ANTI BULLYING POLICY
ANTI BULLYING POLICY
All schools experience bullying, our Anti Bullying Policy is an attempt to overcome this problem. It involves all of the groups of people who make up our school community – pupils, teachers, parents, ancillary staff and Governors
Our Anti Bullying Policy will be devised following consultation with:
- Pupils through the School Council.
- Parents through consultation with a cross section of interested parents.
- School Governors
The Policy will be reviewed by the School Council annually and by Governors every two years.
Chair of Governors or Chair of Pupil Wellbeing Sub-Committee
Statement of Intent
We are aware that bullying can occur in every school at some time and that this document will not eradicate it totally from our school however, we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school.
If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the persistent use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim and frequently focuses on individuals and groups who are seen as being ‘different’.
This undermines our Equal Opportunities Policy and the social and moral principles upon which our Behaviour Policy are based.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional - being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Deliberately attempt to influence others with the aim of excluding, ostracizing or marginalizing individuals from their friends and normal relationships.
- Physical - deliberate pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence. Those responsible often maintain that it is accidental when detected for the first time.
- may involve theft or damage to property although not all theft or damage is bullying but it is where the intention is to create fear and use power improperly.
- Racist - racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic- because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal - name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, threats of physical violence.
- can include the spreading of rumours or malicious accusations.
- Cyber - All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse
Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities
It is not necessarily bullying when two people have an occasional fight or disagreement.
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.
- Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
We therefore have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Aims of this Policy
- To provide a school environment where bullying is not tolerated and pupils feel safe to tell someone, whether another child or/and adult, if they experience or witness bullying.
- To ensure that all governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents have an understanding of what bullying is, what the school policy is on bullying is and provides a clear strategy for dealing with bullying should it arise.
- To promote an anti-bulling message throughout the academic and pastoral curriculum and to encourage all members of the school to act with tolerance and consideration to others at all times.
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
- doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
- begs to be driven to school
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what is wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated
- Report bullying incidents to staff
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff
- In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
1) The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place.
2) In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered
3) If possible, the pupils will be reconciled
4) After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will use a variety of methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- signing a behaviour contract
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- making up role-plays (or use KIDSCAPE role-plays)
- having discussions about bullying and why it matters
Whole School Approach to tackling bullying.
A multi faceted approach is essential in dealing with bullying. No one initiative will be successful. The role of teachers and pupils and parents is crucial and will be dealt with in detail later.
Bullying and its consequences can also be addressed through many areas of the curriculum and in other aspects of school life.
At Dylan Thomas Community School we use such methods as:
- PSE lessons include the topic of anti- bullying in Years 7 – 11, e.g. relationships, transition, homophobia etc.
- Drama and R.E. lessons feature issues related to bullying through discussion and writing.
- English Literature lessons regularly involve such issues – e.g. in novels such as ‘Holes’.
- Senior Staff lead Assemblies on the theme of bullying – e.g. Welsh Anti-Bullying Week. Bullying is also placed in its wider social context through Assemblies on ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and Holocaust Day.
- Our Police Liaison Officer takes PSE lessons on Cyber Bullying
- School documentation e.g. Discipline Policy, Home/ School Agreement pupils cross refer to the Bullying Policy.
- Discipline for Learning Posters (in every classroom) reinforces this Policy’s message that pupils’ decisions about their behaviour have a direct consequence in outcomes for them.
- The School Council meets regularly and bullying is a regular feature of these discussions.
- The School Council will review and evaluate the Anti Bullying Policy every year with School Governors reviewing every two years.
Everyone in the school community has their role to play in helping combat bullying.
No-one should think it is someone else’s responsibility. However, individuals clearly have their specific role to play:-.
If you are being bullied or you know of someone else being bullied,
TELL SOMEONE. Don’t blame yourself for what has happened.
Your Form Tutor, PSO or Assistant Form Tutor - He or she can help you decide what to do next.
Your Progress leader – he/she knows you well.
Assistant Head teacher for Pupil Wellbeing - He has overall responsibility for these matters.
