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1.1 It is a Government requirement that all schools have an anti-bullying policy. The guidance ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Advice for School Leaders, Staff and Governing Bodies’ was updated in December 2011. This policy reflects that guidance.
1.2 DfE guidance defines bullying as behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet)
2 Aims and objectives
2.1 Bullying is wrong and damages individual children and adults. We therefore do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable.
2.2 We aim, as a school, to produce a safe and secure environment where all can learn without anxiety, and measures are in place to reduce the likelihood of bullying.
2.3 This policy aims to produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur.
2.4 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.
3 The role of governors
3.1 The governing body supports the Coheadteachers in all attempts to eliminate bullying from our school. The governing body will not condone any bullying at all in our school, and any incidents of bullying that do occur will be taken very seriously, and dealt with appropriately.
3.2 The governing body monitors incidents of bullying that do occur, and reviews the effectiveness of this policy regularly. The governors require the Coheadteacher 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.
3.3 A parent who is dissatisfied with the way the school has dealt with a bullying incident can ask the chair of governors to look into the matter. 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 Coheadteachers, and asks them to conduct an investigation into the case, and to report back to a representative of the governing body.
4 The role of the Coheadteachers
4.1 It is the responsibility of the Coheadteachers to implement the school anti-bullying strategy, and to ensure that all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school policy, and know how to identify and deal with incidents of bullying. The Coheadteachers report to the governing body about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy on request. The school uses Social and Emotional Attitudes to Learning Skills (SEALS) as its main vehicle for anti-bullying in addition to the Here I Am R.E. Scheme. We have an annual anti-bullying week to raise awareness and to teach techniques to deal with bullying. The school also has group work (Amber Room) to help any pupils who bully, are bullied or are onlookers when the need arises.
4.2 The Coheadteachers ensure that all children know that bullying is wrong, and that it is unacceptable behaviour in this school. The Coheadteachers draw the attention of children to this fact at suitable moments. For example, if an incident occurs, the head teacher may decide to use an assembly as the forum in which to discuss with other children why this behaviour was wrong, and why a pupil is being punished.
4.3 The Coheadteachers ensure that all staff, including lunchtime staff, receive sufficient training to be equipped to identify and deal with all incidents of bullying.
4.4 The Coheadteachers set the school climate of mutual support and praise for success, so 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.[ See Rewards section of Behaviour policy]
4.5 The Catholic Christian ethos of the school is fundamental to an anti-bullying ethos; this is made clear to the whole community by displays around school and in the Reception area.
4.6 In any cases of clear bullying the parents of all parties involved will be informed.
5 The role of the teacher and support staff
5.1 All the staff in our school take all forms of bullying seriously, and seek to prevent it from taking place.
5.2 If teachers witness an act of bullying, they intervene and deal with it according to School rules and SEALS techniques. They will also refer it to the Coheadteachers. Teachers and support staff do all they can to support the child who is being bullied. If a child is being bullied the Coheadteachers informs the child’s parents and the parents of the bully.
5.3 When any bullying taking place between members of a class, the teacher will deal with the issue immediately. This may involve counselling and support for the victim of the bullying, and punishment for the child who has carried out the bullying. Time is spent talking to the child who has bullied: explaining why his /her action was wrong and that child is encouraged to change his/her behaviour in future. If a child is repeatedly involved in bullying other children, we inform the Coheadteachers and the special needs coordinator. Any pupil involved in any way with bullying may be referred to the Amber Room for small group work. A child’s parents will be invited into school to discuss the situation. In more extreme cases, for example where these initial discussions have proven ineffective, the Cohead teachers may contact external support agencies, such as the social services.
5.4 Teachers use a range of methods to help prevent bullying and to establish a climate of trust and respect for all. They use drama, role-play, stories etc., within the formal curriculum, to help pupils understand the feelings of bullied children, understand those who bully and the responsibilities of the on-lookers and to practise the restraint required to avoid lapsing into bullying behaviour. Circle time and Assembly times are used to praise, reward and celebrate the success of all children, and thus to help create a positive atmosphere.
6 The role of parents
6.1 Parents who are concerned that their child might be being bullied, or who suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying, should contact their child’s class teacher immediately. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should contact the Cohead teachers. If they remain dissatisfied, they should follow the school’s complaints procedure, as detailed in the school Prospectus.
6.2 Parents have a responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy, actively encouraging their child to be a positive member of the school.
7 The role of pupils
7.1 Pupils are encouraged to tell anybody they trust if they are being bullied, and if the bullying continues, they must keep on letting people know.
7.2 Pupils are invited to tell us their views about a range of school issues, including bullying, in the annual pupil questionnaire.
7.3 Our School Council has developed its own ‘Golden Rules’ which make clear how pupils should treat each other. ‘Peacemakers’ are drawn from Year 6 to give a good example to younger pupils and help other children sort out problems before they begin so resentment and dislike do not have time to set in.
8 Monitoring and review.
8.1 This policy is monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Coheadteachers, who reports to governors on request about the effectiveness of the policy.
8.2 This anti-bullying policy is the governors’ responsibility, and they review its effectiveness regularly through feed back from the Coheadteachers re behaviour in the Heads’ Report to Governors.
8.3 This policy will be reviewed in two years, or earlier if necessary