Inmans Primary School Policy on Bullying

Definition

Bullying is the behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another or group, either physically or emotionally.

Bullying takes a variety of forms:

  • Physical bullying (e.g. kicking, hitting, theft).
  • Verbal bullying (e.g. name calling, racist remarks).
  • Indirect non verbal bullying (e.g. spreading rumours, excluding someone from social groups therefore isolating the individual).
  • Cyber bullying (via text messages, the internet).
  • Prejudice-based bullying-related to differences whether actual or perceived.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Disability bullying.
  • Racist bullying.
  • Gender bullying.
  • Religious bullying.
  • Special Needs/SEN.
  • Home life (for example in relation to issues of care, parental occupation, poverty or social class).
  • Extortion.

It is recognised that emotional distress resulting from any of theses forms of bullying can prejudice school achievements and lead to lateness or unauthorised absence from school. This may result in the victim under performing academically.

Why is it important to respond to bullying?

Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
Everybody has the right to feel happy and safe.
No-one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
Bullies need to learn different ways of behaving.

Our school will respond promptly and effectively to reported incidents of bullying.

We aim to:

  • create a strong anti-bullying environment.
  • foster a sense of self worth and positive self-esteem in all our pupils.
  • encourage pupils to care for each other and begin to identify each others strengths and differences.
  • have in place strategies to be utilised should we suspect or be informed of bullying incidents e.g. ‘no blame approach’.
  • reassure pupils and parents that the matter will be treated seriously and action taken.

How can we prevent Bullying?

We foster a clear understanding that bullying, in any form, is not acceptable. This is done by:

Developing an effective anti-bullying policy and practice. The school will then become a safer and happier environment, with consequent improvements in attitudes, behaviour, and relationships and with a positive impact on learning and achievement.

Regular praise of positive and supportive behaviour by all staff.

Work in school which develops empathy and emotional intelligence (SEAL).

Planned, age appropriate, lessons taught through the curriculum on anti-bullying, delivered to all pupils from Foundation Stage to Year 6.

All concerns raised from a child, staff or parents are logged and kept in a file under that child’s name.

Any incidents are treated seriously and dealt with immediately. All incidents are recorded on an “Incident form” stating all parties involved and the nature of the incident. Actions and interventions are put in place immediately and these are recorded on the incident form. This incident is monitored and evaluated over a period of time and meetings to check that the stated bullying has stopped take place. This form is kept in a file to track any reoccurrences either to the victim or by the bully.

Roles and Responsibilities

All staff within school including mid-day supervisors have received training on respect of bullying and are aware of the symptoms to look for e.g. the withdrawn child, an isolated child, a group of children roaming. Any concerns or incidents are fed back to the class teacher and are logged on a concern/incident report form.

All pupils are encouraged to alert an adult to any problem they see on the playground. A victim may not feel confident to do this openly at the time but can always speak to a class teacher at a quieter time of the day. They will be treated with confidentiality as far as is practical and the matter will then be dealt with, without causing the ‘victim’ further comeback.

Guidelines

Issues such as bullying are addressed regularly during PSCHE, SEAL, assemblies, as the theme of class discussions and through literacy texts.

Positive self-esteem is fostered in the environment of the classroom, through turn taking, circle time, valuing other peoples’ opinions and the example set by adults in school.

It is also reflected in our school guidelines, mission statement and through the valuing of pupils contributions via schools council.

Opportunities will also arise naturally in the general course of living and working and working together as a community. Teachers will utilise such opportunities as time to reflect with their pupils on how they reacted to such incidents and the effect that has on the situation.

Where a child repeats the unkind act after the appropriate sanction the bullies parents will be informed at an early stage to help prevent the problem escalating.

Behaviours modification procedures will be used to monitor the situation and provide positive feedback for a change in behaviour.

If the behaviour is beyond the usual range expected and dealt with at a day to day level, support may be sought from LEA advisors and the pupil referral service.

NO BLAME APPROACH

Where a group of pupils are systematically excluding an individual the no blame approach may be used and has been used with a high degree of success.

This relies on the victim identifying a perpetrator of the action, others that can easily be swayed to join in and others who are friendly to the victim.

The group meets without the victim and it is explained to then that ‘X’ is unhappy at school. The teachers have tried talking to ‘X’ to sort it out but without success, therefore they are turning to this group for support. Each member of the group is equal and there is no reason assigned for them being part of the group.

Each group member is then asked how they feel they can make ‘X’s life at school happier. All suggestions are recorded and valued with no negative comments being passed.

The group then reconvene in a few days to report progress. This may continue for a period of 4 to 6 weeks.

Pupil ‘X’ is also supported during this time, away from the group, and any positive changes are noted.

All members of staff need to be aware of the support group when it is in action to praise anything positive then witness and to reinforce the group esteem which leads to the change of behaviour of the bully. Peer pressure being a greater force than retribution.

Senior Managers in either Key Stage may take on the role of ‘leader’ in this approach, however, head and deputy are made aware of any such projects at all times and take at least a monitored role.

