North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe. Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy. North East Lincolnshire. LSCB Local Safeguarding Children Board

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1 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy North East Lincolnshire LSCB Local Safeguarding Children Board

2 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe Contents Introduction & Summary Bullying and the law What is bullying? Cyber bullying & E-Safety Dealing with bullying Prevention and Early Intervention Accountability 2

3 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy Introduction & Summary About this strategy This document underpins North East Lincolnshire Council s commitment to combatting bullying in our community. North East Lincolnshire aspires to be a place where children and young people both are safe and feel safe. We are committed to making sure that in all we do and in all we provide for children and young people, we include ways of preventing bullying, identifying where it may be an issue and dealing with bullying when it happens. What do Children Want? - Children and young people have told us (Staying safe workshops 2013) that Bullying and E-Safety are linked, therefore we have developed this strategy to address both elements. We recognise that every child and young person has the right to live and learn in an atmosphere that is free from bullying and victimisation. How Do Children Define Bullying? Bullying may mean different things to different children, dependent on whether they see themselves as the bullied or the bullies. However, the way children feel about bullying and about how other people s behaviours affect them, means that regardless of how others see those behaviours to the victim it will still be bullying. How Does the Government Define Bullying: The DfE helpfully defines bullying as a behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over a period of time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Here in North East Lincolnshire we take bullying very seriously. We recognise the impact that bullying can have on children and young people s emotional and physical wellbeing both now and in the future. As part of our overall commitment to prioritising children s safety and well-being, we have made tackling bullying a priority in our Children and Young Peoples Plan and for our Local Safeguarding Children s Board (LSCB). The impact of this strategy will be monitored via our Change for Children Partnership and the LSCB leadership. Who is this strategy for? Every child and young person living, attending school or being cared for in North East Lincolnshire Every child and young person and young people who is involved with prevention, targeted or statutory (social work) services. Parents, carers and family members Schools and academies Early Help Providers Family Hubs Youth Settings Further Education Establishments and colleges Community Learning Services This strategy will next be reviewed in May

4 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe Bullying and the Law: The law is very prescriptive about bullying in relation to schools, requiring every school to have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 says that schools must have an anti-bullying policy and this must sit within the schools overall good behaviour policy. The law applies equally to all types of school. This means that for children and young people who are school age, and also their parents, the first place to go to for help is the child or young person s school. Schools also now have the power to deal with children s behaviour outside of school grounds, within the community. NEL will work to ensure that all schools have an anti-bullying policy and that all schools apply this to both prevent and deal with all forms of bullying The Equality Act 2010 says that public bodies (for example; schools, colleges, councils, children s services providers) must have due regard for: Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act; Advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; Fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it. NEL will work to ensure that all children and young people who are involved in bullying will be treated fairly and regardless of individual characteristics will have equal access to support, assistance and guidance to prevent or address bullying. Significant Harm and Offending If the bullying incident has or is likely to cause significant harm, the Children Act 1989 requires that this should be treated as a child protection concern. The DfE says that even if bullying does not reach this level then schools still might need to involve a range of other services. Although bullying itself is not an offence in its own right, some types of behaviours that are part of bullying can be an offence, such as physical assault, racism and harassment. Children and young people who bully can be dealt with under the law. Children and young people who are bullies in the community can also be dealt with by schools because teachers now have the power to discipline pupils for misbehaving outside of the school grounds. Strategy Statement 3: In NEL we will work to ensure that bullying is dealt with at the right level, protecting children as necessary and, wherever safe to do so, preventing children being criminalised as a result of bullying or of being bullied. To do this, NEL is committed to addressing bullying in line with the local Thresholds Document, making appropriate referrals and promoting the use of a Restorative Practice approach when tackling bullying. 4

5 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy What is bullying? Bullying can include a range of behaviours or actions by individuals or groups that are repeated over time, that are intended to cause either physical or emotional harm to another individual or group. There are many different types of bullying and many ways in which bullying can happen. It can be motivated by prejudice against a particular type of person or just because a child or young person is different in some way from the wider group. When dealing with bullying, the government s first priority is to stop any violence and make sure children are safe. What we need to remember though, is that whether or not bullying involves physical contact or violence, the emotional impact of bullying can be just as bad for children and can cause serious harm. So, in North East Lincolnshire, it is absolutely essential that all types of bullying are given the same attention and should always be treated seriously and sensitively. If a child or young person feels or says he or she is being bullied, this should never minimised or ignored. Each case of bullying is different and one solution will not fit all. Whilst there are different types of bullying, and different words used to define bullying it comes down to the same thing: a deliberate behaviour on the part of one or more people, designed to make someone suffer either physically or emotionally and cause that person harm. Strategy Statement 4: In NEL we will ensure that practice and policy is such that all types of bullying are taken seriously and that children know who to go when they are being bullied, to be given a voice to express their feelings and fears about bullying and to have safe adults who recognise bullying when it is happening and deal with it. Strategy Statement 5: In NEL we will work to ensuring all professionals have access to the relevant training and that children, parents and carers have are made aware and have access to routes to dealing with bullying 5

