Earl Sterndale School Anti-Bullying Policy
At Earl Sterndale School we are very proud of the attitude our children have to one another. Almost without exception they are kind, thoughtful, considerate and friendly. However, there will be times when bullying may become an issue. Our aim is make it absolutely clear that bullying is wrong, will not be tolerated and is completely unacceptable. We aim to create a learning environment in which everyone feels safe, unthreatened and comfortable.
What is bullying?
Bullying can be defined as the systematic, repeating of words or actions over a period of time which are deliberately aimed at causing someone pain and distress. Bullying can be physical, emotional, sexual, racial, verbal or indirect eg by spreading rumours or nasty stories, exclusion etc. Bullying is always difficult for the victim to defend themselves against.
In any school environment it is inevitable that children will argue, disagree, call each other names or even fight. It is up to the staff to use their professional judgement to distinguish between bullying and ‘falling out’.
How can we prevent bullying?
We believe that everyone has the right come to school feeling safe from unkindness, threats and violence. Bullies need to know that their actions are unacceptable and victims need to know that there are things that they can to put a stop to it. This should be made clear to the children regularly throughout the year through assemblies, PSHE, incidentally etc.
Roles and Responsibilities
Governors – As well as developing, maintaining and approving policy, the Governors will support the staff in ensuring that bullying is dealt with appropriately. At times it may be necessary to become directly involved, particularly where parents are involved. In these cases, the Governors (usually the Chair) will keep accurate records of all incidents, respond within 10 days and report back to the Head teacher and Governing Body.
Head teacher – As well as ensuring policy is implemented and that all staff are aware of it and trained to use it, the Head teacher will make sure all children are aware of their responsibilities regarding bullying.
Teachers – The teachers will intervene where necessary to prevent ‘falling out’ escalating into bullying and keep records of any incidents that may arise. If bullying is reported or witnessed, they will do all they can to ensure the victim is supported and, if necessary, inform the Head teacher and parents. They will make sure the bully is reprimanded and made aware that bullying will not be tolerated. In serious cases parents, SENCO, Head teacher and even Social Services may be involved in resolving problems. Teachers will attend anti-bullying training if needed and will generate a climate of mutual trust and respect in the classroom.
Other staff – All our staff are involved in ensuring that our school is free of bullying. If bullying is reported or witnessed, all members of staff will work together to resolve it.
Parents – If parents are concerned that their child is the victim of bullying we would ask them to inform a member of staff as soon as possible so the problem can be dealt with quickly. We expect parents to support the anti-bullying policy and encourage their children to be as positive as they can in school. On the rare occasions that a parent is unhappy with the way bullying is dealt with by the staff, they should contact the Chair of Governors.
Children – Our pupils need to understand that bullying is not acceptable and that if they are victims of bullying, they must tell someone, preferably an adult. They must feel confident that they can share their fears and problems and be treated seriously and respectfully. They need to know that something will be done to improve the situation.
Any incidents of bullying should be dealt with in the following steps. It may not be necessary to follow all the steps in every case.
1) All cases of bullying should be reported to an adult in school.
2) If necessary the incident will be recorded by the adult receiving the report and the Head teacher informed.
3) The staff will investigate and try to resolve the incident, ensuring the victim feels happy about situation and the bully is made aware that action will not be tolerated and their behaviour must improve.
4) In serious cases it may be necessary to involve the parents of both the victim and the bully to bring about a solution.
5) Serious cases of bullying will be reported to the board of Governors.
In all instances, the victim must feel happy that the situation is resolved. The bully must takes steps and be helped to alter their behaviour. Reprimands or sanctions may be needed and the bully should always apologise for their behaviour.