anti-bullying policy

Litcham School Anti-Bullying Policy (2016)

Please follow link to download a copy of our Anti-Bullying Policy

Introduction

We aim to provide a safe, caring and supportive climate for learning for all our pupils to allow them to improve their life chances and help them maximise their potential.

We would expect pupils to act safely and feel safe in school, including that they understand the issues relating to bullying and that they feel confident to seek support from school should they feel unsafe.

We would also want parents to feel confident that their children are safe and cared for in school and incidents when they do arise are dealt with promptly and well.

The school is aware of its legal obligations and role within the local community, supporting parents and working with other agencies outside the school where appropriate.

Policy Development

This policy was formulated in consultation with the whole school community with input from:

  • Members of staff through meetings
  • Children and young people through School Council. The School Council have also developed a pupil friendly version to be displayed around the school and in pupil planners

This policy is available:

  • Online through the school website
  • From the school office
  • Child friendly versions have been developed by the School Council and are displayed around the school, in pupil planners and in welcome packs for new pupils

Roles and responsibilities

The Headteacher has overall responsibility for the policy and its implementation and liaising with the Governing Body, parents, carers, the Local Authority and outside agencies.

The Anti-bullying Coordinator has the following responsibilities:

  • policy development and review involving pupils, staff, governors, parents/carers and relevant local agencies
  • implementing the policy
  • monitoring and assessing the policy’s effectiveness in practice
  • ensuring evaluation takes place and that this informs policy review
  • managing bullying incidents in conjunction with Heads of Year and Senior Pastoral Care Manager
  • managing the reporting and recording of bullying incidents
  • assessing and co-ordinating training and support for staff and parents/carers where appropriate
  • co-ordinating strategies for preventing bullying behaviour

The nominated Governor with the responsibility for Anti-Bullying is the Chair of the Curriculum and Achievement Committee.

Definition of Bullying

The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.  It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.

http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/about-us.aspx

How does bullying differ from teasing/falling out between friends or other types of aggressive behaviour?

  • there is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate
  • there is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves
  • it is usually persistent

Occasionally an incident may be deemed to be bullying even if the behaviour has not been repeated or persistent, if it fulfils all other descriptions of bullying.  This possibility should be considered, particularly in cases of hate crime related bullying and cyberbullying.  If the victim might be in danger then intervention is urgently required.

What does bullying look like?

Bullying can include:

  • name calling
  • taunting
  • mocking
  • making offensive comments
  • physical assault
  • taking or damaging belongings
  • cyber bullying – inappropriate text messaging and e mailing; sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet
  • producing offensive graffiti
  • gossiping and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours
  • excluding people from groups

Although bullying can occur between individuals it can often take place in the presence (virtually or physically) of others who become the ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’.

Why are children and young people bullied?

Specific types of bullying include:

  • prejudice crime related bullying of children with special educational needs or disabilities, homophobic and transphobic bullying or related to race, religion or culture
  • bullying related to appearance or health
  • bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • sexist or sexual bullying

There is no hierarchy of bullying – all forms should be taken equally seriously and dealt with appropriately.

Homophobic bullying and using homophobic language

Homophobic language is terms of abuse used towards LGBT people or those thought to be LGB. It is also used to refer to something or someone as inferior.  This may also be used to taunt young people who are different in some way or have gay friends, family members or their parents/carers are gay.

Dismissing it as banter is not helpful as even if these terms are not referring to a persons sexuality they are using the terms to mean inferior, bad, broken or wrong.  We will challenge the use of homophobic language in our school even if it appears to be being used without any homophobic intent.  Persistent use of homophobic language or homophobic bullying will be dealt with as with any other form of bullying.

Where does bullying take place?

Bullying is not confined to the school premises.  Advice for school leaders to help with this problem and its affects on children acknowledges that it may also persist outside school, in the local community, on the journey to and from school and may continue into Further Education.

Cyberbullying

The increasing use of digital technology and the internet has also provided new and particularly intrusive ways for bullies to reach their victims.  We will ensure that our children are taught safe ways to use the internet (see our e-safety policy) and encourage good online behaviour.

