Anti-Bullying Policy

Policy Updated: November 2015

Date for Review: November 2017

 

Vision Statement

At Hook Lane School we aim to provide a happy, caring and safe learning environment where our pupils can attain and achieve.  Our Anti-Bullying policy has been written to complement our school Behaviour Policy and foster an ethos which positively promotes good behaviour, tolerance, empathy and above all respect for others.

Hook Lane recognises the crucial role of parents, carers and families in improving outcomes for children and also recognises the important role of the local community.  The school acknowledges the importance of the participation of children and young people in the design and delivery of the Anti-Bullying Policy.

The school’s Anti-Bullying Policy links with other school policies including our Behaviour Policy, Personal Social and Health Education Policy (PSHE), Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural Policy (SMSC), E-safety Policy, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and encompasses those for all teaching and learning, before/after school clubs, school trips and break time and lunchtime routines.  The school’s Equal Opportunities Policy is reflected in the Anti-Bullying Policy as are our communication and celebration of achievement practices.

The policy is available on the website.  Both parents and children are consulted on the school’s strategies for dealing with bullying in the annual questionnaire.  The policy is reviewed every 2 years, this process will include:

  • An audit of current practice.
  • Consultation and planning.
  • Prioritise changes.
  • Plan for change.
  • Implement and communicate the change.

 

Statement of Intent

The aims of the school anti-bullying strategies and intervention systems are:

  • To ensure children and parents understand what we mean by bullying and develop resilience in understanding what is not bullying.
  • To prevent, de-escalate and/or stop any continuation of harmful behaviour.
  • To react to bullying incidents in a reasonable and consistent way.
  • To safeguard the pupil who has experienced bullying and to trigger sources of support for the pupil.
  • To apply disciplinary sanctions to the pupil causing the bullying and to ensure that they learn from the experience, possibly through multi-agency support.

 

Our policy aims to ensure that:

For pupils who experience bullying:

  • they are heard;
  • they know how to report bullying and get help;
  • they are confident in the school’s ability to deal with bullying;
  • steps are taken to help them feel safe again;
  • they are helped to rebuild confidence and resilience;
  • They know how to get support from others.

 

For pupils who engage in bullying behaviour:

  • they are held to account for their behaviour and helped to take responsibility for the harm that they have caused;
  • they learn to behave in ways which do not cause harm in future, because they have developed their emotional skills and knowledge;
  • They learn how to take steps to repair the harm that they have caused.

 

For schools:

  • the whole school community is clear about the anti-bullying stance that the school takes;
  • pupils, as well as staff and other members of the school, are fully engaged in developing and reviewing anti-bullying work in the school;
  • every chance is taken to celebrate the success of anti-bullying work;
  • All pupils are clear about the roles they can take in preventing bullying including the role of bystanders. 

 

For heads, governors and other school staff:

  • they promote a school climate where bullying and violence are not tolerated;
  • Curriculum opportunities are used to address bullying;
  • Pupil support systems are in place to prevent and respond to bullying;
  • they have addressed school site issues and promote safe play areas;
  • all staff take part in appropriate staff development and are clear about their roles and responsibilities in preventing and responding to bullying;
  • all staff are aware of the importance of modelling positive relationships;
  • data systems gather information about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying strategy and is used for monitoring and evaluation and is shared by the school community;
  • They work in partnership with parents, other schools, Children’s Services and community partners to promote safe communities.

 

 

For parents:

  • they are clear that the school does not tolerate bullying;
  • they are aware of procedures if they have any concerns, including the school’s complaints procedure;
  • they have confidence that the school will take any complaint about bullying seriously and that the school systems will deal with any incident fairly and in a way which protects their child;
  • They are clear about ways in which they can complement the school on their anti-bullying procedures.

 

Roles and responsibilities

All members of staff have a responsibility to safeguard children against bullying through awareness of the anti-bullying policy and ensuring that procedures are followed consistently.

The Deputy Head Teacher is the nominated lead for anti-bullying work, responsibilities include the following:

  • Data evaluation to inform policy development
  • Co-ordination of anti-bullying curriculum opportunities
  • Over-view of the anti-bullying response and prevention strategies
  • Managing personnel practices to ensure alignment with the school’s anti-bullying policy and practice.

The governing body has an important role in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the anti-bullying measures set.  Reported incidents of bullying are discussed as part of regular meetings with the Chair of Governors.

 

Definition of Bullying

Our school definition of bullying is:

Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically, emotionally or mentally.

 

There are three significant factors in bullying:

  1. a power imbalance in favour of the aggressor
  2. a victim who cannot match that power
  3. it is repeated, often over a period of time.

 

Bullying can take many forms:

Emotional/mental

Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting.  This includes excluding anyone new to a school or group or exclusion of a child based on the actions /behaviour of their parent.

Physical

Pushing, hitting, kicking, punching or any use of violence.

Verbal

Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.