Any Senior Staff member or other adult working in the school.
Another pupil – a friend or Prefect.
- What if you witness bullying?
Remember the way you react is so important. Do nothing to give the impression to the bully that you approve of what is happening.
If you are brave or there are several friends together tell the bully to ‘stop’ or failing that, walk away in a way that shows your disapproval. Bullies hate being disliked by the ‘gang’ – and doing nothing only encourages them.
If you don’t wish to get involved directly tell an adult as soon as possible – try to remember as many details (e.g. names, times, places) as possible.
Remember, ‘telling’ about a bully is never wrong. It is a brave and decent thing to do – Dylan Thomas is a caring and telling school, we expect pupils to help us combat bullying.
PARTICULAR TYPES OF BULLYING
This is discrimination against young people on the grounds of their race, colour or nationality. Bullying over racist issues is only part of a greater problem. Dylan Thomas keeps a Racist Incidents Register which records all such incidents and the action taken by the school. The person with responsibility for dealing with such incidents is the Named Person, Mrs. L. Johnson. Incidents can range from abusive name calling; inappropriate comments about appearance or even threats or violence.
This is never acceptable. Depending on circumstances the School’s Child Protection Policy might apply to such an incident. Examples of such bullying might include comments about appearance, sexual innuendoes, pornographic material and inappropriate and uninvited touching. All such incidents are recorded in a separate incident book.
This takes place when pupils are targeted if they step outside traditional gender stereotypes, e.g. boys or girls are belittled for taking an option subject traditionally associated with the other gender.
This is an issue which causes difficulties for some pupils. Young people do not necessarily have to be lesbian, gay or bi-sexual to experience such bullying. Just being different is sometimes enough. Such matters must always be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality. Homophobic bullying must always be challenged. Advice and literature is available for all pupils who experience such abuse or for young people who are unsure about their sexuality.
- Special Educational Needs or Disabilities:
Pupils with such needs are often particularly vulnerable. Adults within the school community must be especially alert to their potential difficulties. Dylan Thomas has rooms that are available during lunchtime which are supervised by staff.
Cyber-bullying is already a real and painful issue for many young people. School staff, parents and young people need to work together to prevent this and to tackle it whenever it occurs. Cyber bullying can take many forms. Abusive text messages, poisonous e-mails, hate web sites, posting photographs/videos on YouTube and aggressive instant messaging are all ways in which the person suffering the bullying can be made to feel uncomfortable, alone and scared. This is particularly frightening as technology allows such bullying to penetrate the young person’s home or even their bedroom.
What can the school do?
- · Ensure that PSE lessons inform pupils about the latest dangers, in new
communications, the consequences of their misuse and how to use them safely
- · Ensure that all e-communications on the school site or as part of school activities off-site are monitored
- · Enforce the rule that mobile phones are not used inside school
- · Ensure that Internet blocking technologies are continually updated and harmful sites blocked
- · Make available an ‘expert’ member of staff who can advise pupils about specific cyber-bullying problems.
- · Making available details of how to combat cyber-bullying, e.g. technical advice, relevant web-sites and how to contact mobile phone companies etc.
- · Regularly speaking to pupils through the School Council to ensure Senior Staff are aware of the latest concerns of young people as technology changes
- · To put a summary of these and other bullying issues in the Pupil Planner
RULES TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU’RE ‘ON LINE’ OR ON THE PHONE
Don’t be cyber bullied, don’t be a cyber bully
Three things to remember when you’re online or on the phone.
1. Respect other people – online and off. Don’t spread rumours about people or share their secrets, including their phone numbers and passwords.
2. If someone insults you online or by phone, stay calm and ignore them.
3. ‘Do as you would be done by’. Think how you would feel if you were
bullied. You’re responsible for your own behaviour: make sure you don’t
distress other people or cause them to be bullied by someone else. If it’s happening to you, the first thing to remember is that it’s not your fault. It’s the person doing the bullying that’s got the problem, not you.
