It is a Government requirement that all schools have an anti-bullying policy and has been so since 1999. Initially, an anti-bullying project was funded by the then Department for Education from 1991-1994. A major outcome was the publication – Don’t Suffer in Silence: An anti-bullying pack for schools.
This policy complies with the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000.
Yew Tree Community School defines bullying as actions that are meant to be hurtful and which happen on a regular basis. Bullying can be direct (either physical or verbal) or indirect (for example, being ignored or not spoken to). Bullying is a serious matter and will not be taken lightly at the school. 2 Aims and objectives
Bullying is wrong and damages individuals. We, therefore, do all we can to prevent it by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We aim as a school, to produce a safe and secure environment where everyone can come to school without anxiety and measures are in place to reduce the likelihood of bullying.
This policy aims to produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that occur at or outside of school.
We aim to make all those connected with Yew Tree Community School aware of our opposition to bullying and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying.
2. The role of the Governing Body
The Governing Body supports the Head Teacher in all attempts to eliminate bullying from the school. The Governing Body will not condone any form of bullying in the school and any incidents of bullying that do occur will be taken very seriously. This will be dealt with appropriately by a member of the leadership team (Head Teacher, or one of the Assistant Headteachers).
The Governing Body monitors incidents of bullying that do occur and reviews the effectiveness of this policy regularly. The governors require the Head Teacher to keep accurate records of all incidents of bullying and to report to the Governors, about the effectiveness of the school’s anti-bullying policy and strategies. The AHT responsible meets with the Equalities governor at least twice a year.
A parent, who is dissatisfied with the way the school has dealt with a bullying issue, should follow the school’s complaint procedure.
3 What is Bullying?
The following was taken from the Dfes publication: Bullying - Don’t Suffer in Silence: an anti-bullying pack for schools. For further information with regards to the above types of bullying, please refer to the named documentation which can be found by a web search or click on the following link:
4 The role of the Head Teacher
It is the responsibility of the Head Teacher to implement the school’s policy on anti-bullying and to ensure that all the staff (both teaching and non-teaching) are aware of the school’s policy and know how to identify and deal with incidents of bullying. The Head Teacher reports to the Governing Body about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy on request.
The Head Teacher ensures that everyone knows and understands that bullying is wrong and that this type of behaviour is not tolerated at the school. The Head Teacher reminds individuals as and when this is required. For example, if an incident occurs, the Head Teacher may decide to use an assembly as the forum in which to discuss with others why this behaviour is wrong and why an individual is being punished.
The Head Teacher ensures that all staff, including the lunchtime supervisors, receives sufficient training to be equipped to identify and deal with incidents of bullying with regards to pupils.
The Head Teacher sets the school climate of mutual support and praise for success, therefore making bullying less likely throughout the school. When a person feels important and belongs to a friendly and welcoming school, bullying far less likely to be part of their behaviour.
5 The role of the Assistant Head with responsibility for Behaviour and Learning Mentors
The Assistant Head with responsibility for Behaviour, supported by the learning mentors, will support the Head Teacher in all aspects of implementing the schools anti-bullying policy throughout the school including training for other staff. The Assistant Head will record all incidents of bullying and refer these, where necessary, to the Head Teacher.
The Assistant will report regularly to the Head Teacher on incidents regarding bullying and the effectiveness of the school policy and strategies used to reduce bullying at Yew Tree School.
The Assistant Head will write an annual report to the Head Teacher and Governors with regards to any incidents that have taken place, the nature of those incidents and how they have been dealt with.
6 The role of the Teacher and Support Staff
All staff in our school take all forms of bullying seriously and seek to prevent it taking place If teachers witness an incident of bullying they will initially investigate it themselves and refer it to their Year Group Leader who, if necessary, will pass it on to the Assistant Head. Teachers and support staff do all they can to support the child who is being bullied. The mentors will monitor the child who is being bullied and the child who is doing the bullying.
When an incident of bullying occurs the member of staff present will deal with the issue immediately. This may involve counselling and support for the victim of the bullying and sanctions for the child who has carried out the bullying. Time is spent talking to the child who has bullied explaining why his/her actions were wrong and the child is encouraged to change his/her behaviour in the future. The Assistant will be informed as soon as possible (or another member of the SLT if the Assistant Head is unavailable) and the incident will be recorded as a Bullying Incident on the CPOMS incident recording system. If the incident is deemed to be extremely serious then the Head Teacher will be informed and the child will be seen immediately. The bullied child will be encouraged to inform school staff immediately if the bully repeats the intimidation. A periodic check on all parties involved will be made to give confidence to the victim. Other children may be informed of the incident and the unacceptability of what has happened. A follow up in the subsequent half term takes place between the Assistant Headteacher, the perpetrator and the victims to ensure that no further incidents have taken place.
If a child is repeatedly involved in bullying others, the above procedure is followed and the child’s parents will be informed. The parents will be invited into school to discuss the situation and an individual action plan will be set up. Sanctions will be imposed to help change the behaviour of the bully and in extreme cases, outside agencies will be called upon to help the support the school, the parents and above all the child, e.g. the educational psychologist or Behaviour Support Services (BSS). In serious cases, this may involve a fixed period of exclusion. All members of staff attend training, which equips them to identify bullying and to follow school policy and procedures with regard to behaviour management.
Staff use a range of methods to help prevent bullying and to establish a climate of trust and respect for all. The issue is explicitly addressed through the curriculum in PSHE and Collective Worship sessions. They use drama, role-play, stories etc, within the curriculum to help pupils understand the feelings of bullied children and to practise the restraint required to avoid bullying behaviour. The ‘Passport to Success’ is used to praise, reward and celebrate the success of all children and thus help create a positive environment. The school rules, which are prominently displayed around school and frequently referred to with the children reinforce the messages of caring, respecting and keeping ourselves and others safe. A comprehensive range of E-safety lessons, which tackle issues such as Cyberbullying, is taught throughout all year groups on a half termly basis.
7 The role of the Parents
Parents who are concerned that their child might be being bullied, or suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying, should contact their child’s class teacher immediately. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should contact the Assistant Headteacher or another member of the SLT. If they remain dissatisfied, they should follow the school’s complaint procedure, as detailed in the school’s prospectus.
Parents have the responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy, actively encouraging their child to be a positive member of the school community.
E-safety workshops are available for parents to help them tackle issues of cyber-bullying outside of school.
8 The role of the Pupils
Pupils are encouraged to tell anybody they trust if they are being bullied and if the bullying continues they must keep on letting people know.
Pupils are encouraged to tell anybody they trust if they know another child is being bullied and if it continues they must keep on letting people know.
Pupils are invited to tell us their views about a range of school issues, including bullying, in the annual pupil questionnaire and through their School Councillors.
9 Monitoring and Reviewing
This policy is regularly monitored by the Head Teacher and Assistant Headteacher, who reports to Governors, about the effectiveness of the policy.
This anti-bullying policy is the Governor’s responsibility and they review its effectiveness annually. They do this by examining the anti-bullying reports submitted by the Assistant Headteacher and by discussion with the Head Teacher. Governors analyse information for patterns of people, places or groups where bullying is an issue. They look out for, in particular, racist bullying, homophobic and bullying directed at children with disabilities or children with special educational needs.