Anti-Bullying

Anti Bullying Policy and Procedures

Rationale

In order for every child to make progress in their education, the environment for learning should be safe and caring. Every student has the right to:

  • Be educated in a safe secure environment where their moral, intellectual, personal and social development is promoted
  • Their parents and carers being informed and re-assured that their child is being educated in a safe, caring and respectful atmosphere.

Definition

Bullying behaviour is recurrent, persistent and targeted. It is the persistent use of power by one or more individuals to intentionally harm, hurt or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.

Bullying behaviour is demeaning, frightening and emotionally damaging and the effect on the individual who is bullied can be long term. All forms of bullying behaviour are wholly unacceptable. In St. Joseph’s College we aim to ensure that a pro-active approach to the prevention of bullying is adopted and where it occurs, adequate step will be taken to deal with the issues.

Forms of Bullying

  • Physical violence, such as hitting, pushing or spitting at another student
  • Interfering with another student’s property, by stealing, hiding or damaging it
  • Using offensive or racist names when addressing another student
  • Teasing or spreading rumours about another student or his family
  • Belittling another student’s abilities and achievements
  • Writing offensive notes or graffiti about another student
  • Excluding another student from a group activity
  • Ridiculing another student’s appearance, way of speaking or personal mannerisms
  • Using mobile phones or the internet (cyber-bullying) to cause offence or hurt to another student.

The Responsibilities of Staff

In line with our school policy of promoting positive behaviour, a sense of responsibility, rights and mutual respect amongst all people in our school community. We hope to foster the culture of a listening school whereby we empower our students to have a culture of ‘telling’ whereby they feel confident that staff will respond to concerns with confidence and care.

To assist with Bullying Prevention our staff will:

  • Foster in our students self – esteem, self respect and respect for others
  • Demonstrate by example the high standards of personal and social behaviour we expect of our students
  • Discuss bullying with all classes, as required, so that every boy 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 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, in accordance with agreed school procedure

The Responsibility of Students

We expect our students to:

  • Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying
  • Report if they or anyone they know are being bullied to a member of staff or a parent/ carer
  • Be aware of the school’s Anti – Bullying Policy

The Responsibilities of Parents/Carers

We ask our parent body to support their son(s) and school by:

  • Watching for signs of distress or unusual behaviour in their son(s), which might be evidence of bullying; e.g.
  • An unwillingness to attend school
  • A pattern of headaches or stomach pains
  • Equipment that has gone missing
  • Request for extra pocket money
  • Damaged clothing or bruising
  • Hurtful notes or text messages
  • Informing the school immediately of any suspected bullying
  • Be aware of the channels available to help parents
  • Advising their son(s) to report any bullying which occurs in school to a member of staff
  • Advising their son(s) not to react with anything that could be perceived as unacceptable behaviour.
  • Being sympathetic and supportive towards their son(s) and reassuring them of their confidence in the schools staff ability to take appropriate action.
  • Keeping a record of any instances of bullying reported to them.
  • Co-operating with the school, if their son(s) are accused of bullying, try to ascertain the truth, and point out the implications of bullying, both for the boy(s) who are bullied and for the bullies themselves
  • Instil in your son positive values which will in turn, ensure they refrain from bullying behaviour

 

LINKS TO OTHER SCHOOL POLICIES

This policy is linked to the school’s other policies including Pastoral Care, Learning and Teaching, Child Protection, Positive Behaviour and ICT policies. These policies seek to create a safe and caring learning environment in which effective teaching and learning can take place and which allows students the chance to develop and reach their potential.

LEVELS OF INTERVENTION

When a bullying concern has been observed/reported staff should assess the situation and its severity level and determine the appropriate level of response required to manage the situation effectively.