If you receive nasty emails:
- · Never reply to unpleasant or unwanted emails because a response is just what the sender’s looking for
- · Keep the emails as evidence and tell someone you trust what’s been going on
- · Contact your email provider’s abuse team. You should be able to find out how to do this on your email homepage.
- · Don’t reply to an email address you don’t know, even if there’s an option to ‘unsubscribe’, because this confirms to the sender that your email address does exist.
If you get upset in a chat room or over instant messaging:
- · Don’t give out any personal details online; you should use a nickname in chat rooms
- · Don’t accept emails or open files from someone you don’t know
- · Remember that people in chat rooms might not really be who they say they are
- · If someone starts acting weird or making you feel uncomfortable, get out of the chat room straight away and tell someone.
- · Think before you write: don’t leave yourself open to bullying.
If you get unsuitable phone calls or texts:
- · If you get an abusive or silent call, don’t hang up straight away. Instead, put your phone down somewhere and leave it for a few minutes, then hang up or turn your phone off. Once they realize that they aren’t bothering you, callers usually get bored and leave you alone.
- · Always tell someone each time it happens
- · Don’t give out your personal details to just anyone. Be selective about who gets your phone number. If someone calls you and asks you to confirm your number, ask them what number they want and tell them whether they’re right
- · Screen your calls by letting your voicemail kick in if you don’t recognize the number calling you. It it’s a friend, they’ll leave a message. Don’t give out your name on your voicemail message
- · Make a note of times and dates of calls that make you feel uncomfortable and report them to the police
- · Keep all abusive texts and show them to your parents. If they become
threatening or malicious and won’t stop, report them to the police and show them all the messaged you’ve received.
About hate sites:
There have been reported cases of young people setting up ‘hate sites’, which are web sites devoted to giving a person or group of people in particular a hard time. The bullies behind sites use pictures and made up stories about the victim. The address is then circulated to lots of people to try and humiliate the victim.
What to do if it’s happening to you:
-You need to tell someone straight away. Bullying, in any form, is wrong and nobody deserves to be on the receiving end. The people doing this need to be stopped as soon as possible.
-Talk to someone you trust and decide what to do next. You could tell your teacher or go straight to the police. You should make sure that your parents or carers are fully aware of what’s going on, too.
-Don’t be afraid of what will happen if you ‘grass’; the chances are that the people who are doing the bullying have got a problem of their own that they need help with.
Keeping yourself safe online:
There’s more opportunity than ever to have your own web site. If you do have your own online space, try not to give too much information about yourself, so that potential bullies can’t manipulate photos or comments you’ve made on your own space.
If you’ve got a blog, think about making it password-protected if you want to have lots of personal info online.
THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE
The Protection from Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and Section 43 of the Telecommunications Act may be used to combat cyber bullying.
People may be fined or sent to prison for up to six months.
Bullying outside school:
Dylan Thomas Community School’s Anti-Bullying Policy will apply to events outside the school in specific circumstances.
- if a pupil, or pupils, bully another pupil on the way to or from school
all the school rules and sanctions will apply – including Fixed Term
and Permanent Exclusion.
- if an individual or group behaves in a way that intimidates a pupil
outside school and makes them fearful of attending school, then action
can and will be taken, e.g. cyber bullying. In such circumstances the
school will co-operate with the Police or engage the assistance of other
agencies, e.g. E.W.O.
All pupils are expected to cooperate in the investigations into such incidents.
However, the school cannot and must not become involved in family and neighbourhood disputes.
All pupils are expected to leave their differences behind at the school gate. It is the responsibility of all parents and families to uphold this rule.
ROLE OF PARENTS AND FAMILIES
Parents and families have an important part to play in helping schools deal with bullying.
- · discourage your child from using bullying behaviour at home or elsewhere.
. Show them how to resolve difficult situations without using violence or aggression.
- · ask to see our bullying policy and support us as we endeavour to deal with any issues that arise.
. watch out for signs that your child is being bullied, or is bullying others.
