Anti-Bullying Policy

The main points which underpin the schools policy on dealing with bullying are that we are a Christian school, we aim to encourage the children to care for one another and respect and treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated.

We firmly support the 5 aims of the Every Child matters programme which is, that every child has the support they need to:

Be healthy
Stay safe
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well being

The ethos of the school is one where children are encouraged to tell someone so that any problems can be sorted out quickly and effectively.

If an incident of bullying is reported by a child or observed and reported by anyone else, it is investigated and dealt with quickly and sensitively.

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 childs 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 schools 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 unexplained cuts or bruises
Becomes unreasonable when dealing with school issues
Stops eating
Is frightened to say whats 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 fulfill our aims, the following strategies are used:

A structured programme to raise self-esteem in pupils. For more details on the schools positive approach programme please see the schools 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 of 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 schools 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
Staff Responsibilities
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 in January 2011 and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.

Appendix 1 Checklist for investigating an incident

Who was involved  is there or are there apparent victims? Is so who is it/are they?
In what way did the victims suffer?
How did the incident start? Was it spontaneous or premeditated?
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.

Bullying is deliberately hurting, threatening, intimidating or frightening someone. The degree of seriousness of the bullying is measured by the effect it has on the individual.

Bullying: A Charter of Pupil Rights
To live your life in peace and safety
To be an individual and be proud of being different
Not to be bullied
To say no firmly to anything you think is wrong
To protect yourself by ignoring others or by walking away
To tell a member of staff, if someone is making you unhappy
Bullying: A Charter of Pupil Responsibilities
Not to put up with any form of bullying
To work with others to stop bullying
To inform a member of staff of any form of bullying
Not to be afraid of reporting any incidents. If you do nothing, it might suggest that you are supporting the bullying
Not to put up with bullies in your group of friends