ANTI - BULLYING POLICY
The Isle of Man Education Act 2001 demands that every school has an Anti-Bullying Policy
When the Isle of Man Children’s Plan was created, the feed back from the focus groups of children interviewed when putting the plan together indicated that bullying, or the fear of bullying, was the biggest cause for concern amongst children in schools on the Isle of Man.
The School’s Articles of Governance demand that the head teacher, in consultation with the governing body, shall prepare and keep under regular review a written anti-bullying policy setting out the arrangements made by the school to prevent and follow up any incidences of bullying.
Our School Aims include the statements:
To offer children a happy, caring and nurturing environment.
To promote children’s health, fitness and well being.
We regard bullying as particularly serious and always take firm action against it.
We encourage children to work against it and to report any incidents of bullying.
Bullying can be physical, verbal or emotional by a single person or a group.
This policy will be implemented in conjunction with the following school policies:
Health and Safety Policy
School Improvement Plan
Equal Opportunities Policy
Definition of Bullying
Bullying refers to a range of harmful behaviour, either physical and psychological or both. All bullying behaviour usually has the following four features:
1. It is repetitive and persistent — though sometimes a single incident can have the precisely the same impact as persistent behaviour over time, for it can be experienced as part of a continuous pattern and can be extremely threatening and intimidating. This is particularly the case with racist bullying.
2. It is intentionally harmful — though occasionally the distress it causes is not consciously intended by all of those who are responsible.
3. It involves an imbalance of power, leaving someone feeling helpless to prevent it or put a stop to it.
4. It causes feelings of distress, fear, loneliness and lack of confidence in those who are at the receiving end.
· A large part of the motivation, for bullying, is to demonstrate power by creating fear and to gain a sense of being 'respected' by peers.
· It often happens that young people who engage in bullying have themselves been bullied in the past. Further, they may feel powerless in their current circumstances and are compensating for this by intimidating, or trying to intimidate, others.
· Bullying can be painfully obvious, but also can be surreptitious and subtle, and difficult to prove.
· Boys more often use direct physical bullying and threats of physical bullying, whereas exclusion from friendship groups is more common among girls. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in violence amongst girls.
· An individual can perpetrate bullying, one-on-one, or by a group on one individual or by a group on another group.
· Bystanders often show tacit acceptance or approval, and in consequence people at the receiving end see them as part of what they are up against.
· Bullying within a school is sometimes directly related to, and a consequence of, tensions and feuds within and between groups, families and communities in the local neighbourhood.
Bullying can take many forms, including name-calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive personal comments about individuals religious, ethnic, sexual characteristics or physical appearance; threatening, intimidating; creating situations in which someone is humiliated, or made to look ridiculous, or gets into trouble; playing tricks and pranks; spitting, kicking, hitting; pushing and jostling, and 'accidentally' bumping into someone; hiding, damaging or taking belongings; sending malicious text messages, emails and photographs; leaving people out of groups or games or social occasions; and spreading hurtful and untrue rumours. Several of these behaviours plainly involve the use of words. Several, however, equally plainly, may be non-verbal, involving body language, gesture and facial expression. Non-verbal behaviours can be just as hurtful and intimidating as those, which involve abusive language.
Falling out with people
A fight or quarrel between children of equal power or strength
Friends breaking up
Bossing others around
This policy has been shared with the school staff, the school governors and parents.
Parents are periodically updated about the school’s anti-bullying policy through newsletters and the School brochure and website.
Children are involved in considering how anti-bullying can be managed through their PSHE lessons, Circle Time, assemblies, particularly SEAL Assemblies. Our Playground Patrol volunteers promote positive play.
The aim of the policy is to prevent and deal with any behaviour defined as bullying, and to promote an ethos at Rushen Primary School where bullying is regarded as unacceptable. The actions detailed in this policy are designed to support school staff and pupils to create a safe and secure environment in which everyone is able to learn and work.
Responding to Bullying
The first and most important message we wish to instil in all children is that they must report incidences of bullying to an adult. Other children not subject to bullying but aware of it happening will be encouraged to report incidences to adults too.
The incident flow chart below describes the series of actions to be followed in our school.
This approach is a ‘problem solving’ approach. All serious incidents should be reported immediately to the Headteacher.
Sanctions can be applied in line with the principles set out in the Behaviour Policy.
A formal record of incidents will be kept in the school behaviour log (this is stored in the Curricular Resources Server). Less serious matters will be recorded by teachers as part of their class records.
Signs of Bullying
Signs to look for:
A change in behaviour or mood
Obvious signs of physical hurt or damage
Unwillingness to go to school or play outside
More clingy or more emotional than usual
Not sleeping very well
Eating noticeably less or more
Adopt a Positive Approach
The adult aims to remain neutral and deliberately avoids direct, closed questions that might be perceived as accusatory or interrogational in style. He or she makes sure each pupil has an opportunity to talk and keeps the discussion focused on finding a solution and stopping the bullying from recurring.
The teacher can aim to help the pupils find their own solution to the personal disagreement, and also discuss with them how their proposals will be put into action. A follow-up meeting with the pupils aims to find out whether their solution has been effective or not.
All staff should
Investigate every allegation of unhappiness from a child. It may be bullying.
• Ensure pupils are well supervised at playtimes and lunchtimes.
• Ensure that secluded areas such as toilets, corridors and doorways are observed as well as the playground.
• Observe pupils’ play patterns and relationships – note children who appear isolated or unhappy and inform the class teacher.
• Encourage children to use the play equipment and quiet areas around the school.
All staff should ensure that they feel confident in following the school’s approach and seek support from the Headteacher if required.
Parents are asked to be vigilant for any signs and symptoms of possible bullying exhibited by their child. In the event of any concerns or any reports from a child about bullying, parents are expected to contact the school immediately and speak to class teacher, or the Headteacher in the event of a serious incident.
The school will work together with parents to develop a programme that enables parents to feel confident about the safety of their child, provides guidance on how they can support their child at home and provides clear information about the actions to be taken by the school and how and when feedback will be provided.
In the case of repeated or serious bullying, parents of both victim and bully will be informed and staff will undertake to give feedback to parents on the steps taken and regular feedback on progress. Involvement of parents at an early stage is essential.
Children’s involvement in combating bullying.
As we regard bullying to be a serious matter, children are actively invited to contribute to the process of countering bullying behaviour.
Children are given opportunities and encouraged to speak up on behalf of other children who are experiencing bullying.
The curriculum will be used to increase children’s awareness of bullying and to support children in developing strategies to combat it. P4C and SEAL units deal with this issue. Discussion, role play activities and Circle Time will be used to explore issues related to bullying. These should be used to help all children develop the confidence to deal with bullying whether it happens to them or they observe it happening to someone else.
All confirmed incidents of bullying behaviour will be recorded. These records should be passed to the Headteacher who will ensure that an overview is kept of the frequency of bullying in the school and of all incidents involving individual or groups of children so that any patterns are identified.
This policy should be seen as part of the school behaviour policy.
It will be reviewed at least annually and in the light of any changing circumstances. The Senior Management team will review incidences of bullying termly and the Headteacher will report back to the Governors on this matter.
Evidence to support conclusions relating to how effective the school has been in dealing with bullying will be; scrutiny of the behaviour log, review of comments made by parents, staff and children relating to bullying.
A termly return will be sent to the Department of Education and Children detailing instances of bullying, who the bullies were what type of bullying it was emotional, physical, racist, sexual, homophobic or cyber bullying.
Review of the incidence log will also be conducted annually to ascertain whether policy is impacting on the number and severity of incidences.