Skegness Grammar School. Anti-Bullying Policy

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1 Skegness Grammar School Anti-Bullying Policy

2 Skegness Grammar School Anti-bullying Policy (To be read with the school s E-safety, Acceptable Use, Anti-Cyber Bullying and Rewards and Sanctions policies) This policy aims to: Safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils at the school. Prevent bullying because it lays down the definitions of bullying and outlines the actions and sanctions that will follow when instances of bullying take place. INTRODUCTION Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those other children who witness it and other pupils who can be drawn in by peer group pressure. It is clear that certain jokes, insults, intimidating or threatening behaviour, written abuse and violence are to be found in society. No one person or group, whether staff or pupil, should have to accept this type of behaviour. It rarely sorts itself out and yet, only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a pupil be able to benefit in full from the opportunities available at school. The school allows no initiation ceremonies for new pupils, which might cause pain or humiliation. Bullying can cause life-long psychological damage to an individual and even lead to suicide. Bullying is not a criminal offence but there are laws to deal with harassment and threatening behaviour WHY IS AN ANTI-BULLYING POLICY NECESSARY? We believe that our pupils have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. All institutions, whether large or small contain some numbers of pupils with the potential for bullying behaviour. It is wrong and will not be tolerated. Headteachers have a statutory power to discipline pupils for poor behaviour outside of school premises and this includes bullying. This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside the local shops, or in a town or village centre. Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff it will be investigated and acted on. The Headteacher will consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police or anti-social behaviour co-ordinator in the local authority of the actions taken against a pupil. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed. WHAT IS BULLYING? The DfE Guidance Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Advice for Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies 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), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences. Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case.

3 Some examples of bullying are described below: Physical A child can be physically punched, kicked, hit, spat on etc. Verbal Verbal abuse can take the form of name calling. It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical / social / disability / personality etc. Exclusion A child can be bullied simply by being excluded from discussion / activities with those they believe to be their friends. Damage to property or theft. Pupils may have their property damaged or stolen. Physical threats may be used by the bully in order that the pupil hands over property to them. Bullying in schools today may involve racial, religious, cultural, sexual or homophobic bullying. Those with physical, mental or social disabilities may be targeted. Cyber-bullying with use of Facebook, MSN and similar web pages, text messaging, mobile phones, photographs and is currently a form of anti-social behaviour being used by some people (please also see Anti Cyber-bullying Policy, Acceptable Use policy and E- Safety policy). Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. It includes tormenting, threatening, harassing, humiliating, victimising and embarrassing someone. The internet security systems we have in place at Skegness Grammar School and the Boarding House are designed to highlight instances of cyber-bullying. The Network Manager will be alerted instantly. The Network manager will print a screen shot of the offensive material and refer it in the first instance to the appropriate Pastoral Support worker who may refer it to the appropriate Head of House, who may then inform the Child Protection Officer. All instances of cyber-bullying will be taken very seriously and pupils involved in cyber-bullying will be punished. Any pupil who feels they are being bullied on the internet should immediately talk to their Form Tutor or any other member of staff that they feel they can talk to, who will either deal with the matter themselves or refer it to the appropriate Head of House. Boarders who feel they are being bullied on the internet at the Boarding House should immediately refer the matter to the Senior House Parents who will either deal with the matter themselves or will refer it to the appropriate Head of House in school and / or the Child Protection Officer. Pupils at school may use their mobile phones, ipads and personal computers with the permission of the teacher. Pupils at the Boarding House may use their mobile telephones, ipads and personal computers there and these devices may have internet access. Boarders have access to the school s internet, intranet and other ICT systems on their own equipment and the ICT suite. Any cyber-bullying encountered should be immediately reported to the Senior House Parents. ADVICE TO PUPILS Bullying can be brought to the attention of staff by the victim(s), their friend(s), their parents and other interested people. If you know someone who is being bullied take action. Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and isolated. Tell an adult immediately. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you into trouble. Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully.