Response levels range from Level 1 (Low severity incident) to Level 4 (most severe incident)

To estimate the level of severity, staff should take into account the following:

  • The nature of the bullying behaviour e.g. teasing, excluding, hitting etc
  • The frequency of the bullying behaviour: daily, weekly or less often;
  • The duration of the bullying behaviour: short or over a long period of tim

 

LEVEL 1: LOW SEVERITY INCIDENTS

Procedures

Staff should NEVER ignore low severity incidents.

Record the incident on SIMs and inform the Form Teacher who in liaison with HoKs will agree appropriate interventions such as:

Speak to the students involved – those who report, experience and display the bullying behaviours.

  • Point out to the student displaying such behaviours, the level of distress experienced by the other student;
  • Explain how behaviour goes against the values and ethos of St Joseph’s College;
  • Identify consequences if bullying behaviour continues;
  • Help student identify ways in which he may be able to deal with the situation and access support.
  • Listen to the student reporting bullying behaviour/the student who is experiencing bullying behaviour and assure him that the matter will be dealt with;
  • Assure the student who is experiencing bullying behaviour that he is being taken seriously, is not being blamed for the situation and will be kept involved in the solution.
  • Investigate the incident by talking to relevant pupils, including the person who is displaying bullying behaviour. Record the students’ accounts.
  • Endeavour to ensure that the bullying behaviour stops and that the pupils are reconciled.
  • Keep the parties involved informed of any subsequent action.
  • Monitor and evaluate over time.

 

LEVEL 2: INTERMEDIATE SEVERITY INCIDENTS

Procedures

Bullying behaviour incident is recorded on SIMs and reported to the Form Teacher who in liaison with HoKS takes action. In addition to the steps outlined above:

  • Reads any notes given to him/her and ensures that confidentiality is respected in relation to them;
  • Interviews all students involved with the bullying incident;
  • reassures the student experiencing bullying behaviour that the problem is being addressed;
  • Decides on the seriousness of the bullying behaviour and the necessary steps to be taken;
  • If necessary, informs the parents of students involved.

 

Support for student experiencing bullying behaviour may include:

  • reassurance from Form Teacher and HoKS;
  • counselling to help build self-confidence and provide coping strategies.
  • Head of Key Stage, if appropriate, advising parents on how they can support their child.
  • Checking in with student regularly.

Support for pupil displaying bullying behaviour:

The Form Teacher and HoKS will support the pupil with obvious bullying behaviour and if appropriate a sanction will be issued. This may include parental contact, detention and/or withdrawal of break and lunchtime privileges.

It is important to separate the individual from their behaviour; the bullying behaviour needs to be challenged, however the individual needs to be supported.

The support may include:

  • Counselling;
  • Using the “No Blame Approach” with the pupils involved;
  • Follow up meetings with the pupil, keeping a record and ensuring that confidentiality is respected in relation to it;
  • Monitoring and evaluating, with the support of Form Teacher and HoKS over time.

Support for the Parents

The Head of Key Stage/Form Teacher will notify the parents of the pupil experiencing bullying behaviour and the pupil displaying bullying behaviour. If deemed necessary parents will be invited by HoKS to separate meetings to explore the issue(s) and agree intervention strategies. When strategies have been agreed with parents the student will be invited into the interview and strategies explained and agreed with him/her.

HoKS will monitor.

Additional Procedures

The HoKS will:

  • inform class teachers and make them aware of the situation;
  • keep a record of the incident in Key Stage Book
  • Retain records of all interventions and follow up discussions.

 

LEVEL 3: HIGH SEVERITY INCIDENTS

In these incidents the pupil displaying bullying behaviour is resistant to change and/or the reaction of the pupil being bullied is severe.

Procedures

The Form Teacher, Head of Key Stage and Care, Welfare and Guidance Senior will work together to support the student experiencing bullying behaviour, the student displaying bullying behaviour and the parents.

Support for student experiencing bullying behaviour may include:

  • The Head of Key Stage may refer the pupil to CWG Senior Teacher who in turn can make a referral to the school Counsellor.
  • HoKS may explore ways in which student can have greater participation in school events.
  • HoKS will monitor over a number of weeks and have a meeting with the student after a few weeks.