6 6 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe

7 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy Cyber-bullying and E-Safety The internet has become an integral part of children and young people s lives, providing invaluable educational, creative and social opportunities. However, the exposure to inappropriate, harmful or fraudulent content and potential risks of grooming, abuse and cyberbullying has led to widespread concern for the safety of children o-line. Whilst safeguarding measures have markedly improved since the Byron Review Safer in a Digital World (1), the challenges posed by rapidly changing technology means there is still much more to do to secure children s digital safety. Computers, gaming consoles and smart phones have given children and young people access to the internet, instant messaging, social networks and a myriad of ways of communicating with one another that a generation ago, were almost non-existent. Whilst e-technology can be a great thing in lots of ways, it also means that there are now far more ways in which children and young people can be bullied. It also brings a whole host of connected issues around keeping safe on line, or e-safety. What is Cyber-Bullying? This is bullying through the use of technology. Because this type of bullying is often faceless, it is potentially much easier to bully without it being detected or perceived as bullying, and is often more difficult for teachers, carers, parents and even peers to know that bullying is happening until it is well-underway. Cyber-bullying frequently involves more than just the bully, or the bullies and the victim. Cyber-bullying is open to onlookers, bystanders and witnesses who can be either helpful e.g. by alerting someone who can protect the victim, or can cause further harm by becoming involved and encouraging the bullies to continue or reinforcing the bullied image of the victim. This type of bullying can become a criminal offence. Because of the availability and accessibility of technology, cyber-bullying, or bullying through the use of technology can happen at any time of day or night. Because it is not done in person then the potential is for any child to be bullied at any time by any individual and for it to go unreported and unnoticed. The emotional impact on children can be devastating and so children need the means to recognise and report bullying and all professionals, parents and carers need the means to recognise, support and protect children and act on cyber bullying. NEL will work to ensure that all professionals working with children have an awareness about cyber-bullying and can access the necessary training and support resources. NEL will work to ensure that parents and carers, including foster carers and residential workers have appropriate awareness and put measures in place to keep children safe and know what to do if concerned about children s use of internet and e-technology. 7

8 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe What has NEL done to address E-Safety and Cyber-Bullying? North East Lincolnshire has adopted CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) materials and ethos when dealing with and advising on e-safety. The Young People s Support Service (YPSS) Young and Safe team currently has a number of staff trained as CEOP Ambassadors and uses the Do You Think You Know toolkit to work with schools and partners on e-safety. Further training is in place to increase the number of ambassadors in order to provide support to a wider audience within North East Lincolnshire. E-safety is delivered through the YPSS and its effectiveness is monitored through the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Operational Board. YPSS support the Curriculum for Life Lincs2 initiative, and a range of YPSS provision including e-safety and CSE can be sought via the C4L website NEL foster carers and residential workers will have access to training and know how to recognise the signs of on-line bullying and will provide support and interventions for children who they believe are being bullied or are at risk of being bullied. All staff working with children in NEL will be aware of the seriousness and impact of on line bullying and will have sufficient knowledge to know when to refer E-Safety matters as safeguarding issues for investigation. 8

9 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy 9

10 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe 10

11 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy Dealing with bullying Every school must have an anti-bullying policy as part of its behaviour policy. We recognise however that school is only one area of a child s life and that a significant proportion of time is spent elsewhere. We are committed therefore to preventing and dealing with bullying throughout our range of services. North East Lincolnshire is committed to the prevention and early intervention, restorative practice and Signs of Safety approaches. All referrals into Children s Services, including early intervention and prevention, will be dealt with within this ethos and using the child concern model. This applies to every service from Young and Safe and Family Hubs through to Children s Social Care and the Looked After System. We believe that it is far better to prevent than to cure and so promote a positive environment in which children and young people feel safe, know that they have the right to be safe and are confident that North East Lincolnshire is somewhere in which our children really are safe. In all of our settings we will model good behaviour, we will make sure organisations have the right policies and procedures in place to safeguard children and promote their welfare and we will make sure that we share learning and resources to raise awareness and equip children and adults in North East Lincolnshire to deal with bullying effectively. We will make sure that schools have anti-bullying policies in place through our safeguarding in schools audit, and work with the Young Voice to make sure safeguarding messages get out to children and young people. We also have specialists working in our organisation for when agencies or individuals need information, advice, guidance or practical help with any aspect of bullying and e-safety. We will promote the use of restorative justice processes and support schools, foster carers and residential care to recognise, prevent and address bullying swiftly and effectively. 11

12 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe Accountability This strategy and its implementation is accountable to the Change for Children Partnership and the LSCB. The government sets out very clear expectations for schools in terms of bullying and this is clearly reflected in this document. The LSCB has a duty to ensure that agencies adhere to their safeguarding responsibilities and as such will incorporate anti-bullying within its statutory audits. The Anti-Bullying and E-Safety strategy outlined above will be subject to ongoing audit and progress of the action plan outlined below. Appendix A. North East Lincolnshire Council will ensure that its strategy and awareness materials are available to key agencies but particularly schools and children s groups and that LSCB and corporate training includes bullying components where appropriate. Reference (1) Byron Review, 2008; the Byron Progress Review (2010) entitled Safer Children in a Digital World) 12

13 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy 13

14 14 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe

15 Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy Notes 15

16 North East Lincolnshire Keeping Children Safe Anti-Bullying & E-Safety Strategy LSCB Local Safeguarding North East Lincolnshire Children Board

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