4 ADVICE TO PARENTS Always take an active role in your child s education. Enquire how their day has gone, with whom they have spent their time, how lunchtime was spent etc. Look for unusual behaviour in your children. For example they may suddenly not wish to attend school, feel ill regularly, or not complete work to the normal standard. If you feel your child is the victim of bullying please inform the school immediately. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow. It is important that you advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse. Tell your son or daughter there is nothing wrong with him or her. It is not his or her fault they are being bullied. Make sure your child is fully aware of the school policy concerning bullying and that they should not be afraid to ask for help. AS A SCHOOL Organise the community in order to minimise the opportunities for bullying Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards each other, e.g. the RE, PSHE programme, assemblies, tutor time. The issue of bullying and its effect is included as early as the induction days for all new pupils, before they even join the first year at Skegness Grammar School. The matter is addressed through the medium of worksheets and video. Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints, involving parents where necessary. Review the School Policy annually and evaluate its degree of success. Encourage pupils to treat everyone with respect. We will treat bullying as a serious offence and take every possible action to eradicate it from our school. Any reports of bullying, should be referred in the first instance to the form teacher. He or she will deal with it as is seen fit within the context of the problem. Referrals to the Heads of House should be made to make them aware. A further referral to the Deputy Head and / or Headteacher will be made in particularly difficult cases. The school maintains an Anti-Bullying box available in the Crush Hall. It is checked on a regular basis.

5 Action against bullying If bullying is suspected we talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses. We ask them to write down what happened. The emphasis is always on a caring, listening approach as bullies are often victims too. We support the victims in the following ways: By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience Informing the victim s parents / guardians By continuing to offer support when they need it. It is vital that satisfactory progress towards solutions be made in all incidences of bullying, given the importance of the misdemeanour, which satisfy the following criteria: i. creating conditions under which the bully will desist from repeating the act either with the present victim or with others, ii. iii. raising the bully s awareness of the antisocial nature of such conduct, as well as the emotional damage (s)he might have caused to the victim, placating the victim in such a way that fear of repetition or reprisal is absent. To achieve this, the responder will have at his/her disposal techniques such as sanctions of varying levels, counselling, parental contact and supervision. We also discipline, yet try to help and guide the bullies in the following ways: By talking about what happened to discover why they became involved Informing the bullies parents / guardians By taking one of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying: They will be warned officially to stop offending The bullies parents / guardians will be informed After school detentions may be given They may be excluded from school activities and kept under supervision at breaks and lunchtimes and in the evening if a boarder. We may arrange for them to be escorted to and from school premises if the bullying has taken place on the way to or from school If the bullying does not stop there will be a fixed-term exclusion and in cases of persistent and severe bullying they will be recommended for permanent exclusion.

6 Boarding The above policy applies to boarders. Any reports of bullying in the Boarding House should in the first instance be referred to the Senior House Parents. However pupils are encouraged to talk to whomever they wish on the teaching or Boarding House staff about the bullying who will then refer it to the Senior House Parents. The Senior House Parents will record the incident on the behaviour section of the MIS and write an account of the incident, or in the case of abuse or anything extremely personal will record it on the school s green pastoral record forms and forward it to the school s Child Protection Officer. The Senior House Parents should ensure that the relevant Form Tutors and Heads of House are informed of any action taken. If this cannot be satisfactorily resolved in the Boarding House, this must be referred to the appropriate Head of House in the school, or in the case of more serious incidents to the Deputy Head. The Senior House Parents should be kept informed by those dealing with the incident of any boarder who has been bullied or has been a bully in school and the outcome of the investigation. The Boarding House maintains an Anti-Bullying Box for pupils to report worries and concerns. Additionally there is an independent listener, Mrs. Sue Simpson, the Warden at Miller Court (the adjoining Warden Controlled Flats for elderly people) and an Independent Visitor, Mr. Keith Locke who visits the Boarding House regularly. The School Chaplain, Reverend Fran Jeffries visits school regularly and is available to pupils on a Tuesday lunchtime and she also visits the Boarding House. Revised March 2011 with regard to Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools LWI Review date: April 2012 LWI Reviewed and Revised LWI April 2012 with regard to DfE Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Advice for Head Teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies, Review Date April 2013 Reviewed LWI May 2013 Reviewed LWI June 2013 with regard to DfE Preventing and tackling bullying Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies June 2013

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