Support for student displaying bullying behaviour may include:

  • The student will normally receive a sanction such as withdrawal of lunchtime privileges, withholding right to participate in school events e.g. sports, parental interview, suspension.
  • The student will be placed on report to the Head of Key Stage.
  • The Head of Key Stage will meet with the LSC and/or CGW Senior Teacher to develop an individual Behaviour Plan for the student. A Plan may have a combination of internal and external support.
  • The form teacher and class teachers will be informed of the behaviour plan.
  • The pupil may be asked to participate in an Emotional Health Programme e.g. Conflict Resolution, Anger Management.
  • There will be regular meetings with the Form Teacher/ Head of Key Stage/ CGW Senior Teacher /SENCO to monitor and evaluate student’s progress.
  • In the case of a student who has been suspended, parents and student will be informed of the support given to the pupil on his/her return to school. As with any suspension, the student will be placed on Yellow Report.

Support for Parents

  • The Head of Key Stage will invite parents of the student experiencing bullying behaviour to a meeting to explore the issue(s).
  • The Head of Key Stage will invite parents of the student displaying bullying behaviour to a meeting to explain the sanction given and to explain the support being offered.
  • Student will likely be placed on report which also allows parents to track and monitor progress.

Additional Procedures

Head of Key Stage will:

  • inform class teachers and ask them to be aware of the situation;
  • keep record of incidents and meetings
  • retain records of all interventions and follow up discussions.

 

LEVEL 4: CRITICAL INCIDENTS – LEADING TO SUSPENSION/EXCLUSION

In these incidents there are significant Mental Health and/or Child protection ‘safe guarding concerns’ for the pupil involved.

In consultation with the Principal, Care, Guidance and Welfare Senior Teacher, Head of Key Stage, Learning Support Coordinator, appropriate outside agencies and parents, an appropriate action plan will be put in place.

If appropriate, the recommended sanction at level 4 will be suspension and, with the approval of the Board of Governors, may include exclusion.

Support for pupil who has been bullied:

  • The pupil will be supported by the Head of Key Stage and CGW Senior Teacher (Internal and external support will be provided as appropriate)
  • The HoKS may have weekly meetings with the pupil
  • The CGW Senior Teacher and HoKS may explore ways in which pupil can have greater participation in school events

Support for pupil displaying bullying behaviour may include:

  • On return from suspension there will be a meeting with the student and their parents so that there will be an agreed way forward and the student will be placed on Yellow Report to HoKS so as to monitor progress.
  • The CGW Senior Teacher will engage with the relevant agencies – Health and Social Care Trust, Counselling, Gateway Teams.
  • The pupil may be offered counselling and may be requested to participate in Emotional Well Being Programmes e.g. Conflict Resolution, Anger Management. Head of Key Stage will keep parents informed of student’s progress.
  • An individual Action Plan will be put in place. This will include ongoing support from the Form Teacher.
  • Regular meetings with Head of Key Stage.
  • Regular contact with parents to reassure and give an update.
  • Counselling support relating to emotional well-being of the pupil.

Support for Parents

  • The CGW Senior Teacher/Principal will invite parents of the student experiencing bullying behaviour to a meeting to explore the issue(s).
  • The CGW Senior Teacher/Principal will invite parents of the student displaying bullying behaviour to a meeting to explain the sanction given and to explain the support being offered
  • The Head of Key Stage will provide parents with updates.
  • The Head of Key Stage will talk to parents and offer a meeting once the issue has been resolved.

Additional Procedures

The Head of Key Stage will:

  • inform class teachers and ask them to be aware of the situation;
  • Prepare an Individual Safety Plan
  • keep initial report on pupil’s file/Key Stage Book;
  • retain records of all interventions and follow up discussions.