HAGBOURNE C.E. PRIMARY SCHOOL

Description: school logo with church April 2014

‘Preparing each child for their future in an ever-changing world’

CARE - COURAGE - RESPECT - RESPONSIBILITY

Anti Bullying Policy

September 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Definition

This is our school community’s shared understanding of what bullying is.

 “When a person’s or group of people’s behaviour, over a period of time, leaves someone feeling one or more of the following:

  • physically and/or mentally hurt or worried
  • unsafe and/or frightened
  • unable to do well and achieve
  • “badly different”, alone, unimportant and/or undervalued
  • unable to see a happy and exciting future for yourself

It could be bullying. When a person, or group of people, has been made aware of the effects of their behaviour on another person and they continue to behave in the same manner, this is bullying.”

If someone is made to feel like this, or if they think someone they knows feels like this, it should be investigated. This should happen straight away as it can take a long time to build up the courage to tell someone. However, lots of things can make people feel bad, sometimes it depends on the situation we are in, and it is not always bullying – so the following two definitions are also useful:

  1. Bullying is any behaviour by an individual or group that:
  • is meant to hurt – the person or people doing the bullying know what they are doing and mean to do it
  • happens more than once – there will be a pattern of behaviour, not just a “one-off” incident
  • involves an imbalance of power – the person being bullied will usually find it very hard to defend themselves[1]

  1. “Behaviour by an individual or a group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally” [2].

Methods and Practices of bullying

The following are some examples of the many different forms of bullying, but this is not an exhaustive list.

 

Physical - For example, kicking, hitting, spitting, pushing, taking and damaging belongings, or threatening to do any of these things

Verbal - For example name calling, taunting, threats, offensive or discriminatory remarks, whether about people or objects

Indirect, emotional or relational - For example, spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours or nasty stories, gossiping, excluding from social groups, forcing someone to do something against their will, tormenting, “dirty looks”, or producing offensive graffiti

Cyber - For example, sending offensive text messages, using pictures or video clips, Instant Messaging, emails, social networking sites or other electronic contact to cause harm, embarrassment or discredit to students or staff of the school.

‘Cyber-bullying is an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact repeatedly over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself’[3]

Prejudice-related - For example, bullying or harassment that is homophobic, gender based, sexist, sexual or transphobic, racist or discriminating against religion, Special Educational Needs, disabilities, health conditions or a person’s home circumstances, such as being looked after, or caring for a family member. This includes actions or language that discriminates against people for any of these reasons, or other reasons relating to a person’s identity.

Sexual - For example inappropriate or unwanted physical contact, verbal comments or cyber messages of a sexual nature.

Bullying includes the above but is not limited to this. It also includes:

  • Any form of behaviour which is the result of a specific strategy to make an individual feel miserable
  • Organising others to do any of the above
  • Excluding an individual in such a way that they are made to feel vulnerable and different in a bad way

We reject all of the above forms of bullying and will not tolerate them in our school community.

Off-site bullying

We are aware that several areas in and around the school are vulnerable to bullying, including:

  • outside (the field in particular)
  • in the toilets
  • in the corridor
  • changing rooms of the swimming pool
  • walking to and from school
  • where access to computers is allowed

The school has an enduring interest in the welfare and conduct of its pupils and will respond positively to any information it receives about bullying outside school, for example in journeys to and from school, in after school activities, or through use of technology such as the internet or mobile phones outside of school hours. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives Head teachers the power

“to such an extent as is reasonable to regulate the behaviour of pupils when they are off the school site (which is particularly pertinent to regulating cyberbullying)”.

For example, the school will intervene if it hears of:

  • Cyberbullying via Social Networking Sites e.g. malicious message on somebody’s profile, creation or a fake profile.
  • Filming on mobile phones and passing on inappropriate material or joining in with this behaviour even if you weren’t the original author.
  • Other cyberbullying or off-site bullying

To help prevent and reduce bullying off-site, the school will:

  • Talk to the local community Police Officer about known problems on the streets;
  • Talk to the Headteachers of other schools whose children may be involved in bullying off the premises;
  • Discuss coping and preventative strategies with parents, such as alternative travel arrangements
  • Educate pupils about how to handle or avoid bullying outside the school premises, including cyberbullying and e-safety information
  • Link with local service providers to share knowledge and best practice

If the school is aware of a bullying incident outside school, staff will:

  • Follow the attached checklist for dealing with an incident as far as possible, depending on the situation, including recording and reporting protocols, and contacting parents / carers
  • Provide support and advice to the person being bullied, if they are within our school
  • Support and work with the person bullying, if they are within our school
  • Investigate and consider the following actions with respect to the person bullying:
  • Confiscation of mobile phones and other items
  • The involvement of police or anti-social behaviour coordinator in their local authority in any form of on-going bullying, particularly when related to cyber-bullying. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police will always be informed.
  • Inform any other relevant schools or agencies (eg youth clubs, transport providers) about the concerns and any actions taken
  • If information is received that a child is being bullied by a sibling outside school this will initially be discussed with the parents.
  • If children are being bullied by pupils of another school the head teacher of that school will be informed and invited to deal with the matter.

