TREDWORTH JUNIOR SCHOOL
Anti Bullying Policy
The aim of the anti bullying policy is to ensure that children learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear of being bullied. Tredworth Junior School has a zero tolerance attitude to all forms of bullying including sexting, (such as homophobic, cyber, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender, racist, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children etc).
Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.
The three main types of bullying are:
- Physical (hitting, kicking, theft)
- Verbal (name calling, racist remarks)
- Indirect (spreading rumours, excluding someone from social groups)
Children must be encouraged to report bullying in school to a teacher or staff member.
This policy is designed to ensure that as a school we are alert to signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it.
Why is it important to respond to bullying?
Bullying hurts; no one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Children who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Bullying can cause stress and can affect a child’s health.
Schools and parents have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
This policy aims to:
- Promote a secure and happy environment free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behaviour
- Ensure all teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents have an understanding of what bullying is
- Inform children and parents of the school’s expectations and to foster a productive partnership, which helps maintain a bully-free environment
- Show commitment to overcoming bullying by practising zero tolerance
- Identify and deal with incidents of bullying consistently and effectively
Signs and Symptoms
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
- begs to be driven to school
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens self-harm
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares/bedwetting
- regularly feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions go “missing”
- has unexpected cuts or bruises
- becomes unreasonable when dealing with school issues
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what’s wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
To fulfil our aims, the following strategies are used:
- A structured programme to raise self-esteem in pupils. For more details on the school’s ‘positive approach’ programme please see the school’s behaviour policy
- Constant monitoring of school buildings and grounds to ensure a safe and secure environment is maintained
- Involvement of all school staff to ensure a consistent approach is in evidence
- An open door policy in the school
- Encouraging pupils and parents to report bullying
- Raising awareness of bullying
- Paired learning and buddy systems
It is recognised that incidents of bullying occur in all schools. It is essential that all such incidents are taken seriously and dealt with in an appropriate manner. A pupil or parent may report an incident to any member staff, but the responsibility for ensuring all incidents are consistently dealt with lies jointly with the class teacher, teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare.
The teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare will be in charge of the recording and overseeing of incidents. The headteacher will be responsible for embedding anti bullying awareness in the policies and practices of the school.
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.
- Staff investigate alleged bullying by consulting the victim(s). Appendix 1 provides a checklist for investigating an incident.
- If it is felt that an incident of bullying has taken place, then it will be taken seriously and investigated. A member of staff wishing to report an incident of bullying should approach the teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare.
- The member of staff and the teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare should reach agreement as to whether this incident constitutes bullying or should be addressed as an incident of poor behaviour.
- If deemed to be bullying, the teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare will speak to the pupils involved and proceed accordingly. If the matter can be resolved in school without the need for parental contact then this will be done and monitored by appropriate member of staff, teacher responsible for student behaviour and welfare and headteacher. It may be decided that parents should be informed immediately and this will be done by the headteacher. A written copy of events will be kept and this will be updated until the situation has been resolved.
- In serious cases parents will be informed that their child has been subject to bullying. The parents of the perpetrator(s) will also be contacted via telephone or letter and offered a meeting with the headteacher to discuss incident.
- Sanctions will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned in accordance with the school’s discipline policy.
Support for the victim is essential both immediately following the incident and during an agreed period of review. Peer support, staff support, parental support and outside agency support may all be essential to ensure that the victim does not suffer any long term effects.
After a period of time staff will meet with the victim to reassess the situation and the relationship between those involved.
Children who have been bullied will be supported by:
- Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their choice
- Reassuring the pupil
- Offering continuous support
- Restoring self-esteem and confidence
Within the curriculum the school will raise the awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in PSHE, assemblies and subject areas, as appropriate, in an attempt to eradicate such behaviour.
It is recognised that support must be given to the perpetrator. Disciplinary procedures against the perpetrator(s) are intended to change or modify behaviour rather than label anyone as a bully.
Such procedures may include:
- Positive behaviour strategies
- Withdrawal of activities
- The establishment of mentoring or a buddy system
- Discussion about the effects of bullying
- Peer mediation
- Involvement of other agencies and services such as an Educational Psychologist and the Behaviour Support Team
All staff will be kept abreast of current thinking with regard to anti bullying and if required, support will be given to implement this policy. All staff will be made aware of the implications of the school policies to bullying and racism.
Staff will be offered training on tackling bullying throughout the year or through professional development courses.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The school will review this policy at regular intervals and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.
Checklist for investigating an incident
- Who was involved – is there or are there apparent victims? If so who is it/are they?
- In what way did the victims suffer?
- How did the incident start? Was it spontaneous or premediatated?
- What is alleged to have happened, from the perspective of all those involved?
- When did the incident take place?
- Where did the incident take place?
- Who witnessed the incident (pupils, parents, staff and others)
- Who reported it to whom and when?
- Is there any background to this incident?
- Is there any other reason for considering this to be bullying behaviour?
- Why does the reporter or investigator of the incident perceive this to have been a bullying incident?
- To what extent did the incident affect others?
- What was the response of the victim(s) if such exist?
- What does/do the victim(s) wish to see resulting from the investigation?
A ‘first offence’ of e.g. name calling or abusive language should be challenged, the nature of the unacceptable behaviour explained and the school policy on such matters outlined. The pupil should be told that any further occurrences will be logged against them as a bullying incident.
Reviewed at Finance & Premises Committee Meeting on 09 December 2016 (New version adopted)
Review Date: December 2017