Michael School

Work hard, aim high, have fun!

Bullying & Anti-Bullying Policy

Introduction
Bullying occurs to a greater or lesser extent in all schools. Recent serious events have highlighted the effect which bullying may have on some young people. Although there is bullying outside the school, there is concern about the amount of bullying which takes place in schools. Bullying may affect a youngster’s attitude to school and may therefore have a detrimental effect on the victims’ attendance or school performance, which may result in the victims failing to achieve their potential.

Policy
All forms of bullying are unacceptable in school.
It is the responsibility of all members of staff, parents/guardians and pupils to take action against and discourage bullying.
Pupils should be encouraged to talk about, and report, instances of bullying to other pupils, teachers, their parents or family.
Reports of bullying will be investigated and acted upon as quickly as possible.

Definition
Bullying involves the hurtful abuse of power. It can take several forms and be of varying seriousness.

"Bullying is the willful, conscious desire to hurt, to threaten or to frighten someone else. To do this, the bully has to have some sort of power over the victim, a power not always recognisable to others. All bullying is aggression, whether physical, verbal or psychological. Any behaviour which is the illegitimate use of power in order to hurt others is bullying behaviour".

Types of Bullying

1. Verbal as in name-calling or disparaging personal comments.

2. Social as in being deliberately ignored, left out or shunned.

3. Materialistic as when extortion takes place or possessions are stolen.

4. Mental as when threats are involved, or teasing/taunting occurs or any other action which causes emotional distress.

5. Physical as when assault/violence occurs.

6. Cyber bullying as in the use of mobile phones and social network sites to cause distress

Seriousness of Bullying

This can depend on:
1. The effect on the victim of the bullying—either physically or emotionally.

2. The length of time over which the bullying has occurred.

3. The frequency of the bullying.

4. How personal, hurtful or spiteful the bullying is.

5. How deliberate and provocative the bullying is.

Prevention
Positive action needs to be taken to:
Raise the awareness of staff, parents/guardians and pupils, especially pupils who are new to the school, to the incidence of the various types of bullying in schools.
Promote the Message that all bullying is unacceptable.
Promote the Message that it is ‘Right to Tell’.

Anti-Bullying Code
Every pupil in Michael Primary School has the right not to be bullied.
Every pupil in Michael Primary School has the right to enjoy his/her learning and leisure free from intimidation, both in the School and in the surrounding community.
Our School Community will not tolerate any unkind actions or remarks, even if these were not intended to hurt.
Any unkind action or comment will be called bullying.
Reports of bullying will be dealt with seriously.

We are a ‘telling’ School—bullying is too important not to report.

Message

All members of the School Community must accept that bullying is serious, and that it can have some serious consequences:
For the victim of bullying:
in causing them distress
in affecting their enjoyment of life
in affecting their success in school subjects and sports

For the culprits:
as others will look upon them as ‘Bullies’
as they may be punished by their parents/guardians or teachers
as they may be excluded from school in serious cases

Excuses

Those involved in bullying behaviour often offer excuses like:
"We were just playing."
"It was just a carry-on."
"It was just a bit of fun."

Pupils must learn that excuses like these are totally unacceptable and that what they are doing is bullying.

Members of Teaching Staff
The members of staff play a central and essential role in the School’s campaign against Bullying.

They are the first point of contact for a victim of bullying.
They are the first point of contact in some cases for parents/guardians who notice something amiss
They provide counselling for both the victim of the bullying and the culprit.
They assess the seriousness of the bullying and refer serious cases to the Senior Management Team (SMT).
They should also be watchful at all times within their own classroom situations for signs of bullying.

General Guidelines/Procedures for Members of Teaching Staff

Minor Cases

Warnings:

1. Unofficial/not logged

2. Referral to SMT

Serious Cases

1. Referral to SMT
Parents/Guardians
All parents/guardians should look out for the signs of bullying. These could include:
Reluctance of pupil to go to school
Unexplained absences
Changes in behaviour (moodiness, unhappiness)
Giving up on interests or hobbies
Physical injuries

Action which parents/guardians can take if they think their child is bullied:
Gently question child about how they are doing at school, whether they are enjoying school, or have favourite subjects.
Contact a member of the SMT to discuss any worries or to alert the school about a possible problem.

Senior Management Team (SMT)
Action required of the SMT:

1. Play a leading role in promoting the School Policy against Bullying.

2. Investigate and take appropriate action on any reported cases of serious or persistent bullying.
This could involve:
Counselling the victim of bullying and the culprit
Involvement of the parents/guardians of both the victim of bullying and the culprit
Deciding on appropriate sanctions or punishment, including exclusion
Keeping a careful record of any incident of serious bullying and having a copy of this placed in the pupil files
Reporting the matter to the Police in very serious cases
Monitoring the success of the Anti-Bullying Policy

Pupils
1. Pupils should set a good example to younger pupils by:
Trying to ensure that they personally do not bully anyone else, even "in fun"
Not making comments which could cause distress
Helping to discourage others from bullying

2. When they see or hear bullying, pupils could:
Comment that it is bullying and that bullying is wrong
Say that the person doing the bullying should be ashamed
Say that the bullying behaviour will be reported
Say that the person bullying will be in trouble if the teachers or parents find out

3. Pupils who are bullied should:
Talk to other people about it (pupils, teachers, parents or other adults)
Not feel guilty about being bullied—it is not their fault
Not feel guilty about reporting it—they may be preventing other pupils from being bullied by the same person

4. Pupils who realise that they have been bullying someone should:
Stop the bullying immediately
Discourage others who have been involved in the bullying
Resolve not to become involved in bullying again
Reassure the victim of bullying that the bullying has stopped
Ask for help if they find that they cannot stop bullying

Reviewed: October 2016
Next review October 2017

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