Adopted: September 2017
"Principals' must, by law, have a policy to prevent all forms of bullying among students. Challenging bullying effectively will improve the safety and happiness of students, show that the school cares and makes it clear to bullies that their behaviour is unacceptable." (2002 Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence, DfES)
The way we feel about our relationships and ourselves has a major impact on our ability to learn. Students need to feel safe and secure at school in order to learn and achieve.
Research shows that the most common effects of bullying are anxiety and depression, poor self-esteem, and withdrawal. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need help to learn different ways of behaving.
Bullying is the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten, or frighten someone and includes any sort of physical or mental intimidation of a person by another or a group which causes anxiety or distress to the 'victim'.
Bullying can include:
- Emotional - being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, using threatening gestures)
- Physical - pushing, kicking, punching, or any use of violence
- Racist - racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic - because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal - name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours and teasing
- Cyberbullying – hurtful comments on social media, text message, or email
Aims of the policy
- To ensure that every member of the academy's community has an understanding of what bullying is and that bullying behaviour is not tolerated.
- That all members of the academy feel safe in all areas of the building and at all times.
Purpose of the policy
To provide a framework to promote the emotional health and wellbeing of the whole school community by providing:
- A supportive culture and ethos
- A curriculum which supports positive relationships
- A safe, secure, and stimulating environment
- Strategies to support the victim and the bully
- A consistent approach to dealing with incidents of bullying
Links with other initiatives
- Behaviour policy
- Attendance policy
- Single equality scheme
- Safeguarding policy
- PSHE review
- Teaching and learning policy
- Healthy Schools
Development of the policy
- A policy is more effective when consultation has taken place with the whole community (all governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, students, and parents). This ensures consistent messages and shared values when responding to and dealing with bullying.
- Schools/academies with the most successful approaches to bullying canvass and take full account of students' views and dedicate curriculum and tutorial time to discussing relationships and bullying.
- The academy's Self Evaluation Framework will provide a baseline for the continued development of this policy.
- The effectiveness of any anti-bullying policy requires the commitment of all staff, 'including the principal and senior leadership team', to highlight this issue on a day-to-day basis rather than only when serious incidents come to light.
- Students need many different confidential ways to alert staff to current instances of bullying. It is important for the whole school community, especially students, to know to whom they can report incidents and from whom they can receive help and support.
- Schools/academies should provide clear guidance to all staff that includes examples of how instances of bullying will be handled and a mechanism to record them.
- A support network for victims of bullying and bullies should be developed.
- Early involvement of parents is essential.
- Follow-up procedures are vital to ensure that bullying has not started again.
- Students should be reminded that all forms of bullying are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
- Good practice includes efficient checking of the school site, especially toilets, lunch queues, and secluded areas. It is also important to set up safe recreation areas or quiet rooms and close supervision at the start and finish of the school day.
Monitoring and evaluation
- It is vital that schools keep accurate records of incidents and the school's response. This will enable the academy to analyse patterns of behaviour, including type of incident, location, time, and students involved, all of which will inform future practice.
- The policy should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure continued effectiveness.
What this will look like in the academy
- All members of the academy will be involved in the development of the anti-bullying policy.
- Leadership and management of the academy will endeavour to ensure staff have the skills to implement the policy.
- All members of the academy, where possible, are empowered to implement the policy.
- A clear policy statement about bullying that includes examples of how instances of bullying will be handled.
- A strong ethos is promoted in the academy that values every individual and will not tolerate bullying.
Every member of staff will aim to:
- Understand and implement the procedures in place for tackling bullying.
- Have a simple and accessible mechanism for recording incidents.
- Recognise and investigate or report any behaviour changes that indicate a child might be being bullied.
- Take all incidents of bullying seriously.
There will be a process in place that:
- Ensures the regular collection of data, which is used to identify patterns and plan interventions.
- Has a regular consultation process to identify what bullying occurs, where, when, and by whom.
- Supports victims by involving students in dealing with bullying including peer mediation, circle of friends, and independent listeners.
- Provides a supportive environment that reassures victims that they are not to blame.
- Supports the bully by investigating the reasons behind the incidents and making them aware of the consequences of their behaviour for themselves and the victim.
- Enables parents to be informed immediately and sensitively and helps them to support their children, whether they are the bully or the victim.
- Offers regular monitoring of bully and victim by a trusted adult to ensure that there is no recurrence of bullying incidents, but that also ensures that further incidents can be dealt with swiftly.
- Regularly reviews incidents of bullying enabling trends to be identified. For example, those involved, times places and regularity of incidents.
Monitoring and evaluation
- An anti-bullying task force has been developed to promote anti-bullying. The task force members are taken from all areas of the academy's community to ensure that there are no misconceptions.
- The academy keeps accurate records of incidents together with the response. This will enable the analysis of patterns of behaviour, including type of incident, location, time and students involved, all of which will inform future practice.
- The policy is a working document and is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure continued effectiveness.
- A regular consultation with members of the academy to ensure the policy is being effectively evaluated.
Strategies to support implementation
- Annual training for all staff to raise and maintain awareness and equip them with ways of responding to bullying.
- Breaking down age-group stratification, eg, through 'buddy' systems, mixed age tutor groups, and out-of-school clubs run by older students for younger ones.
- Provide independent listeners, including older students and adults other than school staff, to whom victims of bullying may turn.
- Involvement in conflict resolution through circles of friends, peer mediation, and other schemes.
- Provision for follow-up with victims of bullying and the bullies themselves.
- A restorative justice model of intervention that:
- Enables bullies to understand the impact of their behaviour on their victims.
- Helps the victim to have an insight into their own behaviour as well as that of the bully.
- This is a very sensitive area and we would strongly recommend that a trained counsellor or other appropriately trained individual manage it.
- Review the curriculum and the tutor time activities so that bullying, prejudices, friendships etc are taught across the National Curriculum framework.
- Actively promote the academy's anti bullying strategy, linking with national strategies including Anti Bullying week and Healthy Schools initiative.
Appendix 1: Procedures for any reported bullying incident
For any incident which is reported as a bullying incident, or has the potential to be a bullying incident, the following process must be followed:
- The incident is to be reported to the house team. If it is reported to another member of staff in the academy, they must refer the information as soon as possible to a member of the house team.
- The incident will be investigated, speaking to all students involved and any witnesses. Any information will be recorded and outcomes will be written on the forms.
- The incident will be recorded including the resolution.
- Any resolution will be communicated with the parents/carers of both the victim and the offender.
- All paperwork from the incident will be copied and filed in the student files of any students involved as victim or offender in the incident.
- A week after the incident, the house team will speak to the victim of any incident and check that the issue has been resolved in full. The correct spreadsheet will then be updated.
- After two weeks with no further reported incidence, a member of the house team will contact home, to ensure the matter is concluded.