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Anti-Bullying Policy

Date Accepted by Governors: Summer 2022         Review date: Summer 2025

 

Policy Statement

Bullying is not accepted at Ash Grange and children will be taught how to prevent and challenge any bullying behaviour.  All bullying is reported, investigated and dealt with in accordance with this policy.

 

AIMS

At Ash Grange we aim to:

  • Teach all children to recognise and challenge prejudice;

Provide opportunities for all children to develop life skills to become good citizens, including understanding the rights and responsibilities of themselves and others and the effects of anti-social behaviour in the wider community, this is included in PSHE LTP objectives.                   

  • Develop confidence, independence and responsibility in all children and to teach them to respect and value themselves and others.
  • Teach children the skills and attitudes to enable them to manage conflict justly and peaceably.
  • Provide opportunities to work together to develop social skills and the skills of co-operative learning.
  • Teach children

We would expect pupils to feel safe in school and on school related journeys, including that they understand the issues relating to safety and feel confident to seek support from school should they feel unsafe.  Bullying of any kind is unacceptable.

 

DEFINITION OF BULLYING

‘Bullying is ‘behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.’

Safe to learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools (DCSF, 2007)

Bullying differs from teasing/falling out between friends or other types of aggressive behaviour in that:

  • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate
  • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves
  • It is usually, but not always, persistently repeated over time

Sometimes an incident may be considered to be bullying even if it is not persistent or repeated, if it fulfils the other criteria of bullying.  This possibility should be considered particularly in cases of sexual, sexist, racist or homophobic bullying and when children with special educational needs are involved.  If the victim may be in danger then intervention is urgently required.

 

WHAT DOES BULLYING LOOK LIKE?

Bullying may be carried out by individuals or groups, and may take several forms:

  • Physical (eg hitting, kicking, spitting)

Verbal (eg name-calling, taunting, mocking, insulting, making offensive comments, culturally negative and religious persecution in any format.

  • Non-verbal (eg taking or damaging belongings, glaring, intimidating)
  • Relational (eg spreading rumours, excluding someone from social groups)
  • Cyberbullying (eg inappropriate text messages, phone calls and emails, sending offensive messages or images by phone or via the internet)
  • Acts (e.g. hurting or harming others) that individuals are persuaded to undertake, this includes radicalising or forcing others to hold or act on extreme views
  • Bullying related to special education needs or disabilities (eg name calling, mocking, insulting, making offensive comments – Written or spoken language
  • Bullying related to sexual orientation (e.g. homophobic language, mocking insulting –written or spoken
  • Bullying related to gender orientation (e.g. transgender/questioning, mocking, insulting, making offensive comments  – written or spoken language).
  • Sexist Bullying (e.g. name calling, taunting, mocking, insulting, making offensive comments – written or spoken language)
  • Racist Bullying – (e.g. racist comments, taunting, mocking – written or spoken 

    

Although bullying can occur between individuals it can often take place in the presence, virtually or physically, of others who become the ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’.

 

Bullying is often targeted in relation to a protected characteristic, as defined by the Equality Act 2010:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation

 

WHY ARE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE BULLIED?

Specific types of bullying include:

  • Bullying related to race, religion or culture
  • Bullying related to special educational needs or disabilities
  • Bullying related to appearance or health
  • Bullying related to sexual orientation
  • Bullying of young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances
  • Sexist or sexual bullying
  • Bullying due to a person’s personal beliefs
  • Bullying related to Safeguarding matters
  • Bullying related to Free School Meals
  • Bullying related to any vulnerable groups

 There is no hierarchy of bullying: all forms should be taken equally seriously and dealt with appropriately.

 

REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING

Our school has clear and well-publicised systems to report bullying for the whole school community (including staff, parents/carers, children and young people).  This includes those who are the victims of bullying and those who have witnessed bullying behaviour (bystanders).  All reports of bullying will be taken seriously and investigated promptly and recorded on CPOMS and Pupil Asset.

  1. In the first instance, bullying behaviour should be reported to the class teachers of the children involved so that a member of staff can investigate the claim.  If the claim is accurate it must be reported in writing to the Headteacher.
  2. Alternatively, a child may confide their concerns to a staff member or the School Councillor, who are then responsible for passing on the information to the child’s class teacher if further investigation is needed or directly to the Headteacher if the evidence is clear.
  3. Parents who are concerned that their child may be bullying, being bullied or have witnessed bullying should report it first to the child’s class teacher, who will then follow the procedures listed in step 1.
  4. Allegations of bullying by members of staff should be reported directly to the head teacher, or if the allegation involves the Headteacher, the Chairman of the Governors
  5. In response to any bullying, an opportunity will be created to educate children involved and wider school, e.g. Disability focused bullying = Workshops by Disability Awareness Group.

