This policy was written as a result of discussions involving children, teachers and non-teaching staff. Comments were invited from parents and governors. The policy is based on trust and respect between all members of the school community and should be read in conjunction with the school policies on Behaviour and Pupil Self-esteem.
- To ensure bullying behaviour is clearly defined
- To ensure bullying behaviour is identified by all members of the school community
- To tackle bullying directly
- To take firm and immediate action when such incidents arise
Definition of Bullying
It is important to distinguish between what is to be regarded as ‘bullying’ and what is to be regarded as ‘high spirits’ or general aggressiveness.
Bullying is defined as being:
- deliberately hurtful and pre-meditated behaviour
- repeated over a period of time
- where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
- the dominance of one pupil (or group) by another
Forms of bullying include:
- physical (repeated, deliberate hurtful and pre-meditated hitting / kicking)
- verbal (repeated name calling / insulting remarks designed to hurt)
- indirect (spreading nasty stories about someone, deliberately excluding someone from social groups in order to be hurtful)
- emotional (taking or hiding belongings / ridiculing / humiliating / laughing at to deliberately cause hurt and distress)
- cyber & written (passing nasty notes round about someone, by text, mobile phone, on the internet – intimidating or insulting someone by text or on the internet etc. / ‘posting’ information or photos of someone without their permission))
- racial (can be verbal, emotional or physical regardless of ethnic background)
- homophobic (can take place regardless of a person’s sexual orientation)
This has been identified by the children as being:
We think it is bullying when these things happen:
someone keeps telling other people not to talk to you or not to let you join in
people keep on calling you names or make fun of you
or spread nasty stories about you
people keep hiding your things or take things from you
someone deliberately keeps using their power to hurt you
or make you unhappy or get their own way
All children should be regularly reminded of definitions of bullying through assemblies, PSHE, SEAL, Anti-Bullying Week and notices. Some degree of conflict and difference of opinion is natural in any society – learning conflict resolution is part of developing life skills.
As bullying is a two-sided affair (not necessarily confined to school or childhood) attention should also be given to the areas of how to avoid being a victim (target) and how to deal with potential bullies.
Open discussions, such as circle time, create an avenue for children to raise issues concerning bullying. The DIPSI and SEAL programmes cover areas such as: self-esteem, relationships, self-belief, confidence and decision making.
Teachers should be alert to significant changes in a pupil’s behaviour pattern that could signify they are a victim of bullying.
Teachers should create an atmosphere of openness within the school that encourages children or parents to raise their concerns at an early stage.
Teachers and governors should ensure pupils and parents are confident that firm and immediate action will be taken if they feel bullying is taking place.
Avoiding Becoming A Target
Behaviour in our school is of a consistently high standard. This is a good thing but also a potential weakness as our children could be more vulnerable and less well equipped to deal with any bullying situations they may meet in future through lack of first hand experience.
It is important to acknowledge that the victims of bullying do not deserve to be bullied and that the bullying is not their fault. For this reason is more helpful to use the term ‘target’ instead of ‘victim’.
Children consider: Who are the targets of bullying? Why are they picked on? And what can they do to stop being targeted?’
Children consider how they present themselves. Body language is a key indicator as to whether a person is an ‘easy target’ or not. A target of bullying is likely to have, unconsciously, presented themselves as weak (perhaps seeming under confident). This can be in a number of ways: through body language, eye contact, and a lack of assertiveness. This can indicate to a bully that this person might be an ‘easy target’.
Role play in drama lessons is an ideal opportunity to develop strategies for recognising and dealing with bullying.
Procedures For Action Where Bullying Has Occurred
When dealing with cases of bullying it is important that adult intervention does not result in the bullying ‘going underground’ or merely transferred to another target.
Bullies should be confronted by their targets, where appropriate, and told what it is about their behaviour the target is upset by.
The bully should take responsibility for their actions and identify how they will alter this pattern of behaviour. The situation should be regularly monitored to ensure bullying does not re-occur. This should be recorded in the incident book.
Teachers should ascertain the ‘who, what, where, when and why’ of the bullying behaviour.
Any significant incident should be noted in the appropriate incident book (Serious Incidents or Racial & Homophobic Incidents).
- deal with the incident firmly and immediately in line with the behaviour policy of the school.
- monitor the situation to observe if bullying re-occurs or represents a long term pattern of events and log in the appropriate incident book.
Long Term Action
In cases that are not resolved by swift firm action teachers should:
- discuss the problem with both bully and target
- inform the parents of bully and target
- establish an individual programme for the bully between school, child and home
- try to prevent bullying becoming a habit (ie. something to avoid boredom) provide responsibilities/activities to be carried out at playtimes etc. (but not to be perceived by the child as a reward)
- develop survival strategies with the target
- strive to improve the self-esteem of both bully and target
Where necessary the school will seek assistance from the following agencies:
Emotional & Behavioural Support Service
Educational Welfare Service
classroom behaviour & school policy development
consultancy on school policy & effects on individuals
non-attendance as a result of bullying
Monitoring Success Of The Policy
Pupils’ opinions on behaviour sought during circle time activities etc.
A reduction in incidents of bullying as noted by teaching and non-teaching staff
Revisit the policy regularly (ask children to list incidents of bad behaviour / bullying in school – compare over time)
Pupil and Parents annual surveys
Parents expressing views during termly parent teacher interviews
Governor visits to school to discuss the policy with the children
- understand what the school recognises as bullying behaviour
- inform teachers and parents of their concerns
All adult members of the school community should:
- understand what the school recognises as bullying behaviour
- be alert to relationships between pupils
- deal with incidents swiftly and effectively
- be open to children’s need to talk about their feelings and concerns
- be aware of the school’s policies on behaviour and bullying (include in brochure)
- model inclusive social behaviour
- be prepared to come in to school and talk to staff about their concerns
Bullying By Parents
Parents often make judgements about other people’s children and either gossip about them to other parents or make their opinions known to members of staff. This ‘give a dog a bad name’ scenario can be very damaging especially where the school are working very hard to amend the behaviour of a pupil with complex issues. These opinions can also be very mistaken or based on personal prejudice. It must also be remembered that behaviour observed outside school is often very different from that observed within school. This situation can be very difficult to contain.
Staff are in a very difficult position as to even refute a parent’s claim (for instance about another child’s behaviour) would be to divulge information about another parent’s child.
Staff must ensure they behave even-handedly and do not allow themselves to collude with a parent when they express their opinion about another child.
There is a growing trend, nationally, of bullying perpetrated by parents or staff and pupils. This, it would seem, has been amplified by the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It appears many people are prepared to say things via the internet that they would not say to someone in person. There are many high profile examples of this. It is very easy for a parent to damage a teacher’s career or tarnish the reputation of the school or stigmatise a pupil through such unsubstantiated cyber gossip. It could also compromise the safeguarding of children to publish information about another child without their parents’ permission.
The school will take any such occurrences very seriously and will pursue the matter using the legal powers available.
School staff must not divulge any information regarding a pupil or parent or staff member and must not express any opinion relating to school matters on social networking media.
Annually – last updated: Jan 2022
BULLYING don’t suffer in silence – HMSO
Pupil Behaviour & Discipline – DFE
Framework for the Inspection of Schools January 2012 – OFSTED
CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection) website advice for parents on protecting their child on line – including: gaming, using social networking sites, grooming, mobiles and chat
Hector’s World Cartoons & Puzzles for 5 – 7 year olds
Help for 8 – 10 year olds
Football against bullying – games and advice from the FA & Premier league
Lots of advice