Whitehouse Primary School is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe and supportive environment for all of our pupils so they can achieve and enjoy learning in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. We do not tolerate bullying of any kind at our school including cyberbullying and prejudice-based bullying. If bullying does occur, we want our pupils to be able to tell someone and and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
We expect anyone who knows that bullying is happening either to them or others, to tell staff, an anti-bullying ambassador or their parents. This is the most effective way to ensure that bullying is dealt with.
Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour that is repeated over a period of time which intentionally hurts another either physically or emotionally.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional being unfriendly, deliberately excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality (LGBTQ)
- Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing over a period of time
- Cyber all areas of internet such as email, threats by text messaging & calls misuse of associated technology such as cameras &video facilities
The school works hard to ensure that all children know the difference between bullying and simply “falling out”.
The aims of this policy are:
To ensure that all staff are committed to ensuring that children feel safe in school and believe that if they tell an adult about something it is sorted out
To ensure that all staff Model and encourage high standards of social behaviour
Do all we can to prevent bullying by developing a school ethos and culture in which bullying in any form is regarded as unacceptable.
To have a safe and secure environment where all pupils can learn without anxiety.
For us to have a supportive environment for both the victim and bully to change patterns of behaviour and attitudes towards others.
Objectives of this Policy
- That all governors, staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- That all governors and staff know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- That all pupils and parents know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- That as a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- To give parents and pupils a voice to let us know how they feel we deal with bullying if it arises.
Actions to tackle bullying
At Whitehouse Primary we are vigilant to sport the signs of bullying in order to take preventative action where possible. We use the curriculum to reinforce the ethos of the school and to help pupils develop strategies to combat bullying type behaviour. We work to understand why individuals become bullies and to support both the bully and the victim. Reasons for being a bully may be:
- being a victim of violence oneself
- feeling the need for power or creation of fear
- copying behaviour at home, by family members, peers or seen on TV or films
- expecting to have one’s own way
- reactions to a domestic upset or change
- a cry for help or attention
How we work to prevent and stop bullying
- Open door policy to promote approachable staff for pupils and parents to come and talk to.
- Daily positive messages of acceptable behaviour through school ethos, relationships and behaviour management policy
- The school building has been designed to limit the number of places bullying can take place e.g. no external doors on the cloakrooms, CCTV cameras covering the playground
- Employing a Learning Mentor for pupils to speak to and discuss their concerns
- We take part in anti – bullying week activities
- Anti – bullying displays and information about where children can get help
- Buddies help out each playtime, making sure no-one is left by themselves
- E-safety training for pupils throughout the year
- Classroom rules negotiated as a class and a home school agreement signed by pupils, parents and staff outlining expected behaviour
- Staff ongoing CPD
- Promptness of staff in classrooms and duties with an awareness of ‘hot spots’ for potential problems
- School Council involvement in the promotion of the anti-bullying message. Elections are held by pupils to appoint anti-bullying ambassadors
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- is frightened of walking to or from school
- doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
- begs to be driven to school
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what's wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated
- The appropriate adult will speak to all concerned about alleged bullying privately. Collect evidence (staff, other pupils, parents etc).
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
- Monitor problem and record on child protection sheet or parent concern sheet (if parents raises issue) with dates.
- Report bullying incident to Key stage manager or deputy head.
- Record on Child protection sheet or parent concern sheet (if parent raises the issue) with dates. (Copy given to Headteacher)
- If necessary the Head teacher and parents should be informed and involved and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem. Parents should be informed that bullying can lead to exclusion.
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour and support the victim. Parents will also be given advice and support.
- The bully (bullies) will be instructed to genuinely apologise.
- Other consequences may take place; working in a separate classroom, separate break and lunchtimes, exclusion from After School Clubs loss of other privileges.
- In serious cases fixed term internal or external will be considered
- If possible, the pupils will be reconciled.
- After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
Bullying outside of school premises
Teachers have a duty of care and the power to discipline pupils for misbehaving outside the school premises “to such an extent as is reasonable”. This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside the local shops, or in a town or village centre. Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on.
The Headteacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police or antisocial behaviour coordinator in their local authority of the action taken against a pupil. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.
In all cases of misbehaviour or bullying the teacher can only discipline the pupil on school premises or elsewhere when the pupil is under the lawful control of the staff member. More detailed advice on teachers’ powers to discipline, including their power to punish pupils for misbehaviour that occurs outside school, is included in ‘Behaviour and discipline in schools – advice for Headteacher and school staff’.
Signed ___________________ Headteacher
Signed ____________________ chair of governors
Signed ____________________school council representative
Useful reading and reference
- Guidance Preventing Bullying DFE 2014
- Guidance Behaviour and discipline in schools DFE 2014
- Schools’ duty to promote good behaviour: Section 89 Education and Inspections Act 2006 and Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010
- Power to tackle poor behaviour outside school
- The Equality Act 2010