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- To demonstrate that the School takes bullying seriously and that it will not knowingly be tolerated in any form.
- To make all reasonable efforts to prevent, or stop continuation of bullying behaviour.
- To react to incidents of bullying and alleged bullying in a reasonable, proportionate and consistent way.
- To safeguard the student(s) experiencing bullying and provide support for them.
- To give guidance and, where necessary, support to the perpetrator(s) in line with the Behaviour for Learning policy, with the aim of ensuring lessons are learned which will discontinue bullying behaviour.
Links with other policies
- This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:
- This policy is based on DfE guidance Preventing and Tackling Bullying (2017) and supporting documents. It also notes the DfE statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022.
- There are several pieces of legislation which set out measures and actions for schools in response to bullying, as well as criminal and civil law. These may include (but are not limited to):
- The Education and Inspection Act 2006, 2011.
- The Equality Act 2010.
- The Children Act 1989.
- The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (if appropriate.
- Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
- The Malicious Communications Act 1988.
- Public Order Act 1986.
Definition of Bullying
- Bullying can be defined as “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”. (DfE Preventing and Tackling Bullying 2017)
Forms and types of Bullying
- Bullying can include: name-calling; taunting; mocking; making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; producing offensive graffiti; excluding people from groups; spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.
- This includes the same unacceptable behaviours expressed online, sometimes called online or cyberbullying. This can include: sending offensive, upsetting and inappropriate messages by email, phone, text, instant messenger, through gaming, websites, social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading photos or videos.
- Bullying is recognised by the School as being a form of peer-on-peer abuse. It can be emotionally abusive and can cause severe and adverse effects on children’s emotional development.
- Bullying can happen to anyone. This policy covers all types and forms of bullying including:
- Bullying related to physical appearance.
- Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances.
- Bullying related to physical/mental health conditions.
- Physical bullying.
- Emotional bullying.
- Sexual bullying.
- Bullying via technology, known as online or cyberbullying.
- Prejudicial bullying (against people/students with protected characteristics):
- Bullying related to race, religion, faith and belief, and for those without faith.
- Bullying related to ethnicity, nationality or culture.
- Bullying related to Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND).
- Bullying related to sexual orientation
- Gender based bullying, including any and all forms of gender identity.
- Bullying against teenage parents (pregnancy and maternity under the Equality Act.
- The Governing Body will monitor and review the effectiveness of this policy through its Pastoral and Community Committee.
- The Headteacher will:
- ensure that this policy is brought to the attention of all staff, parents and students by publishing it on the School's website;
- determine the strategies and procedures to prevent and respond to bullying;
- ensure appropriate training is available.
- The Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral) will:
- be responsible for the day-to-day management of the policy and systems;
- ensure that there are positive strategies and procedures in place to help both the bullied and bullies and those who may feel that they are being bullied;
- keep the Headteacher informed of incidents;
- arrange relevant staff training;
- determine how best to involve parents in the solution of individual problems.
- All staff will:
- follow this policy and the procedures within it;
- be vigilant and follow up any suspected bullying, sharing information with the relevant staff;
- never let any incidence of bullying pass by unreported.
- The whole School community will:
- create and support an inclusive environment which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others;
- recognise that bullying can be perpetrated or experienced by any member of the community, including adults and children;
- recognise the potential for children with special educational needs and disabilities and certain physical characteristics to be disproportionally impacted by bullying.
- openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as:
- children with different family situations, such as looked after children or those with caring responsibilities, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality or appearance related differences;
- challenge practice and language (including ‘banter’) which does not uphold the School's values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others;
- be encouraged to use technology, especially mobile phones and social media, positively and responsibly;
- work with staff, the wider community and outside agencies to prevent and tackle concerns including all forms of prejudice-driven bullying;
- actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable students;
- recognise positive behaviours to help promote a supportive environment.
Responding to Bullying
- The School will respond appropriately to all bullying issues and, whilst each situation will be unique, a typical response will be as follows:
- If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will, if possible and practicable, be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached or witnessed the concern.
- The School will provide appropriate support for the person who feels that they are being bullied – making sure they are not at risk of immediate harm and will involve them in any decision-making, as appropriate.
- The Head of Year, Deputy Head of Year or member of the Leadership Team will interview all parties involved.
- The Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral) will be informed of all bullying issues.
- The School will speak with and inform other staff members, where appropriate.
- The School will ensure that parents/carers are kept informed about the concern, as appropriate.
- Confidentiality will be maintained and details of other students will not be shared.
