Anti-bullying policy

Anti-Bullying Policy
With Regard to Guidance: Preventing and Tackling Bullying

1) Introduction

We, at New Life Christian Academy, believe that each person is unique and has been created by God. We aim to ensure that pupils learn in a supportive, caring, calm and safe environment, free from disruption and without fear of being bullied, by showing respect for each other and loving one another as God loves us. Bullying, therefore, is contrary to this. It is an anti-social behaviour that affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

2) Aim

To put preventative measures into place and to deal effectively with any incidents of bullying in our school community.

3) What is Bullying

Bullying is 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 and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.

Bullying can leave someone:

• Physically and/or mentally hurt or worried
• Feeling unsafe and/or frightened
• Unable to do well and achieve
• Feeling ‘different’, alone, unimportant and/or unvalued
• Unable to see a happy and exciting future

It involves an imbalance of power and can be:

• Physical, e.g. kicking, hitting, taking and damaging belongings
• Verbal, e.g. name calling, taunting, threats, offensive remarks
• Relational, e.g. spreading nasty stories, gossiping, excluding from social groups
• Cyber, e.g. texts, e-mails, picture/video clip bullying, Instant Messaging (IM)
• Emotional

4) Preventative Measures

The school will:

• Have staff who proactively gather intelligence about issues between pupils which might provoke conflict and develop strategies to prevent bullying occurring in the first place.

• Train staff in recognising the signs and symptoms of bullying and in dealing with incidents of bullying. New staff will be given a copy of the policy upon induction.

• Raise awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in PSHE, assemblies, subject areas and informal discussion, as appropriate, in an attempt to eradicate such behaviour.

• Ensure pupils are well supervised by staff at all times during the day and that staff are vigilant in spotting signs or incidents of bullying

• Always listen to complaints about bullying, however trivial, and follow them up

• Seek to develop links with the wider community that will support inclusive anti-bullying education

• Involve pupils so that all pupils understand the school’s approach and are clear about the part they can play to prevent bullying, including when they find themselves as bystanders

• Regularly evaluate and update their approach to take account of developments in technology, for instance updating ‘Acceptable Use’ policies for computers

• Make it easy for pupils to report bullying so that they are assured that they will be listened to and incidents acted on. Pupils should feel that they could report bullying, which may have occurred outside school, including cyber-bullying, in the Concerns Box or during circle time.

• Create an inclusive environment where pupils can openly discuss the cause of their bullying, without fear of further bullying or discrimination.

• Consider the use of specific strategies, for example peer mentoring, on a regular basis and implement them if appropriate, subject to available resources.

• Participate in national and local initiatives such as Anti-bullying Week

• Ensure all Parents/Carers/Guardians have signed the Home-School Agreement so that Parents/Carers/Guardians are aware of the school’s expectations on behaviour before, the child starts at the school.

• Create an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave. Values of respect for staff and other pupils, an understanding of the value of education, and a clear understanding of how our actions affect others permeate the whole school environment and are reinforced by staff and older pupils who set a good example to the rest.

5) Identifying and Reporting Concerns About Bullying

All concerns about bullying will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
Pupils who are being bullied may not report it. However, there may be changes in their behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences, becoming isolated, having unexplained bruising, refusing to say what is wrong or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lacking concentration or increased absence from school. School staff will be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with this policy. Pupils who are bullying others also need support to help them understand and change their behaviour. Pupils who are aware of bullying (‘bystanders’) can be a powerful force in helping to address it and will be encouraged to do so in a safe way.

All pupils will be encouraged to report bullying by talking to a member of staff or using the Concerns Box.

Parents/Carers/Guardians will be encouraged to report concerns about bullying to the school and to support the school in tackling it.

6) Procedures to Follow

School

The school will take the following steps when dealing with concerns about bullying:

a) The person making the report will be listened to carefully and details recorded. If bullying is suspected or reported, it will never be ignored and will be dealt with immediately by a member staff. Non-teaching staff are to report incidents to a member of the teaching staff or the Headteacher.

b) The Headteacher, or another member of staff designated by the Headteacher, will then promptly investigate the incident. Opportunity will be given for all people involved to give their accounts and detailed records kept.

c) The Headteacher will then take appropriate action in response to the single incident. A clear account of the concern, investigation and outcome will be recorded and kept by the Headteacher.

d) The Headteacher will then monitor these incidents and discuss findings with staff and Parents/Carers/Guardians, where appropriate. We value the support of Parents/Carers/Guardians and aim to keep them fully informed.

e) A monitoring period will follow to ensure this behaviour is not repeated. Pupils involved are made aware of this.

f) If the bullying behaviour continues, then further action will be considered. This may, however ultimately result in permanent exclusion from the school.

Pupils

Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by:

a) Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their choice
b) Providing reassurance that the bullying will be addressed
c) Offering continuous support
d) Restoring self-esteem and confidence
e) The use of specialist interventions and/or referrals to other agencies e.g. educational psychology, where appropriate

Pupils who have bullied will be helped by:

• Discussing what happened
• Discovering why the pupil became involved
• Establishing the wrong doing and need to change
• Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude of the pupil
• The use of specialist interventions and/or referrals to other
agencies, where appropriate

The following disciplinary steps can be taken:

• Official warnings to cease offending
• Detention
• Exclusion from certain areas of school premises
• Minor fixed-term exclusion
• Major fixed-term exclusion
• Permanent exclusion

Parents, Carers, and Guardians

Most concerns about bullying will be resolved through discussion between home and school. However, where a Parent/Carer/Guardian feels their concerns have not been resolved, they are encouraged to use the formal Complaints Procedure.

Where bullying outside school (e.g. in the street or through the use of the internet at home, on the bus etc.), is reported to a member of staff this will be investigated and acted upon following the same procedures as in school. In all cases, support will be given to pupils and Parents/Carers/Guardians will be asked to work with the school in addressing their child’s behaviour, for example restricting/monitoring their use of the internet or mobile phone. Referral of the family to external support agencies will be made where appropriate. Specialist organisations are listed at the end of the policy.

7) Monitoring, Evaluation, and Review

The Headteacher is the identified lead on the implementation of the policy and will act as the link person with outside agencies when appropriate.

An annual report will be made to the Governing Body, including statistics about:

• The number of reported concerns
• Monitoring information about the pupils involved
• Motivations for bullying
• Actions taken and outcomes

Statistical information will be provided to outside agencies as required.

The school will review the policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness.

This policy has links to the following school policies and procedures:

• Behaviour policy
• Child protection policy
• E-safety policy
• Complaints procedure

8) Specialist Organisations

• The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA): Founded in 2002 by NSPCC and National Children’s Bureau, the ABA brings together over 100 organisations into one network to develop and share good practice across the whole range of bullying issues.

• Beatbullying: A bullying-prevention charity with an emphasis on working directly with children and young people. In addition to lesson plans and resources for parents, Beatbullying have developed the Cybermentors peer support programme for young people affected by bullying.

• Kidscape: A charity established to prevent bullying and promote child protection, providing advice for young people, professionals and parents about different types of bullying and how to tackle it. They also offer specialist training and support for school staff, and assertiveness training for young people.

• Restorative Justice Council: Includes best practice guidance for practitioners 2011.

9) Cyber-Bullying

• ChildNet International: Provides specialist resources for young people to raise awareness of online safety and how to protect themselves.