Racist

Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures

Sexual and sexist

Unwanted physical (sexual) contact or sexually abusive comments

Homophobic

Teasing people for being gay or for being perceived as gay, using anti-gay names even in jest, spreading rumours about another person’s sexual orientation for the purpose of making fun of them, intimidation /isolation of people who are believed to be gay

Transphobic

Bullying of people whose gender/gender identity is seen as different to typical gender norms

Cyber

Making malicious phone calls, sending malicious e-mails, texts, letters and e-mailing inappropriate photographs

Faith based

Bullying because of religious faith

Disablist

Disabled children are more likely to be bullied as they are seen as different/easy targets by bullies.  Bullying can occur amongst disabled pupils

Geographic

Children and young people can be bullied because of where they live

 

It is not bullying when:

Children and young people of a similar age and size find themselves in conflict with no imbalance of power.  Examples of this could include:

  • Disagreeing
  • Name-calling between two friends
  • Play fighting
  • Having an argument and even physical fighting with no imbalance of power or use of intimidation

 

Reporting and Recording Incidents of Bullying

Hook Lane has systems in place to enable pupils to report bullying incidents which include:

  • Confidential and varied routes to report bullying
  • Effective and fair investigation
  • Listening strategies
  • Follow-up systems that ensure agreements are sustained

 

At Hook Lane we keep records of all allegations of bullying, our actions and their outcomes.  We record and monitor all racist incidents.

 

Our school uses the following methods to encourage children to report bullying:

  • Children are able to report to teachers, TA’s, midday supervisors and SLT who are available to listen to children and take all reported incidents of bullying seriously.
  • Parents are able to report concerns via letter, phone call or meeting to the class-teacher, deputy head or head teacher. Contact books are checked every day.
  • Children are able to anonymously report to their class teacher by letter.
  • Report cards safeguard children who are undergoing sanctions to ensure that children are not targeting others or reacting to bullying behaviours themselves.
  • Games gang are encouraged to report to midday supervisors and/or class teachers if they have any concerns about behaviour in the playground.

 

Responding to Bullying Incidents

Once bullying is reported it will be dealt with sensitively.  The emotional needs of the victim, the bully and the parents must be considered.

Every concern will be taken seriously and acted upon promptly within the time-scale given.  All allegations will be recorded and investigated as soon as possible.  This may include a period of monitoring.  Sanctions will be given in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy and a plan for further action will be produced as required.  All attempts will be made to resolve the situation; this may involve the engagement of multi-agency teams when necessary.

 

Strategy to Intervene in Reported Incidents of Bullying:

The person to whom the incident is reported will:

Reassure the victim that it is right to tell and that the matter will be handled sensitively.

Listen carefully to both parties, recording as much information as possible.

Affirm the victim’s self-worth offering comfort and support.

Confirm the school’s firm policy towards such behaviour.

Inform the Deputy Head.

The Deputy Head Teacher will:

Decide in consultation with other staff and the victim whether any support or counselling is needed.

Explain fully to the perpetrator the wrong done, in line with the disciplinary code.

Decide, in consultation with other staff, what sanctions will be given following the school behaviour policy.

Formally record the incidents and the school’s actions including outcomes.

Inform the parents verbally or by letter about the incident and the actions that the school is taking.

Inform all necessary members of staff as necessary, including the Assistant Head and Head Teacher

Refer incidents to the Head Teacher as necessary.

The Assistant Head will:

Make arrangements for support programmes when they are deemed appropriate.

Support the deputy in developing an Individual Behaviour Plan if it is established that bullying has occurred.

The Head Teacher will:

Discuss incidents with parents as appropriate.

Exclude pupils from school for serious or repeat offences in line with the school sanctions ladder.

 

It is important to work with parents to help them to understand the stance of the school as regards bullying and to engage promptly with them when an issue of bullying comes to light, whether their child is being bullied or the one doing the bullying.  Parents are made aware of how to work with the school on bullying and how they can seek help if a problem is not resolved.

Parents of pupils who experience bullying have a range of emotional needs to be addressed and play a key role in supporting their child, developing coping strategies for them and building assertiveness skills in partnership with the school.

Parents of those causing the bullying will also have a range of emotional needs and may need time and support in coming to a balanced view of the situation and supporting their child in learning about the consequences of their actions.

 

Strategies for Preventing Bullying

  • The school has a clear behaviour management system which is followed by all members of staff.
  • All staff is available to listen to children’s concerns and take reported incidents of bullying seriously.
  • Implementation of the PSHE/SMSC and e-safety policies ensure issues around appropriate behaviour, managing feelings, developing empathy, building self-esteem, keeping safe and displaying resilience are explicitly addressed through assemblies and class teaching.
  • The school takes part in Anti-bullying week.
  • Small group interventions address specific issues as necessary and develop specific skills.
  • Individual behaviour plans are developed as necessary to support children in their relationships and at times of day that they find difficult.
  • Midday supervisors observe and report on the behaviour of individuals/groups of children who are causing concern.
  • Games gang provide extra support for younger children who find playtimes difficult and report any behaviour concerns to the appropriate adult.
  • Supervised active play and diversionary activities in the form of games gang and lunch club provide support for identified children.
  • Report cards monitor the behaviour of children following an incident and give the children opportunity to speak to an adult in private. This allows staff to assess the likelihood of bullying being a factor in poor behaviour.
  • The school works with outside agencies as appropriate to provide support for individuals/groups of children.