Whilst most incidents of Cyberbullying occur outside school we will offer support and guidance to parents and their children who experience online bullying and will treat Cyberbullying the same way as any other forms of bullying.

Bullying can take place between:

  • young people
  • young people and staff
  • between staff
  • individuals or groups

Reporting and responding to bullying

Our school has clear and well publicised systems to report bullying for the whole school community (including staff, parents/carers, children and young people). This includes those who are the victims of bullying or have witnessed bullying behaviour (bystanders).

Guidance for students

If you are being bullied or harassed:

  • remember it is not your fault
  • try to stay calm and look as confident as you can
  • be firm and clear – look them in the eye and, if possible, tell them to stop and tell them how you feel

After you have been bullied or harassed:

  • all bullying and harassment is wrong and you do not have to stay silent about it
  • tell an adult or somebody you trust about what has happened straight away. Adults in school have a responsibility to give you help and support around bullying
  • if you are scared to tell a teacher or adult on your own, ask a friend to go with you
  • keep on speaking until someone listens and does something to stop the bullying

When you are talking to an adult about bullying be clear about:

  • what has happened to you
  • how often it has happened
  • who was involved
  • who saw what was happening
  • where it happened
  • what you have done about it already

If you experience bullying or harassment by mobile phone, text messages or e-mail:

  • don’t retaliate or reply
  • save the evidence – do not delete anything
  • make sure you tell an adult who you trust
  • contact your service provider or look at their website to see where to report incidents
  • be careful who you give your mobile phone number or e-mail address to
  • make a note of exactly when a threatening message was sent

Guidance for parents and carers

If your child has been bullied or harassed:

  • calmly talk with your child about his/her experiences
  • make a note of what your child says including who was involved, how often the bullying has occurred, where it happened and what happened
  • reassure your child that he/she has done the right thing to tell you about the bullying
  • explain to your child that should any further incidents occur he/she should report them to an adult in school immediately
  • make an appointment to see your child’s tutor or Head of Year
  • explain to the teacher the problems your child is experiencing

When talking with members of staff about bullying or harassment:

  • try to stay calm and bear in mind that the staff member may have no idea that your child is being bullied or may have heard conflicting accounts of an incident
  • be as specific as possible about what your child says has happened, give dates, places and names of other children involved
  • make a note of what action the school intends to take
  • ask if there is anything you can do to help your child or the school
  • stay in touch with the school and let them know if things improve as well as if problems continue

If you are not satisfied:

  • check with the school anti-bullying policy to see if agreed procedures are being followed
  • make an appointment to discuss the matter with your child’s Head of Year or the Head of Year Senior Leadership Team line manager.
  • if this does not help make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Headteacher
  • if this does not help, write to the Chair of Governors explaining your concerns and what you would like to see happening

If your child is displaying bullying behaviour towards others:

  • talk with your child and explain that what he/she is doing is unacceptable and makes other children unhappy
  • discourage other members of your family from bullying behaviour or from using aggression or force to get what they want
  • show your child how he/she can join in with other children without bullying
  • make an appointment to see your child’s tutor or Head of Year and explain the problems your child is experiencing as well as discussing how you can work together to stop him/ her bullying others
  • regularly check with your child how things are going at school
  • give your child lots of praise and encouragement when he/ she is co-operative or kind to other people

If your child is experiencing any form of cyber bullying:

  • ensure your child is careful whom they give their mobile phone number and e-mail address to
  • check exactly when a threatening message was sent and keep evidence of offending e-mails, text messages or online conversations.  Do not delete messages
  • if the bullying involves a student from Litcham School, contact the school to report this
  • contact the service provider to report the incidents
  • if the cyber bullying is serious and a potential criminal offence has been committed, you should consider contacting the police

Guidance for adults experiencing bullying or harassment

The responses may be broadly similar or vary greatly to the response chart if it is an adult being bullied.  If you are experiencing bullying as an adult:

  • share your concerns with a trusted colleague
  • seek advice and information from your union or professional association
  • make a record of all incidents and date them
  • if you feel your situation is not being resolved then you should follow the school’s formal procedures as adopted by the Governing Body. This initially involves speaking to a Deputy Headteacher, or if the incident involves a Deputy Headteacher, the Headteacher
  • if the incident involves the Headteacher, staff should contact the Chair of Governors

Procedures

All reported incidents will be taken seriously and investigated.

