Saint John s College Anti-bullying Policy

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1 Saint John s College Anti-bullying Policy *This policy must be read in conjunction with the Child Protection Policy. St John s College believes that all of our pupils have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. We aim to be a secure, friendly community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our members following the example of the love of Jesus Christ. Every Child Matters is the strategy to ensure the well being of young children from birth to nineteen and aims to support all children to develop their potential. We fully support the principle that our pupils should: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. Whilst all schools have a minority of pupils with the potential for bullying behaviour, good disciplined and organisation help to reduce the occurrence of bullying. Saint John s College uses PSE and RE lessons, together with Circle Time to promote good citizenship, where it is made clear that bullying is a form of anti-social behaviour. Bullying in any form is wrong and will not be tolerated. Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those other children who watch, and less aggressive pupils can be drawn in by group pressure. Bullying is not an inevitable part of school life or a necessary part of growing up, and it rarely sorts itself out. Although certain jokes, insults, intimidating or threatening behaviour, written abuse and violence are to be found in parts of society, within our school no one person or group, whether staff or pupil, should have to accept this type of behaviour. Neither will any incidents of cyber bullying, using computers and mobile phones be permitted. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a child best be able to benefit from the exceptional opportunities available at the Saint John s College. The seriousness of bullying cannot be emphasized enough. Bullying is among the top concerns that parents have about their children s safety and well-being particularly on the way to and from school. Bullying makes the lives of its victims a misery: it undermines their confidence and self esteem; and destroys their sense of security. Bullying impacts on its victims attendance and attainment at school, and can have a life-long negative impact on some young people s lives. At worst, bullying has been a factor in pupil suicide. In serious cases of bullying the police may be contacted and this could lead to prosecution of those offenders under a range of different laws. We recognise that children and young people do have fall outs and sometimes need guidance in settling their disagreements. We encourage our pupils to learn to work together and respect individual differences. Not every disagreement is a case of bullying. However, pupils, parents and guardians should be reassured that any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly. We are very keen to promote mutual respect between pupils and we show example in this by the manner in which staff respect their pupils and expect this to be reciprocated. The school has pupils from many different ethnic backgrounds and has been highly successful in developing a harmonious atmosphere; however any incidences of disrespect on whatever basis are dealt with quickly but this depends on co-operation from all concerned to see that such incidents are reported. There are specific areas of the PSE scheme of work that deal with the topic of respect in great detail. The ways in which other areas of the curriculum help 1

2 support the development of personal and social skills and confidence are demonstrated in appendix 11. Bullying may be defined as any deliberately hurtful behaviour: usually repeated over a period of time, where an individual is unable to defend him or herself. Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can be: physical, verbal, deliberate damage to work or property, excluding or isolating an individual from an activity, spreading malicious rumours or cyber bullying. For this reason pupils are not permitted to use mobile phones or cameras on school premises without the express permission and supervision of a member of staff. Pupils who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour such as: becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lacking concentration or truanting from school. All members of the school must be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it. The way to stamp out bullying is for people to be aware of the issues involved, and to be clear in their own minds what action to take. Remember silence is the bully's greatest weapon. Staff also routinely keep playground and form incident logs which alert teachers to any patterns of unacceptable behaviour. We aim to be an outstanding school where: Instances of bullying, including cyber bullying and prejudice-related bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability are rare. Pupils are acutely aware of different forms of bullying and actively try to prevent it from occurring. The school has an active and highly effective approach to identifying and tackling bullying. All groups of pupils feel safe at schools at all times. They understand very clearly what constitutes unsafe situations and are highly aware of how to keep themselves and others safe. NSPCC Safeguarding in Education Service 2

3 What is Bullying? Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be: Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures) Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing Cyber All areas of internet,such as & internet chat room misuse Mobile threats by text messaging & calls Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera &video facilities Kidscape Support for Pupils Remember you do not deserve to be bullied, and that it is wrong! Be proud of who you are. It is good to be individual. Try not to show that you are upset. Calmly explain that you do not like this behaviour. Stay with a group of friends. There is safety in numbers. Go straight to a teacher or member of staff for help. Fighting back may make things worse. In the case of cyber bullying do not respond to the message. If the bullying continues speak to your form teacher or Mrs Brown (Head of Pastoral Care). The teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a way which will end the bullying and will not make things worse for you. If you see someone else being bullied, inform a teacher. If you stand and do nothing you are encouraging the bully. All pupils have learnt in PSE lessons bullying is unacceptable. Refer to the help leaflets you have been given. Support for Parents Always take an active role in your child's education. Enquire how their day has gone, who they have spent their time with, how lunch time was spent. 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 their normal standard If you feel your child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, inform the form teacher immediately. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow. An appointment may also be made with Mrs Brown, Head of Pastoral Care. It is important that you advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse! Tell your own son or daughter there is nothing wrong with him or her. It is not his or her fault that they are being bullied. Make sure your child is fully aware of the school policy concerning bullying, and that they will not be afraid to ask for help. 3

4 When bullying is reported: If bullying is suspected we talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses. The teacher will make a written record using the school s own form. If any degree of bullying is identified, we will assess the harm done, identify those responsible, secure any evidence and take action to prevent it recurring. We will inform the parents or guardians of those involved. We strongly recommend parents to refrain from directly contacting each other as this can often exacerbate matters. We will offer support and guidance to the victim; nominating a safe place, arrange peer support and a liaison teacher. We will also offer support and guidance to the bully by talking about what happened and enabling them to understand the impact of his or her actions on others. We will try to remove any prejudiced attitudes and discuss the incident with parents. Additional members of staff will be asked to monitor future behaviour. Mobile phones may be temporarily confiscated to be returned to the parent in person. Disciplinary measures and sanctions may also be imposed to protect the victim and to provide the bully with time to reflect. The following list is a guide not a staged process, so parents and pupils should note that serious incidents be dealt with appropriately. Pupils will be warned officially to stop the offending behaviour. Parents or guardians will be informed. Pupils will be placed on report. Pupils will be withdrawn from the playground and activities where he or she may harm or intimidate others for a period which is proportionate to the age and understanding of the bully or the seriousness of the incident. Pupils will be excluded from representing the school. Pupils will not be permitted to travel to or from school on the bus service. Pupils may be suspended or excluded from school. It is the headmaster, Dr Neville s decision to suspend or exclude pupils. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 gave headteachers the responsibility for preventing all forms of bullying. It also empowered headteachers to regulate the behaviour of pupils when they are off the school site and for members of staff to impose disciplinary penalties for inappropriate offsite behaviour. We will inform the police as appropriate. We will inform the Child Protection Officer, Mrs Brown and if appropriate we will send all the evidence to the Child Exploitation and Online protection CEOP) Centre Documents compiled by: Gill Firth and Linda Brown Approved by: This policy was updated in consultation with CPO following a request by the SLT in January. 16/2/2012 4

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