
In addition to the counselling indicated above the following will be put into place:
- The bully will be officially told by the Headteacher to stop offending and informed that s/he may have parts to their freedom of movement modified if they do not.
- The bullies’ parents will be informed of the incident by letter that will include details about the arrangements that have been made for the child as well as offering the opportunity to discuss the incident further.
- If the bullying occurs a second (and subsequent) occasion the parents will be informed and expected to come into school to discuss the problem at the appropriate step enumerated below.
- If appropriate to the offence the bully may be
- Kept inside the building under supervision instead of being allowed out which may include completing extra work or undertaking a menial task.
- Excluded from the School premises at break and/or lunch times.
- Escorted by an adult to and from the School premises at the beginning and end of the school day if this appropriate.
- If the bully is unwilling to accept any of the disciplinary measures imposed or if the bully does not stop bullying the sanction of exclusion will be used for a minor fixed period (one or two days) after further discussion with the bullies parents.
- If the bullying continues the Headteacher will be recommended exclusion for a major fixed period.
- If the bullying does not end, the matter will be taken to the Governing Body with recommendations from the Headteacher about the future course of action.
No person's equal opportunities should be infringed by this policy. Anyone who feels they are should inform the Headteacher.
EVALUATION OF THE POLICY
It is important that the policy is evaluated regularly, so that the school can determine if the policy is working particularly from the point of view of the victims. The children and staff of the school are in the best position to know if it is.
It seems reasonable if the following questions are used
- Are fewer incidents of bullying being reported by the children?
- Are there fewer incidents of bullying that are processed in school?
- Do children agree with the findings of the above questions?
- Do parents agree with the findings of the above questions?
- Are more people (children and parents) prepared to say that they would report a bullying incident?
- Are more children prepared to report incident of bullying whether to themselves or to others?
- Are the children and the parents of the children reporting that they feel the school is a safe place where bullying is dealt with?
- Does the education staff believe that there is less bullying in the school?
REVIEW OF THE POLICY
The policy will be evaluated and reviewed by the manager as circumstances dictate with a full review planned for March 2023.
The following is also produced separately as a pamphlet that is sent to the children's homes and is available in the school.