Outline of the steps the school will take in the event of a bullying incident occurring:

  • interviewing all parties to ascertain all sides of the situation
  • informing parents of the situation
  • implementing appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with the school’s Behaviour Policy
  • implementing appropriate actions and support – Solution focused, restorative approach, circle of friends, individual work with victim or perpetrator
  • if appropriate, external agencies may be used, for example police, school nurse or Early Help
  • liaising with the wider community if the bullying is taking place off the school premises e.g. in the case of cyberbullying or hate crime
  • following up the incident, especially keeping in touch with the person who reported the situation, parents/carers. This will include referring to the school’s complaints procedure for parents who are not satisfied with the schools actions

Recording bullying and evaluating the policy

Bullying incidents will be recorded by the member of staff who deals with the incident on SIMS and this will be accessed by the Anti-bullying Co-ordinator.

The information stored will be used to ensure individuals incidents are followed up.  It will also be used to identify trends and inform preventative work in school and development of the policy.  This information will be discussed by Heads of Year in regular line management meetings.

This information will be presented to Governors through the Curriculum and Achievement Committee.

The policy will be reviewed and updated on a three year cycle.

Strategies for preventing bullying

As part of our on going commitment to the safety and welfare of our pupils we have developed the following strategies to promote positive behaviour and discourage bullying behaviour:

  • involvement in the Healthy Schools Programme
  • annual Anti-Bullying week
  • impact Days
  • specific curriculum input on areas of concern including cyber-bullying and internet safety
  • student voice through School Council
  • restorative Justice
  • counselling and/or Mediation schemes

Support for all school staff

  • line management
  • staff training

Links with other policies

  • Behaviour Policy – Rewards and sanctions
  • Safeguarding Policy -Child protection
  • Acceptable use policy -Cyberbullying and e-safety
  • Equalities policy -Hate crime (homophobia, race and disability)
  • Confidentiality Policy -Reporting and recording
  • PSHCE – Strategies to prevent bullying

Reference documents and related policy documents

  • Ensuring Good Behaviour in Schools- A summary for Heads, Governing Bodies, (June 2011)
  • Preventing and tackling Bullying – Advice for School Leaders, Staff and Governing Bodies (June 2011)
  • Behaviour and Discipline in School- Guide for Head Teachers and School Staff (July 2011)
  • Safe to Learn- DCSF Guidelines
  • Embedding anti-bullying work in schools – DCSF-00656-2007
  • Homophobic bullying – DCSF – 00668-2007
  • Cyberbullying – DCSF – 00658-2007
  • Bullying Involving Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – DCSF 00372-2008

www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications

Cyber bullying – supporting school staff – www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications
Cyberbullying – A whole school community issue – www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications

Useful organisations

Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA) – www.anti-bullying.org
Brings together more than 65 organisations with the aim of reducing bullying and creating safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.
Mencap – www.mencap.org
Mencap is a learning disability charity that provides information and support to children and adults with a learning disability, and to their families and carers.
Stonewall – www.stonewall.org.uk
The lesbian, gay and bisexual charity
Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) – www.eachaction.org.uk
Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) is a charity and training agency helping people and organisations affected by homophobia.  The website gives guidance, contact details and a freephone helpline.
School’s Out – www.schools-out.org.uk
Beatbullying – www.beatbullying.org.uk
Beatbullying is the leading bullying prevention charity in the UK and provides anti-bullying resources, information, advice and support for young people, parents and professionals affected by bullying.
Childnet International – www.childnet-int.org
Childnet International – The UK’s safer internet centre

References Documents and Related Policy/Guidance

Safe to Learn- DCSF Guidelines
Embedding anti-bullying work in schools – DCSF-00656-2007
Homophobic bullying – DCSF – 00668-2007
Cyberbullying – DCSF – 00658-2007
Bullying Involving Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – DCSF 00372-2008
Cyberbullying – supporting school staff –Cyberbullying – A whole school community issue – www.education.gov.uk/publications

(All pre 2010 documents previously available on teachernet may now be found in the National archive which can be accessed through this website)

Revised: May 2016