Our Policy and Processes

Introduction

At Selston High School we aim to provide a safe, caring and friendly climate for learning for all our students to allow them to improve their life chances and help them maximise their potential.

We expect students to act safely and feel safe in school, including that they understand the issues relating to bullying and that they feel confident to seek support from school should they feel unsafe.

We also want parents to feel confident that their children are safe and cared for in school and incidents when they do arise are dealt with promptly and well.

The school is aware of its legal obligations and role within the local community supporting parents and working with other agencies outside the school where appropriate.

 

Policy Development

This policy was formulated in consultation with the whole school community with input from:

  • Members of staff - through items at staff meetings, consultation documents and surveys.
  • Governors - discussions at governors meetings.
  • Parents/carers – parents/carers will be encouraged to contribute by taking part in surveys.
  • Children and young people - students contribute to the development of the policy through the school council and discussions in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).  The school council will develop a student friendly version to be displayed on the Year Council notice boards and which will also be available on the school website in the Student Section.

This policy is available:

  • On the school website.
  • In the school prospectus.
  • From the school main reception.
  • Child friendly versions are on display on noticeboards

 

Roles and responsibilities

The Head teacher – Has over all responsibility for the policy and its implementation and liaising with the governing body, parents/carers, LA and outside agencies and appointing an Anti-Bullying Coordinator who will have general responsibility for handling the implementation of this policy.

The Anti–Bullying Coordinator in our school is: Mr N Bailey (Assistant Head – Student Services).

The responsibilities are:-

  • Policy development and review involving students, staff, governors, parents/carers and relevant local agencies.
  • Implementing the policy, monitoring and assessing its effectiveness in practice.
  • Ensuring evaluation takes place and that this informs policy review.
  • Overseeing the coordination of the management of bullying incidents. 
  • Overseeing and coordinating of the reporting and recording of bullying incidents.
  • Assessing and coordinating training and support for staff and parents/carers where appropriate.
  • Coordinating strategies for preventing bullying behaviour.

The nominated Governor with the responsibility for Anti-Bullying is: Gill Haslam

 

Our definition of Bullying

‘The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.  It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace.’

http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/about-us.aspx

How does bullying differ from teasing/falling out between friends or other types of aggressive behaviour?

  • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate.
  • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves.
  • It is usually persistent.

Occasionally an incident may be deemed to be bullying even if the behaviour has not been repeated or persistent – if it fulfils all other descriptions of bullying.  This possibility should be considered, particularly in cases of hate crime related bullying and cyberbullying.  If the victim might be in danger then intervention is urgently required.

 

What does bullying look like?  

Bullying can include:

  • name calling
  • taunting
  • mocking
  • making offensive comments
  • physical assault
  • taking or damaging belongings
  • cyber bullying - inappropriate text messaging and emailing; sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet, on line impersonation, stealing passwords, etc
  • producing offensive graffiti
  • gossiping and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours
  • excluding people from groups.

Although bullying can occur between individuals it can often take place in the presence (virtually or physically) of others who become the ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’.

 

Recognising the signs of bullying

A child may indicate, by his or her behaviour, that he or she is being bullied.  If you become aware of any of the following changes in behaviour report your concerns to someone.

 

Parents might notice that children may:

  • Be frightened of walking to or from school or beg to be driven to school.
  • Be unwilling to go to school, or regularly feel unwell on school days.
  • Change their route to school.
  • Come home regularly with clothes or books damaged or destroyed.
  • Become withdrawn, start stammering, become distressed or stop eating.
  • Cry themselves to sleep.
  • Have nightmares and even call out “leave me alone”.
  • Have unexplained bruises, scratches and cuts.
  • Have their possessions go “missing”.
  • Ask for money or begin stealing money (to pay the bully).
  • Continually “lose” their pocket money.
  • Refuse to say what’s wrong.
  • Give improbable excuses to explain any of the above.
  • Attempt self-injury.

 

Why are children and young people bullied?

Specific types of bullying include:

  • prejudice crime related bullying of children with special educational needs or disabilities, homophobic and transphobic bullying or related to race, religion or culture
  • bullying related to appearance or health
  • bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • sexist or sexual bullying.

There is no hierarchy of bullying – all forms should be taken equally seriously and dealt with appropriately. 

 

Homophobic bullying and using homophobic language

Homophobic language is terms of abuse used towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people or those thought to be LGB. It is also used to refer to something or someone as inferior.  This may also be used to taunt young people who are different in some way or have gay friends, family members or their parents/carers are gay.

