Principles and Values
As a school we take bullying and its impact seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that known incidents of bullying will be responded to.
Bullying will not be tolerated. The school will seek ways to counter the effects of bullying that may occur within school or in the local community. The ethos of our school fosters high expectations of outstanding behaviour and we will consistently challenge any behaviour that falls below this.
Objectives of this Policy
• All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is and should recognise signs of bullying.
• All governors and teaching and non-teaching staff should know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
• All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
All of us have encountered bullying at some point in our lives, but we all deal with it differently. The aim of this policy is to work together to ensure that our school is a safe place for children and adults to be; whether the school community is directly or indirectly affected by bullying or not.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is unacceptable behaviour used by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.
In other words, bullying at New Brighton is considered to be, “unacceptable behaviour which occurs ‘lots of times, on purpose’.”
Bullying can be short term or continuous over long periods of time.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical pushing, kicking, biting, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racial racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
- Direct or indirect Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing and Cyber bullying
- All areas of internet ,such as email and internet chat Instagram,Twitter and Facebook misuse
- Mobile threats by text messaging and calls
- Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera and video facilities, ipad, games consoles,
Bullying may be related to:
• SEN or disability
• Appearance or health condition
• Home circumstances, incl young carers and poverty
• Sexual orientation, sexism, or sexual bullying, homophobia
What is online bullying/cyberbullying?
Online bullying or cyberbullying can be described as the use of ICT, mobile phones and the internet to deliberately upset someone else. It includes:
- text message bullying
- picture/video-clip bullying via mobile phone cameras
- bullying via mobile phones
- email bullying
- chat room bullying
- bullying through instant messaging
- bullying via social networking sites.
Although in many respects it carries similar features to other types of bullying, it also has some distinct characteristics:
- it invades the home and personal space
- it can reach a vast number of people very quickly
- electronically circulated messages are difficult to control
- the bullying can feel relatively anonymous
- there can be a large number of ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’
- much of the bullying (if not all) might take place out of school.
Cyberbullying is particularly invasive and can be very difficult to eliminate. It can begin as a joke or relatively innocently and quickly escalate into a very destructive and upsetting means of targeting individuals.
Bullying can take place in the classroom, playground, toilets, on the journey to and from school, on residential trips and cyberspace. It can take place in group activities and between families in the local community.
Perpetrators and Victims
Bullying takes place where there is an imbalance of power of one person or persons over another.
This can be achieved by:
• The size of the individual,
• The strength of the individual
• The numbers or group size involved
• Anonymity – through the use of cyber bullying or using email, social networking sites, texts etc
Staff must remain vigilant about bullying behaviours and approach this in the same way as any other category of Child Abuse; that is, do not wait to be told before you raise concerns or deal directly with the matter. Children may not be aware that they are being bullied; because they may be too young or have a level of Special Educational Needs which means that they may be unable to realise what others may be doing to them.
Staff must also be aware of those children who may be vulnerable pupils; those coming from troubled families, or those responding to emotional problems or mental health issues which may bring about a propensity to be unkind to others, or may make them more likely to fall victim to the behaviour of others.
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
- Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
- Bullying hurts.
- No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
- Bullying has the potential to damage the mental health of a victim.
- Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Signs and Symptoms For Parents and Staff
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)
• 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 make less effort with school work than previously
• comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
• has possessions which are damaged or “go missing”
• asks for money or starts stealing money
• has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• comes home hungry (money / lunch has been stolen)
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• is bullying other children or siblings
• stops eating
• is frightened to say what’s wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above
• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
• is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received
• lack of eye contact
• becoming short tempered
• change in attitude to people at home.
These signs and behaviours could indicate other social, emotional and/or mental health problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated
All known/reported incidences of bullying will be investigated by the class teacher or by a senior member of staff. It is therefore important that pupils and parents report suspicions of bullying to members of staff within school. In light of this parents are encouraged to raise concerns with class teachers who will make the Headteacher/Deputy aware if they feel concerns need to be to investigated/ included in the anti-bullying register.
The child displaying unacceptable behaviour, may be asked to genuinely apologise (as appropriate to the child’s age and level of understanding). Other consequences may take place eg. a parent being informed about their child’s behaviour and a request that the parents support the school with any sanctions that it takes (See Behaviour Policy). Wherever possible, the pupils will be reconciled.
