Through our daily school life at Mary’s Church of England Primary School we encourage our children to build respectful friendships and demonstrate compassion towards others. Through this we build a strong community spirit, as together we are a family. Our teaching and learning provides the children with the wisdom and endurance they need to expand their minds socially, morally and academically so allowing them to achieve and flourish and fulfil ‘Life in all its fullness.’ (John 10:10). We encourage our children to demonstrate and develop a dignity in their work and themselves which enables them to hope to aspire to be the best they can possibly be.
This policy is based on DfE guidance “Preventing and Tackling Bullying. Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies”, March 2014 and it is recommended that this guidances is read alongside this policy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing–and–tacklingbullying
Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 provides that maintained schools must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils.
Under the Children Act 1989 a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’. Where this is the case, the school staff should follow the school’s safeguarding procedures. Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue, schools may need to draw on a range of external services to support the pupil who is experiencing bullying, or to tackle any underlying issue which has contributed to a child engaging in bullying.
In line with the Equality Act 2010 it is essential that St Mary’s CE:
- Eliminates unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it;
- and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
We aim to
- Maintain an ethos of respect for all, which discourages bullying and unpleasant behaviour towards other pupils in this school.
- Treat any reports of bullying seriously and investigate them carefully.
- Deal with any incidents in a proactive and sensitive way to avoid increasing any distress felt by bullied pupils.
- Work closely with parents to help to deal with any incidents which arise.
- Develop an ethos where children to tell someone when they, or someone else, are bullied.
At St Mary’s CE we are committed to providing a warm, caring and safe environment for all our children so that they can learn and play in a relaxed and secure environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school.
There is no legal definition of bullying. However, it’s usually defined as behaviour that is:
- intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
- often aimed at certain groups, eg because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
Bullying can be:
- Emotional hurt
- Physical hurt
- Racial hurt
- Sexual hurt
- Homophobic hurt
- Verbal hurt
- Cyber bullying
Signs and symptoms which may be noticed
- Change of friendship groups
- Lack of friends
- Unwilling to go to school
- “Illness” at certain times of the day
- Change in standard of work
- Withdrawn/sudden lack of confidence
- Severe cases of depression
- Begins truanting
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- Problems sleeping or bed wetting
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.
When dealing with any problems we will use a variety of strategies which suit the situation and the children involved. These will include some of the following:
- Increase vigilance of all adults involved with the child/ren.
- Logging of all incidents of concern
- Adopt a no-blame approach to encourage all children to talk about events.
- Listen to children when they tell us about problems.
- Talk with parents of children involved and enlist their support when dealing with issues.
- Draw up a Pastoral Support Plan
- Where a child is being deliberately aggressive, remove them from the playground or classroom so that others can enjoy their break or lessons. Then gradually re-introduce the child to the playground or classroom, monitoring their progress carefully.
- Develop some clear behaviour modification strategies for the perpetrator (sanctions and rewards).
- Involve other children in supporting the child who feels threatened – buddy system or circle of friends.
- Use of the learning mentor/HLTA to discuss bullying and strategies for dealing with it (whole classes or groups and individuals).
- Deliver units of work on bullying in PSHE and the use of circle time throughout school to discuss issues and raise self-esteem.
- If necessary the imposition of fixed term exclusions for those who are bullying others.
Advice for parents
If you think your child is being bullied:
- Encourage your child to talk about it, but be patient as she or he may be distressed.
- Stay calm but show that you are supportive and working with the school to solve the problem.
- Avoid dwelling on sensitive issues and asking leading questions.
- Reassure your child that you are sympathetic and will do something about it.
- Explain that it happens to many people at some time or another.
- Try to help him or her to see the difficulty as a problem that can be solved. Ask your child if they can see ways of changing things.
Discuss your concerns with us in the following way;
- Firstly make an appointment to speak to you child’s teacher, at the meeting outline your concerns. Arrange to meet again in 24 to 48 hours so that the teacher can talk to the child/children involved and then let you know what he/she has found out and is proposing to do.
- If after a few more days you do not think the issue has been resolved, make an appointment to speak to one of our senior leaders. Explain your concerns; explain what actions have been taken so far and the issues that your child is still experiencing.
- The senior leader will look into it and report back to you within 24 to 48 hours. They will inform you of the outcomes of their investigations into the matter, these may include, but are not limited to;
- Sanctions and support for the perpetrator
- The involvement of parents of perpetrators and or victims
- Support for the victim in terms of strategies and reporting arrangements
- Whole class circle times and work around friendships
The following policies provide guidance on matters which may relate to bullying and should be read in conjunction with this policy;
- Safeguarding and Child Protection
- Complaints Policy
All serious incidents of unacceptable behaviour, including bullying, are reported to the SLT and parents will be contacted to come into school and discuss the incidents. All incidents of bullying are logged so that patterns can be identified.
Governors will be informed in part 2 of governing body meetings of any reported incidences of bullying and any incidents where fixed term exclusion has been imposed.
Supporting Organisations and Guidance
Racism and Hate