Dismissing it as banter is not helpful as even if these terms are not referring to a person’s sexuality they are using the terms to mean inferior, bad, broken or wrong.  We will challenge the use of homophobic language in our school even if it appears to be being used without any homophobic intent.  Persistent use of homophobic language or homophobic bullying will be dealt with as with any other form of bullying. All prejudice related or hate incidents are also reported to the Local Authority as a matter of course.

 

Where does bullying take place?

Bullying is not confined to the school premises.  Advice for school leaders to help with this problem and its affects on children acknowledges that it may also persist outside school, in the local community, on the journey to and from school and may continue into Further Education.

 

Cyberbullying

The increasing use of digital technology and the internet has also provided new and particularly intrusive ways for bullies to reach their victims.  We will ensure that our children are taught safe ways to use the internet (see our e-safety policy) and encourage good online behaviour.

Whilst most incidents of Cyberbullying occur outside school we will offer support and guidance to parents and their children who experience online bullying and will treat Cyberbullying the same way as any other forms of bullying.

Bullying can take place between:

  • young people
  • young people and staff
  • between staff
  • individuals or groups

 

Reporting and responding to bullying

Our school has clear and well publicized systems to report bullying for the whole school community (including staff, parents/carers, children and young people) this includes those who are the victims of bullying or have witnessed bullying behaviour (bystanders)

  • Children and young people in school including bystanders
  1. Report to Chill and Chat room or the SSC for support from students or staff
  2. Use the confidential bullying email address.
  3. Report concerns to their Tutor.
  4. Use the confidential phone line.
  5. Tell a friend who can report the incident to any member of staff for you.
  • Parents/carers
  1. Contact the Tutor
  2. Complete a Student Concern form on the FAB page of the school website.

 

Procedures

All reported incidents will be taken seriously and investigated, involving all parties.  The staff are aware of, and follow the same procedures:

See ‘Behaviour Protocols’(Appendix 1)

.

Recording bullying and evaluating the policy

Bullying incidents will be recorded by the member of staff who deals with the incident and this will be stored on a central bullying log and logged on SIMs.

See attached

  1. School Bullying Incident Form (Appendix 2)
  2. Anti- Bullying Review Sheet (Appendix 3)

The information stored will be used to ensure individual’s incidents are followed up.  It will also be used to identify trends and inform preventative work in school and development of the policy. 

This information will be presented to the governors as part of the Head’s Termly Report.

The policy will be reviewed and updated annually.

 

Strategies for preventing bullying

As part of our on going commitment to the safety and welfare of our students we at Selston High School have developed the following strategies to promote positive behaviour and discourage bullying behaviour

  1. Examples from the curriculum and wider school involvement

  • Prefect Peer Mentoring scheme.
  • Anti-Bullying week annually in November.
  • Drop down days for Anti-bullying week and on cyber bullying
  • Assemblies focussing on different aspects of bullying.
  • PSHE lessons across curriculum.
  • Specific curriculum input on areas of concern such as Cyberbullying and internet safety.
  • ICT user agreement
  • Student voice, school council.
  • Selston Pledge Award.
  • Termly Achievement Assemblies.
  • Annual Celebrity Achievement Evening.
  • Development of Student Leadership opportunities across the school.
  1. Reactive programmes for vulnerable groups or groups involved in bullying.  For example:
  • Restorative Justice.
  • Counselling and/or Mediation schemes.
  1. Support for all school staff
  • Staff training and development for all staff, including those involved in lunchtime and before and after school activities.

Useful organisations

 

Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA) - www.anti-bullying.org

Brings together more than 65 organisations with the aim of reducing bullying and creating safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Mencap www.mencap.org

Mencap is a learning disability charity that provides information and support to children and adults with a learning disability and to their families and carers.

Stonewall – www.stonewall.org.uk

The lesbian, gay and bisexual charity.

Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH)www.eachaction.org.uk

Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) is a charity and training agency helping people and organisations affected by homophobia.  The website gives guidance, contact details and a freephone helpline.

School's Out www.schools-out.org.uk

Beatbullying www.beatbullying.org.uk

Beatbullying is the leading bullying prevention charity in the UK and provides anti-bullying resources, information, advice and support for young people, parents and professionals affected by bullying.

Childnet International www.childnet-int.org

Childnet International - The UK's safer internet centre

 

References Documents and Related Policy/Guidance

National Documents

  • Preventing and tackling bullying DfE   October 2014
  • Safe to Learn- DCSF Guidelines
  • Embedding anti-bullying work in schools – DCSF-00656-2007
  • Homophobic bullying – DCSF – 00668-2007
  • Cyberbullying – DCSF – 00658-2007
  • Bullying Involving Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – DCSF 00372-2008
  • Cyberbullying - supporting school staff –Cyberbullying - A whole school community issue - www.education.gov.uk/publications