In some cases, outside agencies may be requested to support the school or family in dealing with a child continually demonstrating unacceptable behaviour towards others.
In serious cases (this is defined as children displaying an on-going lack of response to sanctions, that is, no change in behaviour of the perpetrator and an unwillingness to alter their behaviour choices), support from behaviour outreach, counselling, reduced timetables, or even fixed or permanent exclusion will be considered.
During and after the incident(s) have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be recorded in the Bullying Register (See Recording Bullying section and Appendix 2) and monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
The Safeguarding Governors will be informed of any incidents recorded in the log along with incidents, sanctions and reconciliation.
At New Brighton we use a variety of methods to support children in preventing and understanding the consequences of bullying through work within the Tranquillity Room, class assemblies, PSHE and Citizenship lessons, SMSC Curriculum, Massage In Schools Programme, School Council meetings and the school anti-bullying week.
The ethos and working philosophy of New Brighton means that all staff actively encourage children to have respect for each other and for other people’s property.
Good and kind/polite behaviour is regularly acknowledged and rewarded.
Staff will regularly discuss bullying, this will inform children that we are serious about dealing with bullying and leads to open conversations and increased confidence in children to want to discuss bullying and report any incidents and concerns about other children’s behaviour. Staff will reinforce expectations of behaviour as a regular theme in line with our
School Vision and Aims.
Staff to follow the equality policy; supporting every child in our school. Staff must be careful not to highlight differences of children or an individual child, even if this is done in jest. This gives other children advocacy to use this difference to begin calling names or teasing.
Staff must be vigilant regarding groups of friends together. Friendship groups may bring about the imbalance of power and must be led towards welcoming others to join them and not excluding others from their group.
Staff must reinforce a general message that children do not have to be friends with everyone else, but they must be respectful of everyone else’s feelings and be kind to each other.
Children are involved in the prevention of bullying as and when appropriate, these may include:
• writing a set of school or class rules
• writing a personal pledge or promise against bullying
• 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 about what to do through scenarios of bullying
• having discussions about bullying and why it matters that children who use unacceptable behaviour towards others are dealt with quickly
• Creating an item for the school website.
If a child feels that they are being bullied then there are several procedures that they are encouraged to follow: (not hierarchical)
• Tell a teacher or adult whom you feel you can trust
• Tell your School Council rep
• Tell a friend
• Go to the Friendship Benches on their playgrounds and speak to a Play Leader
• Tell a parent or adult at home whom you feel you can trust
• Discuss it as part of your PSHE time
• Visit the school website for ideas of what to do next.
• Ring Childline (0800 1111) and follow the advice given:
Recording of Bullying Incidents
When an incident of bullying has taken place, staff must be prepared to record and report each incident.
General incidences of bullying should be recorded in the Behaviour Register this would include incidents where staff have had to become involved and speak with children,and/or where parents have raised concerns regarding bullying.
The Headteacher should advise which level of response should be used.
All incidents of bullying will be discussed with all relevant staff and parents of the children involved, in order that everyone can be vigilant and that further incidents by the same child(ren) may be prevented from happening in the future. Incidents of bullying will be discussed with the Governing Body (Safeguarding Sub-Committee).
Advice to Parents
As the parent of a child whom you suspect is being bullied-
1. Report bullying incidents to the class teacher or to Mrs Hibbard / Mrs Murphy.
2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff and the Headteacher notified.
3. In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
4. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
5. An attempt will be made to help the child using unacceptable behaviour towards others, to change their behaviour.
Parents Should Not:
1. Attempt to sort the problem out yourself by speaking to the child whom you think may be behaving inappropriately towards your child or by speaking to their parents.
2. Encourage your child to be ‘a bully’ back.
Both of these will only make the problem much harder to solve.
KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10-4) 0845 1 205 204
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Visit the Kidscape website for further support , links and advice.
For a copy of Kidscape’s free booklets “Stop Bullying“, “Preventing Bullying” and “You Can Beat Bullying“, send a large (A4) self-addressed envelope (marked “Bully
Pack”) with 6 first class stamps to:
2 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0DH