Anti Bullying Strategy
1 Aims and objectives
At Whiston Junior bullying is unacceptable and can damage children’s individual and educational needs. We therefore do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying is not tolerated under any circumstances (see behaviour policy). This policy aims to produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur. We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.
2 Our School:
• Discusses, monitors and reviews our Anti-Bullying Policy on a regular basis.
• Supports staff to promote positive relationships and identify and tackle bullying appropriately.
• Ensures that pupils are aware that all bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that pupils feel safe to learn; and that pupils abide by the anti-bullying policy.
• Reports back to parents/carers regarding their concerns on bullying and deals promptly with complaints. Parents/ carers in turn work with the school to uphold the anti-bullying policy.
• Seeks to learn from good anti-bullying practice elsewhere and utilises support from the Local Authority and other relevant organisations when appropriate.
3 A Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a subjective experience that can take many forms. Various national and international definitions of bullying exist and most of these definitions have three things in common which reflect children’s experience of bullying and evidence gained from extensive research in this area. The three common aspects in most definitions of bullying are that:
• It is deliberately hurtful behaviour
• It is usually repeated over time
• There is an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.
3.1 Forms of Bullying
Bullying behaviour across all types of bullying can represent itself in a number of different forms. Children and young people can be bullied in ways that are:
Physical – by being punched, pushed or hurt; made to give up money or belongings; having property, clothes or belongings damaged; being forced to do something they don’t want to do.
Verbal – by being teased in a nasty way; called gay (whether or not it’s true); insulted about their race, religion or culture; called names in other ways or having offensive comments directed at them.
Indirect – by having nasty stories told about them; being left out, ignored or excluded from groups.
Electronic / ‘cyberbullying’ – via text message; via instant messenger services and social network sites; via email; and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread via mobile phones or other electronic devices.
3.2 Specific Types of Bullying
The school recognises that although anyone can be bullied for almost any reason or difference, some children may be more vulnerable to bullying than others. Research has identified various different types of bullying experienced by particular vulnerable groups of children. These include:
- Bullying related to race, religion or culture
- Bullying related to special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities
- Bullying related to being of higher ability
- Bullying related to appearance or health conditions
- Bullying related to sexual orientation
- Bullying of young carers or looked–after children or otherwise related to home circumstances
- Sexist, sexual or transphobic bullying.
- Derogatory language – relating to race, religion, culture, special educational needs, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, health conditions, family/home circumstances (including same sex partnerships).
The school recognises that bullying is a complex type of behaviour occurring between individuals and groups. Different roles within bullying situations can be identified and include:
- The ring-leader, who through their position of power can direct bullying activity
- Assistants/associates, who actively join in the bullying (sometimes because they are afraid of the ring-leader)
- Reinforcers, who give positive feedback to those who are bullying, perhaps by smiling or laughing
- Outsiders/bystanders, who stay back or stay silent and thereby appear to condone or collude with the bullying behaviour
- Defenders, who try and intervene to stop the bullying or comfort pupils who experience bullying.
Children can adopt different roles simultaneously or at different times e.g. a bullied child might be bullying another child at the same time, or a ‘reinforcer’ might become a ‘defender’ when the ringleader is not around.
We positively encourage all pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour and its consequences and to make a commitment to take action to end the bullying and provide support for the bullied pupil.
Research shows that bullying will stop in less than 10 seconds nearly 60% of the time when peers intervene. (Pepler, Bullying in Schools: How Successful Can Interventions Be? (2007) At Whiston Junior and Infant School we encourage the bystander to get involved and not just watch and collude, to report incidents or support someone getting bullied.
4. Preventing, Identifying and Responding to Bullying
- Work with staff and outside agencies to identify all forms of prejudice-driven bullying.
- Actively provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including their resilience.
- Consider all opportunities for addressing bullying including through the curriculum, through displays, through peer support, Circle Time, Playground Pals and through the School Council.
- Train all staff to identify bullying and follow school policy and procedures on bullying.
- The work of the SENCO and School Council ensures that vulnerable children are supported and protected from bullying or becoming a bully.
- Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children.
5. Involvement of Pupils
• Regularly canvass children’s views on the extent and nature of bullying.