Discriminatory Language

Discriminatory language not only undermines confidence and self-esteem of individuals, but reflects negative attitudes towards a wider sub-community or group, and in some cases is illegal. A culture where discriminatory language goes unchallenged is likely to be a culture where bullying is more prevalent.

Discriminatory language of any kind is not acceptable and will be challenged, whether verbal, written (including graffiti) or electronic. Education about diversity will be delivered through the curriculum, displays, assemblies and tolerance will be modelled by all staff. In particular we will not accept any derogatory language that is:

  • Sexual or sexist
  • Relating to special educational needs, disabilities or health conditions
  • Gender based
  • Homophobic
  • Transphobic
  • Racist
  • Relating to religion
  • Classist
  • Relating to a person’s home circumstances

Discriminatory language is sometimes used without thinking and in some schools is ignored by teachers and school staff because either they feel it is difficult to know how to respond or they believe the language is used without any discriminatory intent. In this school we challenge all discriminatory language whenever it is used. When responding to discriminatory language, staff will:

  • Tell the pupil that discriminatory language is not acceptable in school. Explain that such language is offensive.
  • If pupils continue to use the language, explain in more detail the effect that discrimination and discriminatory language have on people and that like racist language, homophobic language will not be tolerated.
  • If a pupil continues, remove the pupil from the classroom and talk to the pupil in more detail about his/her behaviour and why it’s offensive.

If it still continues, involve senior teachers. The pupil should understand the sanctions that will apply if they continue to use discriminatory language. Alongside sanctions we may use a restorative approach to help repair the harm caused by the incident and help young people be aware of the impact of their actions.  These sanctions may include:

  • Removal from the group (in class)
  • Withdrawal of break and lunchtime privileges
  • Withholding participation in any school trip or sports events that are not an essential part of the curriculum
  • Confiscation of mobile phones, in line with our Acceptable Use (internet safety) policy
  • Network privileges withdrawn
  • Referral to Schools Police Liaison Officer
  • Minor fixed-term exclusion
  • Major fixed term exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion

  • If it continues, invite parents in to discuss the attitude of the pupil. For homophobic bullying, even if parents and pupils think gay people should be treated differently, this does not mean homophobic language or bullying is acceptable. We will take time to explain to parents why this policy is important as part of the anti-bullying policy of the school. We will explain that all pupils should be able to feel safe at school and reiterate that they have an obligation to help schools uphold policies.[4]

How bullying incidents will be dealt with

Bullying will be investigated and dealt with quickly, sensitively, fairly and firmly, using the annexed checklist. Students can report it to any member of staff, in the knowledge that it will be taken seriously and dealt with effectively. If a member of staff feels that they are being bullied, they should report it to their line manager or the Head Teacher. Bullying of staff will be dealt with in accordance with Oxfordshire County Council guidelines.

Strategies to support those bullied and bullying

The following strategies are in place to support students and staff who have been bullied:

  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their choice
  • Providing reassurance that the bullying will be addressed
  • The use of specialist interventions and/or referrals to other agencies e.g. educational psychologist, SAFE! Support for young people affected by crime, where appropriate
  • A “safe place” can be made available, e.g. a classroom, the Library, or an office
  • A named person of the affected person’s choice who can be ‘instantly’ available for one-to-one support within a confidential relationship and will offer continuous support
  • The opportunity to meet with the person bullying for a restorative justice meeting if appropriate

The following strategies are in place to support and work with pupils who have been bullying:

  • Discussing what happened with a member of staff, including an exploration of how and why the pupil became involved, and what they need to resolve the situation
  • The use of specialist interventions and/or referrals to other agencies e.g. educational psychologist, SAFE! Support for young people affected by crime, where appropriate
  • A “safe place” can be made available, e.g. a classroom, the Library, or an office
  • A named person of the affected person’s choice who can be ‘instantly’ available for one-to-one support within a confidential relationship offering continuous support
  • The opportunity to meet with the person bullied for a restorative justice meeting if appropriate

Preventative strategies

Monitoring and Review

The school regularly monitors behaviour and bullying through the following measures:

  • Recording each report of inappropriate behaviour and monitoring to check for any patterns.
  • Following up if a pattern is occurring or if a child’s name has appeared more than 3 times in the behaviour monitoring file by talking to parents/carers with the child.