 

In responding to an allegation of bullying, all those concerned will be interviewed and parents will be kept informed of the process.  If it is established that bullying has taken place, the school’s behaviour management procedures will be followed (see Behaviour Policy).  Sanctions will be applied according to the level of harm done and may include:

  • Break-time/lunchtime detentions
  • Exclusion from some activities/areas of the school premises
  • Fixed term exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion

 

All those involved will participate in a solution-focussed process using restorative approaches.  This may include individual work to support the victim, the perpetrator or bystanders and may also result in referral to outside agencies.  There should be an opportunity for the perpetrator to make amends for their behaviour, e.g. a letter/picture of apology, poster to teach others, etc…

 

Parents of both victim and bully are informed at the end of investigations to be made aware of the incidents and of any future action.  If follow-up monitoring reveals the problem persists, a meeting will be arranged between the head teacher, class teacher(s) and parents of those involved

 

The Headteacher will keep a written record of allegations of bullying and their outcomes.  The information will be used to ensure individual incidents are followed up, to identify trends and to inform preventative work and policy revision.  This information will be presented to the governors as part of the annual report.

 

Involvement of Other Agencies

Outside agencies will be contacted for support as required, these include, but are not exclusive to:

CAMHS

Mental Health Teams

Doctors

Health

Young Carers

LA Teams

Charitable Groups

Disability Awareness

 

STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING BULLYING

The following strategies are in place to encourage empathy and mutual support and to prevent bullying from taking place:

  • Premises will be reviewed on an ongoing basis for any potential hot spots where bullying could occur. Instances of bullying are tracked on Pupil Asset by location, time and person to track “Hot Sopts” or vulnerable children.
  • Within the curriculum the school raises the awareness of the nature of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour through inclusion in PSHE & C, class circle times, assemblies and subject areas.
  • The school participates in Anti-Bullying week each autumn term and in Feeling Good Week in the summer term.
  • Year 6 School Councillors support children on a day-to-day basis.  Each week they hold a meeting in the class to explore specific school issues and to raise any concerns regarding behaviour.  Children have the opportunity to share any worries with the school councillor who will discuss the matter with the Year 6 teacher or Headteacher.
  • Day by day children’s talk and play is monitored as adults listen to ensure there is no enactment of bullying or use of dominating/bullying language, so all harm can be identified and to prevent harm
  • Special friends.  Year 2 are special friends to the new reception children during their first year at school.  They support them in play and provide a friend for them on the playground.
  • Mentoring projects: Specific targeted peering projects to support children’s self-esteem or behaviour.
  • Buddy Classes: Each class has a buddy class for weekly reading and activities to forge strong relationships and a support person around school.
  • Short term programmes: These involve targeted children in small group activities with school staff, focused upon their specific need e.g. anger management or self-esteem
  • Circle of Friends: When a group of children support a child who is having specific behaviour issue that can be helped from activities and the words of encouragement from the circle of friends on the playground or in the class.
  • Induction Buddy: When a child starts the school the teacher selects a class buddy to show them around the school and get them familiar with school systems.
  • Me time: Weekly 30 minute slot to explore and express own feelings and emotions through a variety of mediums.
  • Parents are kept informed about behaviour issues through contact about specific incidents and termly parent-teacher interviews.  The Surrey County Council leaflet on bullying for parents and carers is available at the school office.
  • Staff are kept updated about behaviour issues and anti-bullying procedures through school INSET and external courses when available.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Headteacher has overall responsibility for the policy and its implementation and for liaising with

the governing body, parents/carers, local authority and outside agencies.  The Headteacher appoints an

Anti-Bullying Leader who has general responsibility for handling the implementation of this policy. 

At Ash Grange the Anti-Bullying Leaders are Mrs Curtis and Mrs Cox.

The Full Governors are responsible for monitoring Anti-Bullying (Behaviour) and delegate this responsibility to specific governors to undertake as part of the governor monitoring cycle.

School provides annual Anti-Bullying CPD as part of School INSET Programme.

 

 

HOME/SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP

This policy is available to parents/carers so that they are informed of school practice.

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The teaching and learning provided at Ash Grange in no way discriminates against a child for their race, culture, gender, ability or religion.  The environment and curriculum reflect the rich multicultural and wide variety of abilities contained in the school, local community and wider world.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

The school has an established culture that promotes and enhances the positive mental health of the whole school community, recognising that healthy relationships underpin positive mental health and have a significant impact on learning, health and wellbeing. We champion the expectation that ‘mental health is the individual’s responsibility supported by the whole school community.’

 

Linked Policies

Behaviour Policy

Child Protection/Safeguarding Policy (including Prevent duty)

Policy Responding to Parental Concerns and Complaints

Teaching and Learning

PSHE

Computing

Safeguarding

 

NB.

All policies are created and reviewed from Government Guidelines and in consultation with children, staff, parents and Governors.  Reviews seek views of all stakeholders and respond to any issues/improvements raised by children and stakeholders.

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