In any instances of bullying reported to teachers it is their responsibility to bring it to the attention of senior staff and may at anytime refer parents to either the Headteacher of Deputy Headteacher in such circumstances.

Training and awareness raising is part of a going professional development within school and can be accessed by staff, teaching and non teaching, by request as well as being part of a rolling programme.

Confidentiality

We conduct lessons in a sensitive manner and with confidence. We ensure that sensitive information is only disclosed internally or externally with careful attention to pupil’s rights and needs. Furthermore, staff follow child protection guidelines in the event that they are concerned about a child.

How will Cyberbullying be managed?

  • Cyberbullying can be defined as “The use of Information Communication Technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet to deliberately hurt or upset someone” (DCSF 2007).
  • Cyberbullying (along with all forms of bullying) will not be tolerated at Inmans Primary School.
  • All incidents of cyberbullying reported to school will be logged or recorded in the appropriate file.
  • There will be clear procedures in place to investigate incidents or allegations of cyberbullying.
  • Children and young people, staff/volunteers and parents/carers will be advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence.
  • Inmans will take steps to identify the bully, where appropriate, such as examining system logs, identifying and interviewing possible witnesses, and contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary.

Sanctions for those involved in cyberbullying may include:

  • The bully will be asked to remove any material deemed to be inappropriate or offensive.
  • A service provider may be contacted to remove content.
  • Internet access may be suspended for the user for a period of time.
  • Parents/carers will be informed.

The Police will be contacted if a criminal offence is suspected.

Response to an Incident of Concern

An important element of e-safeguarding is the ability to identify and deal with incidents of concern and related to the confidentiality of information. All staff/volunteers, children and young people have a responsibility to report e-safety or e-security incidents so that they may be dealt with effectively and in a timely manner in order to minimise any impact. Inmans has an incident reporting procedure and records reported incidents in an Incident Log (see “Incident response flow chart” and “Incident log sheet” as part of the E-safety policy). These incidents are dealt with immediately and are investigated with all parties concerned and actions, interventions are recorded.

The Incident Log file, shall be formally reviewed, by the Senior Leadership Team/Senior Manager within the organisation at a minimum frequency of once per term. Through this review process, where deemed appropriate, management shall update the risk assessment in light of new incidents. The Log and accompanying action plans should be reviewed annually by the Governing Body/Trustee.

E-Safety Top Tips

You can find useful information including E-Safety Top Tips at the East Riding Safeguarding Children Board website

The following code of conduct should be used when dealing with a racist incident.

Alleged racist incident – if anyone feels an incident is racist

A. Initial Response

  • treat the issue seriously
  • respond immediately
  • reinforce school’s position and rules on racism
  • focus on the perpetrator’s behaviour (rather than the person)
  • support and affirm the victim
  • connect with pupils’ feelings
  • support and affirm the victim, explaining how racism works through the stereotyping of an individual

B. Record

  • notify the named management team member responsible for dealing with racist incidents
  • fill in racist incident report form

C. Investigate

  • senior manager to lead
  • listen to all parties
  • address underlying issues, e.g. an incident may not be racial in origin – it might be a dispute over resources in which racist abuse has been used: in which case the original issue should be sorted out as well as the use of the
    unacceptable words that made it a racist incident
  • make sure race issues are covered – do not just treat incidents as, say, a case of simple bullying – be able to explain why it is a racist incident if you judge it to be such
  • reinforce school’s position and rules on racism
  • if it’s not judge to be a racist incident this would need to be explained to the parties involved, though the incident might still remain as another kind of infringement of the school’s behaviour policy which needed a response.

D. Further response

  • inform (a standard note can be useful) and involve tutors/class teachers
  • follow through with both victim and perpetrator
  • address the perpetrator’s racist behaviour and correct racist misperceptions, e.g. about not belonging in “our” country
  • reinforce the school’s position and rules on racism
  • bring both parties together and give them a change to be involved in resolving the situation
  • contact parents/carers (Social Services in the case of “looked after children”) of both the victims as well as the perpetrators – a procedure for reporting should be in place. This could involve a letter appropriate to the situation with a phone all with an invitation in to school (if felt to be appropriate).

NB: Victims have a right to refer cases to the police if their parents so wish and all parties have a right to appeal to the Governing Body.

E. Complete Racist Incident Investigation Form

  • complete Racist Incident Investigation Form, which you can download here

F. General Follow through

  • follow through with appropriate measures to reinforce the school’s position with individuals/group/class/school via assembly, circle time, tutor period and curriculum
  • present monitoring returns to staff to ensure regular discussion & development of good practice
  • continue to encourage pupils to report and discuss racist incidents and how they should respond
  • use existing means of involving pupils, such as a pupil post box or student council
  • work with other agencies to promote good race relations
  • Governing Bodies could be informed termly of incidents and actions taken to deal with them as a part of the head teacher’s termly report
  • Governing Bodies can look for patterns, using the Racist Incident Returns nominate a governor to have oversight of this area.

This Policy was reviewed in November 2013

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