Information & Policies
Published on - 22-07-2019
Anti-Bullying Policy and the School’s Response to Bullying
The policy has been reviewed and revised in light of a range of national documents:
- Using Technology & Teachers and Technology Checklist – childnet.com
- Cyberbullying: Advice for Headteachers and school staff – DfE November 2014
- Anti-Bullying Policy for Schools – kidscape.org.uk
- Anti-bullying Alliance, Key Stage 3 and 4 – anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
- Preventing and Tackling Bullying – DfE July 2017
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018
Objectives of the Policy
- To promote a culture where students treat each other with kindness and respect so that incidents of bullying are minimised
- To work to reduce the frequency, severity and likelihood of bullying incidents
- To develop and maintain confidence on the part of students and their parents/guardians that the School provides a safe and non-threatening environment and to provide an environment where students can enjoy, achieve and be healthy, both physically and emotionally
- To prevent, de-escalate and/or stop any continuation of harmful behaviour
- To react to bullying incidents in a reasonable, proportionate and consistent way
Definition - Bullying is defined as behaviour that is repeated, intended to hurt someone either physically an/or emotionally and often aimed at certain groups, for example because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. However, bullying can happen to any student, at any time, for any reason. Bullying takes many forms and can include: physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling and/or cyber bullying (e.g. by compute/mobile phone via email, social network sites and/or instant messenger services). Some categories of bullying include:
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g threatening gestures)
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, hurting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber – all areas of internet, such as e-mail, social network sites (for example: Instagram, Snapchat), internet chat room misuse, video uploading sites (for example: YouTube). Mobile threats by text messaging and calls. Misuse of associated technology i.e. camera and video facilities
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be the victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
NOTE - Swift, positive responses to bullying are vital to the ethos of the School and the feeling of well-being of the students. The enactment of the following policy is THE PRIORITY when staff witness, or have reported to them, acts of bullying.
This policy applies to all staff - teaching and support staff.
1. The School will promote, through work in tutor groups and lessons, an awareness of how to respond to bullying and awareness that bullying is unacceptable. Curriculum opportunities will be used, particularly in the tutor programme (Yr7 community lunch, MyWorld, Head of Year assemblies), and ELSA sessions as well as targeted intervention groups through our Hub.
2. The School will act as set out in 3 - 6 below in cases of bullying between its students. When instances of bullying are reported it is important that staff engage listening strategies, carry out fair investigations and follow up the reports.
3. Any member of staff (teaching or support) who witnesses an act of bullying or has an act of bullying reported to them will:
- In the case of a member of staff witnessing an act of bullying - intervene to secure the safety and well-being of the bullied party and report the incident to the victim’s Head of Year (or the SLT line manager when the Head of Year is absent from school)
- In the case of a member of staff having an incident of bullying reported to him/her by a student he/she will make a brief note of the incident and refer it – without delay – to the victim’s Head of Year (or the SLT line manager when the Head of Year is absent from school)
4. A tutor who witnesses an act of bullying or has one reported to him/her involving a member of his/her tutor group will:
- within two full working days, investigate the matter and, if satisfied that a student is responsible for bullying, give a clear warning (and record a SIMS behaviour entry) that all future instances of bullying must stop or serious consequences in line with the schools behaviour policy will follow (e.g. After School Reflections, Personal Reflection Room), and
- communicate to the parents/guardians of both the victim and the bully outlining the procedures taken and offering the parents/guardians the opportunity to discuss the incident, and
- report the incident to the Head of Year of both the victim and the perpetrator
- record the incident on CPOMS for the victim of bullying, ensuring a safeguarding log is kept up to date for all victims of bullying
5. When in receipt of a report of bullying a Head of Year will, within two working days:
- investigate the allegations of bullying and ascertain what actions have so far been taken and carry out those actions set out in ‘4’ above if not already done
- if judged appropriate, issue the bully with an appropriate sanction in line with the schools Behaviour Policy
- ensure the incident is entered in the perpetrators SIMS Behaviour Log
- ensure the incident is entered in CPOMS for the victim of bullying
- liaise with the Tutors of the bully and the victim, ensuring all relevant details are shared
- In addition the Head of Year may decide to report the incident to their SLT line manager to consider further action
- Contact the parents of the bully and victim
- Ensure relevant teaching staff are aware of the bullying, especially when it is likely that students involved in the bullying (perpetrator and victim) share lessons
6. When in receipt of a report of bullying from a Head of Year, a senior teacher will:
- ensure that the allegations of bullying are substantiated. The bully’s previous record with respect to bullying will be reviewed taking into account all previous entries and associated sanctions and, on the basis of this, further higher level sanctions may be applied in line with the schools behaviour policy
Responses to Bullying
- Disciplinary sanctions have three main purposes:
- To impress on the perpetrator that what he/she has done is unacceptable
- To deter him/her from repeating that behaviour.