Parents and families are often the first to detect symptoms of bullying, though sometimes the school nurses maybe the first to suspect that a child has been bullied. Common symptoms include headaches, stomach aches, anxiety and irritability. It can be helpful to ask questions about progress and friends at school, how break times and lunch times are spent; and whether your child is facing problems or difficulties at school. Don’t dismiss negative signs. Contact the school immediately if you are worried.
If your child has been bullied:
- · Calmly talk to your child about it
- · Make a note of what your child says – particularly who was said to be involved; how often the bullying has occurred; where it happened, when it happened and what happened
- · It is very important that accurate records are kept of the incidents of bullying and of the action taken when the bullying was reported
- · Reassure your child that telling you about the bullying was the right thing to do
- · Explain that any further incidents should be reported to a teacher immediately
- · Make an appointment to see your child’s form tutor
- · Explain to the teacher the problems your child is experiencing
Talking to teachers about bullying:
- · Try and stay calm – bear in mind that the teacher may have no ideas 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 child 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 – let them know if things improve as well as if problems continue
If you think your concerns are not being addressed:
- · Check the school anti-bullying policy to see if agreed procedures are being followed
- · Make an appointment to meet the PSO/Progress Leader Assistant Headteacher, keeping a record of the meeting
- · Discuss your concerns with the Parent Governor or other parents
- · If this does not help, write to the Chair of Governors, explaining your concerns and what you would like to see happen. Contact can be made through the school office through Mrs. J. Edwards, Clerk to the Governors
- · Contact local or national parent support groups for advice
- · Contact the Director of Education of your authority, who will be able to ensure that the Governors respond to your concerns
- · Contact the Parentline Plus helpline for support and information at any time of these stages
If your child is bullying other children:
Many children may be involved in bullying other pupils at some time or other. Often parents are not aware. Children sometimes bully others because:
- · They don’t know it is wrong
- · They are copying older brothers or sisters or other people in the family they admire
- · They haven’t learnt other, better ways of mixing with their school friends
- · Their friends encourage them to bully
- · They are going through a difficult time and are acting out aggressive feelings
To stop your child bullying others:
- · Talk to your child, explaining that bullying is unacceptable and makes others 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 to join in with other children without bullying
- · Make an appointment to see your child’s Progress Leader/PSO and explain the problems your child is experiencing and discuss with him/her how you and the school can stop them bullying others
- · Regularly check with your child how things are going at school
- · Give your child lots of praise and encouragement when they are co-operative or kind to other people.
But remember – we can only do something if we know there is a problem.
Role of Support Staff:
All adults in the school community have a vital role to play in ensuring that pupils are not bullied. They should all follow these guidelines:
- if you witness bullying intervene to stop the incident if that is appropriate.
- Find out from pupils the names of those involved – the ‘bully’, ‘bullied’ victim(s) and any onlookers
- Report the incident to a member of the teaching staff as soon as
- As a Receptionist/Secretary you are likely to be the first point of contact when a parent reports an alleged case of bullying (on the phone or in person). Allowance should be made for the parent being distressed, upset or angry. In such instances every effort should be made to remain as calm and reassuring as possible. Explain that we have an Anti-Bullying Policy, record the details carefully, and assure them that something will be done at the earliest opportunity.
- All staff in the school – teaching and non-teaching – should be encouraged to use the Reward System for pupils. This promotes the positive behaviour we wish to see from all our pupils.
Procedures to follow after a bullying incident.
It must be remembered that not all unpleasant incidents between pupils are necessarily bullying. However, if any party involved expresses the concern that bullying is taking place then the following procedures should be followed:
- · The appropriate Head(s) of Year should be informed
- · When dealing with the pupils do not show anger or instant judgement. . Remain calm, if necessary, separating the pupils until they can be interviewed.
- · All relevant pupils should be spoken to separately – the alleged victim(s), bully or bullies, and whenever possible any potential witnesses. Care should be taken to listen to the pupils and time given for them to express their feelings as well as the facts.