Spotting bullying early

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. To those who know the child this may simply be a feeling that ‘things aren’t quite right’. If staff become aware of the following signs we will investigate  If parents/carers are worried they must contact the school for support. If  a child:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from school / begs to be driven to school
  • Is unwilling to go to school or feels ill in the morning
  • Becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • Has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Is bullying other children or siblings
  • Stops eating
  • Is frightened to say what's wrong or gives improbable excuses for any of the above
  • Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone or is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
  • Displays challenging behaviour, which could be the result of intimidation or enforced isolation from others

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

.

Education and information

Education and awareness-raising about diversity, discrimination and bullying is delivered through:

  • The curriculum (Circle time, projects, SEAL, PHSE,), where issues surrounding bullying and any ideas to make situations better can be discussed, for example exploring:
  • Diversity, tolerance and discrimination
  • Why do people bully each other?
  • What are the effects of bullying on the bullied, on bullies, and on bystanders?
  • What can we do to stop bullying?
  • How students can constructively to manage their relationships with others
  • Assemblies where children will be informed of the school's zero-tolerance policy and the actions that will be taken to prevent bullying taking place.
  • IT lessons covering e-safety and cyberbullying
  • Adults model appropriate behaviour towards each other to students
  • Each class agreeing on their own set of class rules
  • Introducing playground improvements and initiatives
  • Using praise and rewards to reinforce good behaviour
  • Encouraging the whole school community to model appropriate behaviour towards one another
  • Staff will constantly reinforce the message to children that bullying is unacceptable and will take positive action to prevent and control it
  • Children who are felt to be at risk of bullying (or who have suffered from bullying in the past) will be offered additional support and guidance
  • Children will be encouraged to talk to staff about incidents of bullying which they experience or of which they may be aware
  • An Equality Policy is in operation in the school, covering what is meant by racial, homophobic, disablist, classist, gender-based, sexual, transphobic, religious or other identity-based harassment. It states that such harassment will not be tolerated, and specifies how the school will respond to any such incidents
  • Staff use restorative approaches to help resolve issues where appropriate

Where Pupils and Parents / Carers can find more information

Parents / carers: This policy and the annexed Parent / Carer Anti-Bullying Guide is found on the school website. Parents / carers can contact Annette Crewe (Headteacher) if they suspect bullying is going on. If they are unhappy with the way it is dealt with, or wish to make a complaint, they can contact Jim Harris (the chair of governors). Comments from parents / carers will be welcomed and it is expected that all parents/carers will support the school in maintaining these standards.

 

Checklist for Managing a Bullying Incident

NB: Follow the interview guidelines for all parties (see second page)

1. Young person tells you he/she is being bullied or incident is observed

2. Report to a responsible member of staff

3. Record incident following Oxon guidelines

4. Ensure that an appropriate adult meets with the target of the bullying. Follow interview guidelines and record.

5. Listen to other young people who may have observed the incident. Follow interview guidelines and record.

6. Ensure that appropriate adult meets with the young person alleged to be responsible. Follow interview guidelines and record.

7. If there is evidence or admission of bullying, issue appropriate sanctions following anti-bullying policy and behaviour policy. If you are using a restorative approach provide opportunity for young person to reflect and consider how they might make amends.

8. Inform the target of outcomes and actions taken. Keep them informed throughout. Provide on-going support

9. Inform the young person responsible of outcomes and actions taken, Keep them informed throughout. Provide on-going support

10. Contact the parent/carers of the target of the bullying. Inform them of the incident and offer appropriate support. Keep them informed throughout.

11. Contact the parent/carers of the young person responsible for the bullying. Inform them of the incident and offer appropriate support. Keep them informed throughout.

12. Where a criminal offence has been committed, consider reporting the incident to the police or inform parents of the target that they may want to do so

13. Consider what additional input is required in terms of: work with class or year group, assembly, individual or group work with young people concerned, referral to outside agencies etc.

14. Monitor the situation and review with all parties to ensure the bullying has stopped.

15. Review how successful your approach has been. What additional preventative measures need to be in place?

16. If no bullying has taken place, or there is insufficient evidence, consider what further action is needed to reassure and meet the needs of those concerned

Guidelines for interview with all parties

G


[1] Adapted from Bullying – A Charter for Action, DCSF

[2] Adapted from DfE guidance “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” 2012

[3] Report to the Anti-Bullying Alliance by Goldsmiths School, University of London

[4] Adapted from: Stonewall, Challenging Homophobic Language, http://portal.oxfordshire.gov.uk/content/public/CYPF/anti_bullying/ab_week_2010/homophobia/Challenging_Homophobic_Language.pdf and from Safe to Learn, Homophobic bullying ( DCSF 2007)