- Sanctions and support, as identified within the School's Behaviour for Learning policy will be determined by the Head of Year, in consultation with the Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral).
- If necessary, other agencies may be consulted or involved, such as the police, or Local Safeguarding Children's Board, if a child is felt to be at risk of significant harm.
- Where the bullying of or by students takes place off School site or outside of normal School hours (including cyberbullying), the School aims to ensure that the concern is fully investigated and dealt with in so far as this is possible and practicable.
- Use by students of mobile devices and the internet out of School cannot be controlled by the School and must be the responsibility of parents/carers.
- A clear and precise account of bullying incidents will be recorded by the School. This will include recording appropriate details regarding decisions and action taken.
- The School aims to ensure that cyberbullying, even if it occurs outside of school time, is fully investigated and dealt with in so far as is possible and practicable.
- When responding to cyberbullying concerns, the School will:
- Act as soon as practicable when an incident has been reported or identified.
- Provide appropriate support for the person who has been cyberbullied and work with the person who has carried out the bullying to ensure that it does not happen again.
- Encourage the person being bullied to keep any evidence (for example, screenshots) of the bullying activity to assist any investigation.
- Take all available reasonable steps where possible, to identify the person(s) responsible. This may include:
- Looking at devices, in line with the School's Searching, Screening and Confiscation policy.
- Identifying and interviewing possible witnesses.
- Contacting the Police, if deemed necessary.
- Work with the individuals and online service providers to prevent the incident from spreading and assist in removing offensive or upsetting material from circulation. This may include:
- Supporting reports to a service provider to remove content if those involved are unable to be identified or if those involved are unable to delete content.
- Confiscating and searching students’ electronic devices, such as mobile phones, in accordance with the School's Searching, Screening and Confiscation policy.
- The deletion of locally-held content and content posted online, unless it is to be shared with the Police.
- Ensure that appropriate action is taken with the person(s) responsible for the cyberbullying.
- Take steps to change the attitude and behaviour of the bully, as well as ensuring access to any additional help that they may need.
- Inform the Police if a criminal offence has been committed.
- Reinforce and remind staff and students about protective measures they can take to keep themselves safe online. This may include:
- Advising those targeted not to retaliate or reply.
- Providing advice on blocking or removing people from contact lists.
- Helping those involved to think carefully about what private information they may have in the public domain.
- The School will:
- ensure that all students know what bullying is and how to express worries and anxieties about bullying, including how to report it if they think they see it;
- ensure that all students are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying;
- publicise the details of internal support, as well as external helplines and websites.
- Students who have been bullied or feel that they have been bullied will be supported by:
- reassuring the student and providing pastoral support, as required;
- offering an opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff;
- being advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience as appropriate;
- working towards restoring self-esteem and confidence;
- providing ongoing support; this may include: working and speaking with staff, offering formal counselling, engaging with parents and carers;
- where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this could include support through Early Help or Specialist Children’s Services.
- Students who have perpetrated bullying will be helped by:
- discussing what happened, establishing the concern and the need to change;
- informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the student;
- providing appropriate education and support regarding their behaviour or actions;
- where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this may include involvement from the Police or referrals to Early Help or Specialist Children’s Services.
- The School takes measures to prevent and tackle bullying among students; however, it is equally important to recognise that bullying of staff is unacceptable.
- Staff who have been bullied or feel that they may have been bullied or affected will be offered an opportunity to discuss the concern with the Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral) in order for an action plan to be agreed.
Education and training
- The School will:
- consider a range of opportunities and approaches for addressing bullying throughout the curriculum and other activities, such as: displays, assemblies, peer support and the student council;
- collaborate with other local educational settings as appropriate, and during key times of the year, for example during transition;
- ensure anti-bullying has a high profile throughout the year through the PSHE programme and by delivering assemblies and staff briefings related to anti-bullying;
- provide opportunities to develop students’ social and emotional skills, including building their resilience and self-esteem;
- arrange a programme of staff development, which will include anti-bullying strategies.
Useful Links and Further Support
- Anti-Bullying Alliance
- Family Lives
- Restorative Justice
- Diana Award
- Victim Support
- Young Minds
- Young Carers
Race, religion and nationality
Sexual harassment and sexual bullying
The Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral) will:
- keep a log of all cases of bullying, identifying patterns or areas of concern;
- determine what can be learned from incidents and how they were managed with a view to improving the School’s strategies.
Ownership and Date of next review
- Policy owned by: Pastoral and Community Committee.
- Last reviewed and approved on: 01 March 2023
- Next review due: February 2025