At St. George’s we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
Bullying will not be tolerated. The school will seek ways to counter the effects of bullying that may occur within school or in the local community. The ethos of our school fosters high expectations of outstanding behaviour and we will challenge any behaviour that falls below this.
The aim of this policy is to work together to ensure that St. George’s is a safe place for children and adults to be, whether the school community is directly or indirectly affected by bullying or not.
At St. George’s we aim to:
- Prevent bullying
- Raise pupil’s awareness of bullying behaviour and the school’s anti-bullying policy.
- Challenge attitudes about bullying behaviour, increase understanding for bullied pupils and help build an anti-bullying ethos in the school.
- Improve the play facilities so that we provide an interesting and stimulating environment for pupils alongside quiet seating areas that can be easily supervised
What Is A Bully?
- Bullying both verbal and physical will not be tolerated in this school. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent it happening and this policy contains guidelines for all members of the school community.
- In our school children have a right to feel welcome, safe and happy. In our school we will not tolerate any unkind actions or remarks even if these were not intended to hurt.
- Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour that is repeated often over a period of time, making it difficult for the person concerned to defend himself or herself.
- Bullying can take many forms.
The main types of bullying are:-
- Physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings
- Verbal – name calling, insulting racist remarks
- Indirect – spreading unpleasant stories about someone, excluding someone from social groups
- E-Bullying – using the internet to target and bully
Although resolving conflict by resorting to fighting is not acceptable, it is not bullying if two pupils of equal power and strength fight or quarrel.
Reasons for being a bullied may be:
- New child in school
- Child with family crisis
- Timid children who may be on the edge or outside a group
Bullies make life miserable for many children.
Reasons for being a bully may be:
- Victim of violence
- Bullied at home
- Enjoyment of power/creating fear
- Not allowed to show feelings
- Copying behavior at home or on TV
- Insecure (coward at heart)
It occurs in children from all backgrounds, cultures, races, sexes, from Nursery to 6th Form and adults.
General statements about bullying:
- Boys often bully younger children of both sexes
- Girls often use verbal abuse and ostracize from peer group – usually to other girls
- Some victims are also bullies
- Some victims are treated as culprits
- Onlookers are condoning bullying and becoming part of bullying
Early signs of distress
- Deterioration of work
- Spurious illness
- Desire to remain with adults
- Erratic attendance
- General unhappiness/anxiety/fear
- Late arrivals
- Bed wetting
- Cry themselves to sleep
- Unexplained cuts, scratches, bruises
- Unexplained missing possessions
Framework for Anti-Bullying Campaign
Prevention is better than cure so at St. George’s CE Primary School we will:
- Be vigilant for signs of bullying.
- Always take reports of bullying seriously and investigate them thoroughly.
Children will be encouraged to report all incidents of bullying to an adult. These will then be referred to the class teacher.
Each class teacher should:
Use the curriculum to increase children’s’ awareness of bullying and to help them to develop strategies to combat it. Use discussion and role-play to explore issues related to bullying and to give individual children confidence to deal with ‘bullying’.
If the incident is not too serious, a ‘problem solving’ approach may help. The adult tries to remain neutral and deliberately avoids direct, closed questions, which might be perceived as accusatory or interrogational in style. He or she makes sure each pupil has an opportunity to talk and keeps the discussion focused on finding a solution and stopping the bullying from recurring. The teacher can aim to help the pupils find their own solution to the personal disagreement, and also discuss with them how their proposals will be put into action. A follow-up meeting with the pupils can find out whether their solution has been effective or not.
A record must be kept of the incident – date – time – place – names of children involved and their accounts of what happened. Older pupils may be able to write these themselves.
Serious incidents must be reported to the Headteacher or a member of the Senior Management Team.
Persistent bullies will have a fixed term exclusion imposed and, in very serious cases, will be expelled.
Duty staff should:
- Ensure pupils are supervised at playtimes and lunchtimes.
- Patrol secluded areas such as toilets, corridors, playsheds and doorways.
