Anti-Bullying Policy

Written by headteacher: March 2015
Approved by Governors: March 2015
Reviewed: February 2016
Reviewed by: Mrs S. Abdulla

PRINCIPLES and VALUES

As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported. Bullying will not be tolerated. The school will seek ways to counter the effects of bullying that may occur within the school or in the local community. The ethos of our school fosters high expectations of outstanding behaviour and we will challenge any behaviour that falls below this.

PURPOSES: By implementing the policy, we intend to achieve the following aims:

1. To provide a safe, caring environment for the whole community, especially the children in our care.
2. To instill in children that bullying is unacceptable and that reports of bullying will be taken seriously, recorded and acted upon.
3. To reassure children that they will be listened to and will know that it is all right to tell.
4. To heed parents’ concerns and keep them informed of actions taken in response to a complaint.
5. A full investigation will follow any report of bullying with detailed records kept of incidents, reports and complaints.
6. To take appropriate action, including exclusion in cases of severe bullying.
7. To monitor incidents of bullying during the school year by the headteacher.
8. Racial incidents will be recorded separately.

What is Bullying

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can be short term or continuous over long periods of time. Bullying can be:

Emotional Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, threatening gestures, hiding things
Physical Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
Racial Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
Sexual Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
Homophobic Because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
Direct or indirect verbal Name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Cyber All areas of internet, such as e-mail and internet chat room misuse bullying
Mobile Threat by text messaging or calls, misuse of associated technology.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO INDICATE BULLYING

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from school.
  •  Doesn’t want to go on the school/public bus
  • Begs to be driven to school
  • Changes their usual routine
  • Is unwilling to go to school
  • Begins to truant
  • Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
  • Starts stammering
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night
  • Feels ill in the morning
  • Begins to do poorly in school
  • Comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
  • Starts stealing
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Stops eating
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Becomes short tempered
  • Change in attitude

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TO CREATE AN ANTI-BULLYING ETHOS

  • Promote school ethos at all times ~ as regards to bullying ~ be a TELLING, LISTENING, RESPONDING School.
  • Recognise and reward good behaviour
  • School assemblies ~ addressing bullying and providing anti-bullying strategies.
  • Vigilant supervision  Consultation with school council
  • Use of circle time
  • Use of playground buddies
  • Use of anti-bullying ambassadors
  • Questionnaires
  • Good parental communication
  • Awareness of bullying
  • Use of outside agencies ~ NSPCC, child line, Anti-bullying alliance
  • Teach young people appropriate social and emotional skills and encourage the ‘pupil voice’
  • Promote awareness and respect of peoples’ differences through a varied use of inclusive materials and a culturally inclusive and diverse curriculum.
  • Encourage children to tell an adult if they are worried or feeling threatened and include this in our discussions with the children

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH BULLYING

In dealing with bullying, staff at Teagues Bridge follow these fundamental guidelines:

  • Never ignore suspected bullying.
  • Do not make premature assumptions.
  • Listen carefully to all accounts ~ several children with the same version does not necessarily mean they are telling the truth.
  • Adopt a problem solving approach that moves pupils forward from self-justification.
  • Follow up proven cases to check bullying has not returned.
  • Keep detailed records.

Staff should apply one or more of the strategies below, depending on the perceived seriousness of the situation. The emphasis should always be one of showing a caring and listening approach.

In response to a complaint of bullying, the discipline procedures should be followed, with staff making a full investigation, keeping detailed records and applying sanctions as necessary.

The procedures should be followed by the head teacher or a member of the senior leadership team.

1. Discuss the nature of the bullying with the victim at length, recording all the facts.
2. Identify the bully/bullies and any witnesses.
3. Interview the witnesses.
4. Discuss the incident with the alleged bully. Confront them with the allegations and ask them to tell the truth about the situation/incident. Make it clear that this is only an investigation at this stage.
5. If the bully owns up, make it understood that bullying is not acceptable and what effect it has on the education of the victim and the rest of the children in school. Apply sanctions relevant to the type of bullying.
6. If the allegation of bullying is denied, investigate further. If there is sufficient evidence that the bullying occurred, apply relevant sanctions.
7. Hold separate discussions with parents of the bully and the victim.
8. Sanctions for the bully include:
• Withdrawal from the classroom
• Loss of break-time and dinner-time
• Fixed term exclusion
9. Provide a pastoral support programme for the victim with a mentor (head or deputy) monitoring and observing at break times and lunch times, and through discussion to make sure there is no repetition.
10. Provide a pastoral support programme for the bully. This will include behaviour support, circle time or groups for the children to discuss relationships, feelings and the effect bullying can have on individuals. A named person will support the child during this programme.