• Ensure students know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying.
• Ensure all children are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying.
• Involve students in anti-bullying activities in school.
• Offer support to students who have been bullied.
• Work with children who have been bullied in order to address the problems they have.
6. Liaison with Parents and Carers
• Ensure that parents / carers know whom to contact if they are worried about bullying.
• Ensure parents know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively.
This strategy only works if it ensures that the whole school community understands that bullying is not tolerated and understands the steps that will be taken to both prevent and respond to bullying.
It is the responsibility of:
• School Governors to take a lead role in monitoring and reviewing this strategy in line with the anti bullying policy and behaviour policies.
• Governors, the Head teacher, Senior Managers, Teaching and Non Teaching staff to be aware of this startegy and implement it accordingly.
• The Head teacher to communicate the strategy to the school community.
• Pupils to be aware and abide by the strategy.
7.1 The role of governors
- The governing body supports the Head teacher in all attempts to eliminate bullying from our school. This policy and strategy statement makes it very clear that the governing body does not allow bullying to take place in our school, and that any incidents of bullying that do occur are taken very seriously and dealt with appropriately.
- The governing body monitors the incidents of bullying that occur, and reviews the effectiveness of the school policy regularly. The governors require the Head teacher to keep accurate records of all incidents of bullying and to report to the governors on request about the effectiveness of school anti-bullying strategies.
- The governing body responds within ten days to any request from a parent to investigate incidents of bullying. In all cases, the governing body notifies the Head teacher and asks him/her to conduct an investigation into the case and to report back to a representative of the governing body.
7.2 The role of the Head teacher
a) It is the responsibility of the Head teacher to implement the school anti-bullying strategy and to ensure that all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school strategy and policy and know how to deal with incidents of bullying. The Head teacher reports to the governing body about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy on request.
b) The Head teacher ensures that all children understand the definition of bullying, know that it is wrong and that it is unacceptable behaviour in this school.
c) The Head teacher ensures that all staff receive sufficient training to be equipped to deal with all incidents of bullying.
d) The Head teacher sets the school climate of mutual support and praise for success, to making bullying less likely. When children feel they are important and belong to a friendly and welcoming school, bullying is far less likely to be part of their behaviour.
- The Head teacher works collaboratively with the Assistant, SLT, School Council Leader and PSHE Lead to ensure that this strategy and the policy are upheld.
7.8 The role of the teacher
a) Teachers in our school take all forms of bullying seriously, and intervene to prevent incidents from taking place. They keep a record on CPOMS of all incidents that happen in their class and that they are aware of in the school.
b) If teachers witness an act of bullying, they do all they can to support the child who is being bullied. If a child is being bullied over a period of time, then, after consultation with the Head teacher, the teacher informs the child’s parents.
c) A record is kept on children’s individual records on CPOMs, of bullying that occurs outside lesson time, either near the school or on the children’s way home or to school or online. If any adult witnesses an act of bullying, they should inform the Headteacher who records the event on CPOMs.
d) If, as teachers, we become aware of any bullying taking place between members of a class, we deal with the issue immediately, in liaison with SLT. This may involve counselling and support for the victim of the bullying, and consequences for the child who has carried out the bullying. We spend time talking to the child who has been bullied: we explain why the action of the child was wrong, and we endeavour to help the child change their behaviour in future. If a child is repeatedly involved in bullying other children, we inform the Headteacher and the special needs co-ordinator. We then invite the child’s parents into the school to discuss the situation. In more extreme cases, for example where these initial discussions have proven ineffective, the Headteacher may contact external support agencies.
e) Teachers routinely attend training, which enables them to become equipped to deal with incidents of bullying and behaviour management.
- Teachers support all children in their class and establish a climate of trust and respect for all. By praising, rewarding and celebrating the success of all children, we aim to prevent incidents of bullying.
8 Monitoring and review
8.1 This strategy and policy are monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Head teacher, who reports to governors about their effectiveness on request.
8.2 This anti-bullying strategy and policy are the governors’ responsibility and they review its effectiveness annually. They do this by examining the school’s anti-bullying logbook, and by discussion with the Head teacher. Governors analyse information with regard to gender, age and ethnic background of all children involved in bullying incidents.