- · At this stage it is at the discretion of the Progress Leader/PSO? Assistant Head whether written statements are made by the pupils
- · At every stage of the procedures staff must make detailed written accounts which are to be placed in pupils’ personal files via Mrs Head in the office.
- · At this stage Pastoral Staff should attempt to devise strategies in which both parties agree to a course of action in which the bullying stops. It is at the discretion of staff whether the parents of the pupils are informed at this stage. It is also at the discretion of the Progress Leader//Assistant Head to decide what (if any) punishments are given. This will be determined by individual circumstances and their knowledge of the pupils concerned.
Punishments at this stage might be:
- Pupil placed on report
- Progress Leader Detention.
- Withdrawal of free time.
If an incident is sufficiently serious even a first time offence can result in a fixed term or permanent exclusion
It is the responsibility of the Progress Leader/PSO of ‘victim’ and ‘bully’ to follow
through on incidents of bullying. No later than two school weeks after the
incident was reported they should check with the pupils to ensure that all is well.
- If after this time the bullying is still happening the Progress Leader must:
- involve the PSO or Assistant Head (Pupil Welfare)
- involve the parent(s) guardian(s) of all pupils involved (either in a
personal interview or on the phone)
- punish the “bully” with a number of detentions or a fixed
term exclusion as appropriate
- issue a formal letter warning of serious disciplinary action
- check with all pupils involved (including potential pupil witnesses) that the bullying is not continuing
- inform all appropriate staff to watch out for potential signs of bullying with these pupils
- involve an external agency, e.g. Behaviour Support
- · If the bullying persists at this point the Progress Leader/PSO and/or Assistant Headteacher (Wellbeing) should:
- issue a fixed term exclusion to the bully
- interview his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) on their return to school
- issue a firm warning that the next incident of bullying will bring pupil
and parent(s) before the Disciplinary Committee of the Governors
- If bullying still continues the Headteacher will call a Governors’ Disciplinary meeting to which pupil and parent(s) will be invited.
- If bullying still persists the Headteacher will not hesitate to Permanently Exclude the offending pupil
Throughout the entire process of dealing with such incidents staff should always attempt to convey that:
- it is possible for a ‘bully’ to change and be capable of decent, caring
- it is the act of bullying that is condemned, not the pupil
- it is never the fault, or responsibility of the person being bullied
- although every case is different the policy must always be upheld so
that potential victims of bullying can see that the issue is being deal with.
The following ‘Flow line’ summarises the Procedures outlined above and is intended to be an ‘easy to follow’ checklist of how we aim to deal with incidents of bullying
Facts gathered from all parties
Progress Leader to decide whether punishments given.
Parents involved possibly
Progress Leader to check on progress within two weeks.
2. If Incidents continue:
Deputy Head (Pupil Welfare) involved
Appropriate punishment given
Formal warning letter issued
All parties made aware of consequences if bullying continues
3. If Incidents still continue:
Fixed term exclusion issued
Interview with parents on ‘bully’s’ return to school
Formal warning that continuation will trigger Governors Disciplinary Committee
4. If Incidents still continue:
Pupil and Parents to appear before Governors’ Disciplinary Committee. The LEA may also be represented
5. If Incidents still continue:
The Headteacher will have to decide whether the pupil will be Permanently Excluded
REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF ANTI BULLYING POLICY
It is important that representatives of the School Community have the opportunity to assess the progress of this Policy and to Review its procedures at regular intervals. The following practices should become embedded into the life of the school:
- · Bullying and the Anti-Bullying Policy should become regular items on the agenda of the School Council
- ·Policy should be reviewed formally at least once a year by School Council
- ·Policy should be discussed at least once a year by the Pastoral Team.
- · Governors should review the Anti-Bullying Policy bi-annually in the Summer Term.
Kidscape website www.kidscape.org.uk
Bullying Online www.bullying.co.uk
Cyber bullying www.digizen.org.uk
Childline 0800 11 11 11
Youth Access 020 8772 9900
Children's Legal Centre 0845 345 4345
KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10-4)0845 1 205 204
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) 0808 800 5793