Bullying is “Behaviour by an individual or a group, usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally and involves an imbalance of power”.
Bullying can include: name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; producing offensive graffiti; gossiping; excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours. This includes the same inappropriate and harmful behaviours expressed via digital devices (cyberbullying) such as the sending of inappropriate messages by phone, text, Instant Messenger, through websites and social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading images by mobile phone or via the internet.
Preventing, Identifying and Responding to Bullying
The school community will:
- Create and support an inclusive environment which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others which will be upheld by all.
- Work with staff and outside agencies to identify all forms of prejudice-driven bullying.
- Actively provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including their resilience.
- Provide a range of approaches for pupils, staff and parents/carers to access support and report concerns.
- Challenge practice which does not uphold the values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others.
- Consider all opportunities for addressing bullying in all forms throughout the curriculum and supported with a range of approaches such as through displays, assemblies, peer support and the school/student council.
- Regularly update and evaluate our approaches to take into account the developments of technology and provide up-to-date advice and education to all members of the community regarding positive online behaviour.
- Train all staff including teaching staff, support staff (including administration staff, lunchtime support staff and site support staff) and pastoral staff to identify all forms of bullying, follow the school policy and procedures (including recording and reporting incidents).
- Proactively gather and record concerns and intelligence about bullying incidents and issues so as to effectively develop strategies to prevent bullying from occurring.
- Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
- Use a variety of techniques to resolve the issues between those who bully and those who have been bullied.
- Work with other agencies and the wider school community to prevent and tackle concerns.
- Celebrate success and achievements to promote and build a positive school ethos.
Dealing with Incidents
The following steps may be taken when dealing with incidents:
- If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached.
- A clear and precise account of the incident will be recorded and given to the head teacher and/or designated lead.
- The head teacher/ designated lead will interview all concerned and will record the incident.
- Teachers will be kept informed.
- When responding to cyberbullying concerns the school will take all available steps to identify the bully, including looking at the school systems, identifying and interviewing possible witnesses, and contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary. The police will need to be involved to enable the service provider to look into the data of another user.
- Where the bullying takes place outside of the school site then the school will ensure that the concern is investigated and that appropriate action is taken in accordance with the schools behaviour and discipline policy.
- Parents/carers will be kept informed.
- Sanctions will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned.
If necessary and appropriate, the police or other local services will be consulted
- Involvement of Pupils We will:
- Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying.
- Ensure that all pupils know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying.
- Ensure that all pupils are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying.
- Involve pupils in anti-bullying campaigns in schools and embedded messages in the wider school curriculum.
- Publicise the details of help lines and websites.
- Offer support to pupils who have been bullied and to those who are bullying in order to address the problems they have.