Adopted: September 2016
This college is completely opposed to bullying and will not tolerate it. It is entirely contrary to the values and principles of the Jane Austen College community. All members of the school community have a right to learn in a safe, supportive and respectful environment. They also have a responsibility to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the protection and maintenance of such an environment.
The college actively promotes positive interpersonal relations between all members of the school community. This policy has been developed through consultation which involved all members of the college community – our students, parents/carers, our staff and governing body.
- All of our students have a right to learn free from intimidation and fear.
- The needs of the victim are paramount.
- The college will not tolerate bullying behaviour.
- Bullied pupils will be listened to.
- Students need to know how to report bullying and feel confident doing so.
- Reported incidents will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
Bullying is behaviour that is:
- intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
- often aimed at certain groups, e.g. because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
It takes many forms and can include:
- physical assault
- making threats
- name calling
- cyberbullying – bullying via mobile phone or online (e.g. email, social networks and instant messenger)
- Physical violence such as hitting, pushing or spitting at another student.
- Interfering with another person’s property, by stealing, hiding or damaging it.
- Using offensive names when addressing another person.
- Teasing or spreading rumours about another student or his/her family.
- Belittling another student’s abilities and achievements.
- Writing offensive notes or graffiti about another person.
- Excluding another student from a group activity.
- Ridiculing another person’s appearance, way of speaking or personal mannerisms.
- Misusing technology (internet or mobiles) to hurt or humiliate another person.
Participation and consultation
It is important to us that all the members of the college community are fully aware of this policy and are also able to contribute to it. We will:
- Make the policy available to all of our students, parents and school staff through our website.
- Distribute a bullying survey to student, parents and whole school staff on an annual basis
- Obtain the views of elected student representatives on the student council.
- Seek the views of parents at information evenings and community events.
- Conduct regular and rigorous monitoring, evaluation and review.
Responsibilities of all stakeholders
The governing body:
- Defines the principles underlying the college’s anti-bullying policy.
- Ensures that all aspects of the policy promote equality for all students and address individual need.
- Monitors and evaluates the implementation of the policy and its effectiveness by receiving reports and data.
- Supports the practical strategies of the policy by holding disciplinary and panels for students and their parents when there are serious concerns.
The Principal and the senior team:
- Promote and implement a policy, which prevents bullying and promotes a safe, supportive and respectful environment for all students.
- Provide structures and training to support staff in ensuring the policy is consistently and effectively applied.
- Ensure that the policy promotes equality for all students and addresses individual needs.
- Monitor incidents of bullying to ensure that they are dealt with promptly and effectively.
- Support the practical strategies of the policy by: dealing with serious referral issues; setting up and leading teams e.g. pastoral support team, special education needs team, attendance team.
- Provide communication systems with parents and outside agencies.
- Provide appropriate class groupings and timetable arrangements, allocating resources appropriately and effectively.
- Ensure that the policy is consistently and fairly applied.
Our staff will:
- Foster in our pupils self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others.
- Demonstrate by example the high standards of personal and social behaviour we expect of our pupils.
- Discuss bullying with all classes, so that every pupil learns about the damage it causes to both the child who is bullied and to the bully, and the importance of telling a teacher about bullying when it happens.
- Be alert to signs of distress and other possible indications of bullying.
- Listen to children who have been bullied, take what they say seriously, and act to support and protect them.
- Report suspected cases of bullying to heads of house and also the pastoral mentor. (It may also be necessary to report concerns to the college’s senior designated person for child protection, if a member of staff is concerned that a student's safety is at risk.)
- Follow up any complaint by a parent about bullying, and report back promptly and fully on the action which has been taken.
- Deal with observed instances of bullying promptly and effectively, in accordance with agreed procedures.
- Record incidents of bullying in accordance with agreed procedures.
We expect our pupils to:
- Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying, even at the risk of incurring temporary unpopularity.
- Intervene to protect the pupil who is being bullied, unless it is unsafe to do so.
- Report to a member of staff any witnessed or suspected instances of bullying, to dispel any climate of secrecy and help to prevent further instances.
- Anyone who becomes the target of bullies should not suffer in silence, but have the courage to speak out, to put an end to their own suffering and that of other potential targets.
We ask our parents to support their children and the school by:
- Watching for signs of distress or unusual behaviour in their children, which might be evidence of bullying.
- Advising their children to report any bullying to their form tutor or pastoral mentor and explain the implications of allowing the bullying to continue unchecked, for themselves and for other students.
- Advising their children not to retaliate violently to any forms of bullying.
- Being sympathetic and supportive towards their children, and reassuring them that appropriate action will be taken.
- Informing the school of any suspected bullying, even if their children are not involved.
- Co-operating with the school, if their children are accused of bullying, to try to ascertain the truth.
- Work together to combat and hopefully, in time, to eradicate bullying.
- Our behaviour policy and behaviour for learning procedures (including guidelines for classroom management), in conjunction with the anti-bullying policy, will work to prevent bullying.
- Discussion on bullying, its definition and its impact will be a key focus of discussions in form time and also philosophy lessons, to educate our students and prevent bullying.
- Our anti-bullying policy will be actively shared and discussed.
- Our building has been sensitively designed, with a specific consideration of potential bullying e.g. anti-bullying toilets, to ensure that the school building itself supports our anti-bullying position.
- Our duty systems will ensure that staff are always present to supervise students at break and lunch times.
- Sixth form ambassadors will be used as role models and peer mentors for the younger students, to promote positive relationships within the college community.
- Semi-vertical tutoring (Year 7s and 8s together, Year 9s and 10s together) will promote positive relationships between students of different age groups within the college community.
- Peer mediation will be used to resolve disputes and prevent possible escalation.
Procedures for dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour
- Steps will be taken to support and respond to the needs of both bullied and bullying students.
- A thorough investigation will be carried out, by our student support team.
- Clear records will be kept, as part of our bullying log.
- Action will be taken, and will normally include elements of restorative justice.
- Parents/carers of all students concerned in the bullying incident will be contacted and informed of action taken.
- Students who have been bullied will be informed about what action has been taken and what they should do if an incident was to reoccur.
- Sanctions will be used as appropriate. The most serious sanctions, such as exclusion, might be used in cases of bullying, particularly where a student is repeatedly found to be bullying, or is involved in violent behaviour.
Continuous professional development of staff
The college will offer continuous professional development on identifying and dealing with bullying to all its staff. In particular, staff training will focus on our policy and procedures so that all our staff are confident implementing our rigorous policy and procedures.
Monitoring and review
This policy will be monitored and reviewed by:
- Monitoring of the bullying log
- Parents/staff/student surveys (at least annually)
- Student focus groups
- The student council
- The governing body
- The overall monitoring of standards at the college, including behaviour. A rigorous programme is in place to monitor all aspects of provision.