- Signal to other students that the behaviour is unacceptable and deter them from doing it.
- Sanctions for bullying are intended to hold students who bully to account for their behaviour and ensure that they face up to the harm they have caused and learn from it.
- The consequences of bullying should reflect the seriousness of the incident. Emotional and psychological bullying is not less serious than physical bullying.
- In reviewing the sanctions the School will ensure that they address bullying behaviours in a way that does not lead to escalation but resolution.
- The School’s Hub has members of staff who are available for students who have experienced problems with other students. An effective strategy for dealing with bullying is for students to help themselves and to help others. Students are also encouraged to communicate with their Tutor, for support.
- The School’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are also available to support students that are victim of bullying. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (ABAs) are located in the #well-being square every lunch time for students to visit. The ABAs regularly promote their work during assemblies and this support measure is put in place for other students. ABAs are trained and are aware of how to report bullying incidents to members of staff.
- The use of restorative approaches is to ensure that the student causing harm is held to account for their behaviour. They will be used in conjunction with sanctions, as part of the reflection element of the School’s behaviour policy. The student should:
- Accept responsibility for the harm caused to the individual being bullied.
- Accept responsibility for the harm caused to others (e.g. friends or family)
- Recognise the need to take action to begin to repair the harm caused.
- Follow up – The bully may, when deemed appropriate, be placed on report which will be monitored by the Head of Year or Tutor. The progress being made whilst on report will be communicated regularly to all relevant parties, including Tutor, Head of Year and parents. Where it is deemed necessary, progress is insufficient or additional reports have been received/logged of bullying by the bully, whilst on report. The Head of House/Year will arrange for a meeting with parents to discuss and plan additional interventions. Where a meeting is necessary due to insufficient progress whilst on report, additional higher level sanctions may be issued, once reports have been investigated. The information from the follow up will be passed/communicate/discussed with the Head of House/Year’s Line Manager.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people can forward on content at a click.
The Education Act 2011 amended the power in the Education Act 1996 to provide that when an electronic device, such as a mobile phone, has been seized by a member of staff who has been formally authorised by the headteacher, that staff member can examine data or files, and delete these, where there is good reason to do so. This power applies to all schools and there is no need to have parental consent to search through a young person’s mobile phone.
If an electronic device that is prohibited by the school rules has been seized and the member of staff has reasonable ground to suspect that it contains evidence in relation to an offence, they must give the device to the police as soon as it is reasonably practicable. Material on the device that is suspected to be evidence relevant to an offence, or that is a pornographic image of a child or an extreme pornographic image, should not be deleted prior to giving the device to the police. If a staff member finds material that they do not suspect contains evidence in relation to an offence, they can decide whether it is appropriate to delete or retain the material as evidence of a breach of school discipline.
Where technology has been used to perpetrate the bullying, sanctions in line with the schools behaviour policy may be applied whether the cyber-bullying took place inside or outside of school. In addition, the school has the right to limit/disable a students internet access in school (for occasions when a school computer has been used to send emails of a bullying nature), restriction of bringing mobile phones to School, contact with service providers, reporting of criminal acts under the Protection of Harassment Act 1997, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Defamation Act 2013. In addition, staff have the right to seize and confiscate mobile phones when it is apparent that bullying has taken place using a mobile phone device.
The monitoring and review procedure for this policy is as follows:
Assistant Headteacher will:
- Each term survey a sample of students who have been reported as victims of bullying regarding their general perceptions about the School’s management of bullying to ascertain the effectiveness of measures taken and report their findings to the Headteacher
- Ensure induction of new staff and training is available for staff as appropriate
- Review the My World curriculum plan and its implementation
- Undertake a review of the policy every TWO years.
NB: In all cases when any member of staff is dealing with a student who has been reported for bullying they should be firm and calm. There is a well-established body of information that bullying is learned from observed behaviour. Little will be achieved by in effect bullying a bully by the use of aggressive accusative behaviour. The member of staff’s emphasis should always be on explaining that bullying behaviour is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated at Brighton Hill Community School. It is worth remembering that bullying can be unintentional with the perpetrator not realising he/she is causing distress. In such cases quiet concerned counselling for the perpetrator as well as the victim can be the most productive response.
This policy links to other policies such as Behaviour Management and Safeguarding.
Updated: July 2019
Review: July 2021