- Observe pupils’ play patterns and relationships – note children who appear isolated or unhappy and inform the class teacher.
- Investigate every allegation of bullying.
- Encourage children to use the play equipment and quiet areas around the School.
- Parents of both victim and bully will be informed and staff will undertake to give feedback to parents on the steps taken.
- Involvement of parents at an early stage is essential. The family of the bullied pupil may wish to involve the police in charging the bullying pupil(s) with assault. This is their right.
- If things have not gone well, the problems will be further analysed with the possibility of outside agency involvement – e.g. Behaviour Support Service. Parents will be kept informed at all stages.
- This policy should be seen as part of the school behaviour policy.
- It will be reviewed at least annually and in the light of any changing circumstances.
At St George’s we use a variety of methods for helping children to prevent bullying through class assemblies, SEAL and Go-Givers, Circle Time, PSCHE and Friendship Stop, E-Safety Day, Anti_Bullying Week and Worry Boxes.
The ethos and working philosophy of St George’s means that all staff actively encourage children to have respect for each other and for other people’s property. Good and kind/polite behaviour is regularly acknowledged and rewarded.
Staff will regularly discuss bullying, this will inform children that we are serious about dealing with bullying and leads to open conversations and increased confidence in children to want to discuss bullying.
Staff will reinforce expectations of behaviour as a regular discussion.
Staff must be careful not to highlight differences of children or an individual child, even if this is done in jest. This gives other children advocacy to use this difference to begin calling names or teasing.
Staff must be vigilant regarding groups of friends together. Groups/gangs bring about the imbalance of power and must be broken up from around the central bully.
Staff must reinforce a general message that children do not have to be friends with everyone else, but they must be respectful of everyone else’s feelings.
Children are involved in the prevention of bullying as and when appropriate, these may include:
- writing a set of school or class rules
- signing a behaviour contract
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- making up role-plays about what to do through scenarios of bullying
- having discussions about bullying and why it matters that bullies are dealt with quickly
If a child feels that they are being bullied then there are several procedures that they are encouraged to follow: (not hierarchical)
- Tell a friend
- Tell your School Council rep
- Tell a teacher or adult whom you feel you can trust
- Go to the Friendship stop
- Write your concern and post it in the ‘worry box’
- Tell a parent or adult at home whom you feel you can trust
- Discuss it as part of your Circle Time
- Ring Childline and follow the advice given
Recording of Bullying Incidents
When an incident of bullying has taken place, staff must be prepared to record and report each incident.
In the case of racist bullying, this must be reported to the Headteacher or a member of the Senior Management Team.
Confirmed cases of bullying must be recorded with the Headteacher.
All incidents of bullying will be discussed with all relevant staff and parents of the children involved, in order that everyone can be vigilant and that bullying may be prevented from happening in the future.
Incidents of bullying will be discussed with the Governing Body (Safeguarding Govs)
Advice to Parents
As the parent of a child whom you suspect is being bullied-
- Report bullying incidents to the class teacher
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff and the Headteacher notified.
- In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour.
- Attempt to sort the problem out yourself by speaking to the child whom you think may be the bully or by speaking to their parents.
- Encourage your child to be ‘a bully’ back.
Both of these will only make the problem much harder to solve.
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) 020 7354 8321
Children’s Legal Centre 0845 345 4345
KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10-4) 0845 1 205 204
Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Youth Access 020 8772 9900
Bullying Online www.bullying.co.uk
Anti-Bullying Alliance: anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
Family Lives: familylives.org.uk
The BIG Award: bullyinginterventiongroup.co.uk/index.php
PSHE Association: pshe-association.org.uk
Restorative Justice Council: restorativejustice.org.uk
The Diana Award: diana-award.org.uk
Victim Support: victimsupport.org.uk
Young Minds: youngminds.org.uk
Young Carers: youngcarers.net
The Restorative Justice Council: restorativejustice.org.uk/restorative-practice-schools
Race, religion and nationality
Sexual harassment and sexual bullying
Note: Additional links can be found in ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’ (July 2017) www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying