Anti - Bullying
1. School Commitment
The School recognises that bullying will always be a threat, and that there will be times when it emerges in practice. We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
We also recognise the seriousness of bullying in causing psychological damage and even suicide (although bullying is not a specific criminal offence, there are criminal laws which apply to harassment and threatening behaviour);
We are committed to raising awareness of staff through training, taking action to reduce the risk of bullying at times and in places where it is most likely;
The purpose of this policy is to enable all staff concerned, together with parents and children themselves, to undertake the achievement of this aim.
2. What is Bullying
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional being unfriendly, excluding (including the emotional use of so-called ‘best friends'), tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, treating people in anyway different because of their race. It should be noted that Hazelwood has very few children of different races and therefore we should be extra vigilant in monitoring the few.
- Sexual unwanted physical contact, sexually abusive comments, ill-placed innuendo or over-familiarity.
- Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of same sex sexuality, same sex relationships, incorrect usage of words linked with femininity or masculinity (eg ‘butch' ‘camp'), the pejorative use of the word ‘gay'.
- Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse – the misuse of social websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Mobile threats by text messaging & calls. Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities including ‘happy slappy' videos. Misuse of home computers and technology at home that might affect children either in their own home or at school.
The development of electronic means of communication – the internet, electronic chat-rooms and associated web-sites – has created new avenues for bullying, cruelty, unkindness and intolerance.
The policy stated above applies equally and directly to such electronic communication involving any members of the school community.
The school expects all pupils to adhere to its policy concerning the use of the Internet. Certain sites are blocked by our filtering system and our IT Department monitors pupils' use. In particular, all pupils must be aware that:
- Messages or images posted on web-sites must never be teasing or abusive of others – including other members of the school community – nor should they encourage others into teasing or abusive behaviour.
- Such messages or images must never include racial, sexist, ethnic, religious or other taunts or remarks directed towards others.
- Such messages or images must never suggest threats or intimidation towards others.
- Such messages or images must never be such as to damage the reputation of the school, nor of any member of the school community – whether staff or pupil.
As a general principle, no image of the school, or of any member of the school community, should be posted on the internet or communicated electronically to others, without the consent of the individual(s) involved. In the case of the school itself, this will require the consent of the Headmaster.
Pupils and their parents should note that this policy applies to all media of electronic communication, not simply to the use of the school's own IT network.
As with any cases of bullying, cruelty or intolerance, offences against this code will be treated seriously. Offenders are likely to be excluded from school. Repeat or serious offences may lead to permanent exclusion from the school.]
Disability - The Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has: 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The definition of Special Educational Needs includes many, but not necessarily all, disabled children: a disabled child has special educational needs if they have a disability and need special educational provision to be made for them in order to be able to access the education which is available locally.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has: 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'
Special educational needs and disabilities SEN / Disability Bullying can take the form of: name-calling, innuendo, negative stereotyping or excluding from activity based on disability or learning difficulties
3. 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. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Hazelwood has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
4. Reasons for Bullying
4.1 Children feel insecure or inadequate themselves, and use a weaker person as a way to bolster their own self-image. This can particularly occur with children who have been bullied themselves.
4.2 Children who are spoiled, or who have become accustomed to getting their own way, can react in a bullying way when they come up against resistance.
4.3 Children who are under pressure to succeed may well find that they can cut corners by bullying.
4.4 Individual children, who do not fit a mould, are particularly likely to stand out from the group as a whole, and seem “willing” victims.
5. Symptoms of Bullying
5.1 Many bullied children try hard to camouflage the fact that they are being bullied. Often the most strongly felt emotion amongst victims is guilt that this is happening to them at all. Therefore, all adults, and pupils, need to have some view of how they might determine that bullying is a possibility, even when the victim is not talking about it. Symptoms that may be important indicators are as follows:-
- An adverse change in the quality of a pupil's work.
- More than usual absence from school.
- Regular loss or damage to books or equipment.
- Unexplained bruises or scratches.
- Refusal to say what is wrong.
5.2 While the possibility of listing specific aspects of behaviour of a potential victim seems quite easy, in practice, given that so many victims do not wish to own up to bullying, it is important that staff and parents are ready to consider the best way to assessing whether negative relationships and bullying are a threat at any time.
6. School Management
- Report bullying incidents to a member of the SMT
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff
- In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
- The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place.
- In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered
- If possible, the pupils will be reconciled
- After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
The purpose of this policy is to prevent bullying whenever possible.
A bully will very often see the victim as a stereotype. Thus, the bully must have stereotypical reactions broken down, and see the victim as an individual person with feelings similar to his or her own. In resolving cases of bullying, a good deal of forward momentum can usually be created by breaking down stereotypes (see Sections 7 and 9 below).
The School recognises that the physical site has too many corridors and hidden corners for comfort. While physically there is little we can do about this, though ensuring that everywhere is well lit, that lights do work, that windows are clean, and so forth, is one aspect. Of great importance in managing the physical aspect of the site is the publication of carefully constructed duty rotas, full briefing of staff to alert them to dangers, and ensuring that break timetables in particular are always adhered to. Particular areas, such as changing rooms, lavatories, the edge of the school fields, or anywhere else which is not readily in the public gaze, will be particularly patrolled and vigilantly monitored. By the very nature bullying is a covert operation and happens “out of sight of teachers”.
7. School Management : Education
7.1 - All components of the curriculum will take the chance to raise the benefits of positive relationships whenever the chance arises. The School should, as a matter of course, support children with low self esteem and help the less confident to become more assertive. General school methods of reward, support, inclusion, teaching children to become more assertive.
7.2 Particular aspects of the programme, where relationships, including bullying, include the following:
7.2.1 Personal, Social, Health Education programme.
7.2.2 Assemblies and Chapel Services.
7.2.3 House Tutor meetings, whether whole House or certain age groups.
7.2.4 Form Tutor groups.
7.3 Adults, teaching and non-teaching staff alike, play an enormous role in setting a positive example:-
7.3.1 All adults set a proper example of respect, kindness and good manners, not only to each other, but also to children.
7.3.2 Standards of discipline will be maintained in a quiet, controlled and caring atmosphere.
7.3.3 Adults to whom incidents of bullying are reported will deal promptly and effectively with such matters.
7.3.4 Records of bullying incidents, together with action taken, will be reported to Form Tutors, House Tutors, Deputy Head and the Headmaster. It is essential for long-term successful pastoral care that incidents of any sort are noted carefully to those concerned.
7.4 The School's equal opportunities policy will play its part in ensuring that relationships amongst all those employed by the School are established on a positive basis of mutual respect.
7.5 We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- writing a set of school rules
- signing a behaviour contract
- 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 (or using KIDSCAPE role-plays)
- having discussions about bullying and why it matters
8.1 Pupils have a central role, perhaps the central role, in ensuring that bullying is eradicated as far as possible.
8.2 If a child feels he or she is a victim of bullying, they must also feel free to report it to a teacher in the confidence that something needs to be done. Even if an incident ends up being judged as not bullying, the reporting of it equally will not end up as being “sneaking”.
8.3 Children who are present when bullying is taking place, even though they are neither victim nor perpetrator, cannot allow themselves to be neutral. Third parties in such cases will be trained to inform adults of any incidents of bullying they have seen or heard of. Again, it is essential that such reports are taken extremely seriously by staff or other adults (see Section 9 below).
8.4 In some cases perhaps a school prefect or other older pupil who has respect and personality will be able to take pro-active steps to stop an incident there and then.
8.5 Staff are committed to eradicating bullying not only through their own example, but through undertaking full communication about any bullying incidents or reports of them. In particular, staff commit to the following:-
8.5.1 To listen carefully and sympathetically to all reports of bullying and to follow these up where appropriate, or relaying such incidents to other appropriate staff.
8.5.2 Talking to parents about such incidents.
8.5.3 Having dealt with any incidents themselves, reporting the details to all concerned.
8.5.4 Parents have a major responsibility to assist us all to eradicate bullying, especially as follows:-
126.96.36.199 Supporting the School's policy on bullying, especially in our quest to eradicate it.
188.8.131.52 Reporting promptly all bullying incidents to Form Tutors, House Tutors, Heads of Upper/Lower School and Chestnut, Deputy Head, or the Head who will guarantee their personal anonymity.
9. Complaints Procedure
9.1 Pupils should always report incidents of bullying or of observed distress to someone they trust. The member of staff consulted should:-
9.1.1 Make them feel at ease, including creating a secure and private environment.
9.1.2 Give them time to explain the situation. Listen carefully.
9.1.3 Make notes where necessary.
9.1.4 Pass no immediate judgement.
9.1.5 Make it clear that the problem will be treated seriously and looked into as a matter of urgency.
9.2 If the preferred member of staff is not available, pupils should go to the Head, Deputy Head, Heads of Upper/Lower School, Head of Chestnut, Form Tutor or House Tutor.
9.3 If the allegation is of a very serious nature, refer the matter immediately to the Head, or Deputy Head.
9.4 Although each case is likely to require a specific and unique approach, the following general procedure may provide a useful guide:
9.4.1 Make a preliminary investigation by talking to witnesses.
9.4.2 Consult with colleagues - to find relevant history/background.
9.4.3 Interview pupils separately to test their version of events.
9.4.4 If one party admits to being the aggressor, he/she should be left in no doubt about the School's disapproval of their actions. They should be told that a full account of what has happened may be kept “on file” for future reference.
9.4.5 It may be necessary to act on one's judgement and decide who is the bully and who is the victim.
9.4.6 It is often very helpful to get the bully to admit they can now see their behaviour has helped make someone unhappy. At the same time, they will usually admit they did not want to make the victim unhappy. Then it is straightforward to get the bully to agree that his future behaviour will not cause further unhappiness. Should that agreement be broken, then a very serious incident will have occurred.
9.4.7 Sometimes the victim will also have behaved in a way more or less annoying or unacceptable. This may have led to the bullying and, if so, the victim also needs to be analysed, and a commitment made to adjust this behaviour.
9.4.8 Victims should be assured of patient and sympathetic listening, and should be given ongoing advice, remediation and support.
9.5 Bullies should be assured of counselling and rehabilitation as well as suitable punishment (if deemed necessary). As every case of bullying is likely to be different, appropriate sanctions should be discussed, implemented and followed up on each occasion. Experience suggests that a face-to-face apology is often appreciated by the victim, and it is also an opportunity for the member of staff to gauge the sincerity of the bully.
9.6 A written record of clearly substantiated incidents will be kept by the Head, Deputy Head, Heads of Upper/Lower School, Head of Chestnut, Form Tutor or House Tutor. It is vital that other relevant teachers are involved and informed throughout. It is important to inform all staff at the weekly meeting.
9.7 In consultation with the Headmaster, it may be thought necessary to contact parents.
9.8 The situation will continue to be monitored.
10. Promulgation and Review of Bullying Policy
10.1 This policy forms an integral part of the Staff Handbook, is available to parents on request and will be placed on the school website. It will be discussed during at least one staff meeting every term and will be reviewed very two years.
10.2.1 The pupils' code of conduct, which is central in promoting anti-bullying attitudes, is placed in every form room and in other public areas. All sections of this policy will be promulgated to the pupils.
10.2.2 As and when necessary appropriate training will be given to staff in order that all feel equipped to support and assist in dealing with children who are being bullied.
Reviewed January 2010
Next Review September 2010