We Listen, We Believe, We Act

Anti-bullying monitors (friendship ambassadors) are there as a child’s first contact point, if they feel they cannot tell an adult. These are children in year 5 and year 6.

The school council should be another forum in which children can report bullying.

Children can also collect a slip from the heads office and record the incident if they are not able to speak about it.

All information regarding bullying will be recorded on the bullying incident form. This will then be fully investigated.

Responsibilities

Staff

  • Record the incident in the Anti-bullying incident form and pass it directly to the head.

Parent

  • Ensure that parents know who to contact if they have concerns about bullying
  • We will contact parents promptly when bullying issues come to light, whether their child is the one being bullied or the one doing the bullying.
  • We will ensure that parents are aware of the school’s complaints procedures.
  • We will work with parents and the local community as appropriate to address bullying issues that arise out of school.

Head Teacher/SLT

  • See the victim and perpetrator separately and agree what they will do
  • Follow up to ensure the victim is safe.
  • Track any further actions such as calling in an outside agency, calling or writing to parents, or undertaking any mediation or other meetings.
  • Ensure all staff including temporary staff are aware of our anti-bullying policy and approach.
  • Record and monitor types and numbers of incidents of bullying and put processes in place, dependent on the incidents, to eliminate these occurrences.

Dealing With an Incident Outside of School

Head teachers have a specific statutory power to discipline pupils for poor behaviour outside of the school premises. Section 89 of education and Inspections Act 2006 gives head teachers the power to regulate pupils conduct when they are not on school premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of staff. This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside the local shops, or in a town or village centre.

Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. The headteacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police or anti-social behaviour co-ordinator in the local area. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.

Anti-bullying Ambassadors

10 children have been appointed has ambassadors. They are around at break-time and lunch-time and are they to listen to you, to support you, to help to resolve any difficulties. They run competition to promote an anti-bullying ethos. They will report any incidents to the head, completing the bullying report form so all information is relayed accurately.

Recording of Bullying Incidents

When an incident of bullying takes place, staff must be prepared to record and report each incident to the headteacher. In the case of racist bullying, this must be reported to the headteacher The teacher will complete the initial report form. The head teacher will complete the next level bullying incident form and this is kept in the heads office. A separate incident form is completed for racist bullying. All bullying incidents are reported to the governors termly and to the local authority annually.

Procedure for Dealing with Bullying Behaviour

Step 1

  • The child complete an ‘I am being bullied form’ located in a wallet on the antibullying display board in the hall or can request to see the headteacher personally or can discuss the matter with the class teacher.
  • When a bullying incident is reported, the information will be passed on to the following people:
    • The teacher
    • Headteacher/SLT
    • Designated teacher for child protection

Step 2

  • The headteacher or SLT will investigate the incident.
  • Pupils involved will be interviewed and a record made of their responses using the incident report form.
  • Parents of all pupils involved will be informed of the school’s action up to this point and kept informed of subsequent action.
  • The headteacher will inform the governors termly.

Step 3

  • The headteacher will devise a plan for the resolution of the problem.
  • Targets will be set for the bully
  • Talk time will be scheduled for the victim
  • Any disciplinary action required will be outlined in the school’s behaviour policy (may involve an internal exclusion or fixed term exclusions or an exclusion from dinner-time).

Step 4

  • The situation is monitored for a period of 6 weeks. There will be a review meeting at the end of the 6 weeks; this will involve the head, the teacher and the pupil.

Step 5

  • Where necessary the school will draw on support from the education officers, the behaviour management team and the educational psychologist. A referral will be made by the headteacher.

Through all steps all conversations and actions need to be recorded and signed. See appendix for example of incident record form.

The staff, governors, children and parents have agreed this policy. Its effectiveness relies on home and school working together to give children consistent messages about behaviour.

Download: Anti-bullying policy 2016