The Development of an Anti Bullying Policy

The creation of an Anti Bullying policy needs to be as democratic as possible, allowing all the various shades of opinion to be actively listened to and taken seriously. Individuals can only take ownership of the policy if this occurs. The reviewing of the policy should be an ongoing process that allows for rethinking and rewriting as appropriate. Such policies and practices should be dynamic and respond to the changing needs and circumstances of the school and the community. For this policy and practice to be successful it is vital that training be provided for all staff and governors and the curriculum support pupils in their understanding and implementation of the policy. Resources need to be made available for effective training, monitoring and evaluation.

An anti bullying policy can only work effectively in conjugation with a similarly created equal opportunities policy. There is a model Equal Opportunities Policy on the School’s Out! website

Model Policy Review Guide (Word Doc)

Acknowledgements to:
School’s Out!
Department for Education and Skills: Don’t Suffer in Silence (2001) www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying
Walworth School
Wanstead High School Redbridge
The Metropolitan Police – Identifying and Combating Hate Crime

SCHOOLS OUT! AND CHRYSALIS
Model Anti-Bullying Policy

This school will not tolerate the bullying of any member of the school community. The school community consists of pupils, parents/guardians/carers, governors and all staff. We will actively support all victims of bullying and take appropriate action with the perpetrators. This work will be pursued through the pastoral and academic curriculum, as well as through the reporting and disciplinary procedures created to deal with all such incidents. All perpetrators will incur sanctions, up to and including exclusion, relative to the seriousness of their behaviour.


This policy is part of the Equal Opportunity policy.

Definitions

What is bullying?

Bullying is any incident perceived by the victim or anyone else as bullying.

This definition is designed to ensure that the school takes full account not only of what the victim says, but also the perceptions of those who have witnessed the incident, reported it or are aware of the circumstances.
This means that if any person feels that an incident is motivated by bullying then it should be recorded as such and as with all incidents properly investigated.

Bullying affects all members of the school community


What does bullying look like, feel like, sound like?

In the main it consists of:

Physical – hitting, kicking, pinching, sexual assault, extortion, stealing, hiding belongings;

Verbal – name calling, mockery, insulting, making offensive remarks, sexual innuendo, threatening; and

Indirect – spreading unpleasant stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, graffiti, defacing of property, display of pornographic, classist, disabilist, homophobic, racist or sexist material.


Who bullies?

Anyone has the capacity to bully. There are no completely reliable predispositional diagnoses. However those who perceive themselves as low status within a community, institution or group may use bullying in an attempt to artificially boost their status. Self esteem is therefore a key factor in whether someone bullies or not. This puts equal opportunities and inclusion at the centre of all anti-bullying work in schools.

Who is bullied?

Anyone can be bullied – pupil, parent/carer/guardian or staff member. People who suffer bullying are often perceived by others to be different. Sometimes the perceived difference is individual to that person – shyness, physical appearance, clothing and possessions, accent, perceived inappropriate behaviour.

Frequently the perceived difference comes from assigning an individual to a group. Such bullying would then be designated as classist, disabilist, homophobic, racist and religious, or sexist.

People can be assigned or be a member of more than one group.

What is classist bullying?

In classist bullying, a person is targeted for representing a perceived class or socio-economic group. This not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same group.

Incidents may include:

· verbal abuse by name-calling, offensive mimicry
· physical threats or attacks
· defacing of property
· graffiti
· inciting others to behave in a classist way
· mocking clothing and belongings
· refusing to co-operate in work and play (refusing to sit next to someone).


What is disabilist bullying?

People with Special Educational Needs or disabled people may be less able or more reluctant to articulate experiences as well as others. However, they are often at greater risk of being bullied, both directly and indirectly, and usually about their specific difficulties or disability.

Incidents may include:

· verbal abuse by name-calling, offensive mimicry
· physical threats or attacks
· defacing of property
· graffiti
· inciting others to behave in a disabilist way
· mockery of specific difficulty or disability
· mockery of person’s contributions to work
· refusing to co-operate in work and play (refusing to sit next to someone).

What is homophobic bullying?

In homophobic bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (trans) person. People do not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans to suffer homophobic bullying. This bullying not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same group. It may be based on gender stereotyping.

Incidents may include:

· verbal abuse by name-calling, offensive mimicry
· physical threats or attacks
· mockery of subject and career choice
· defacing of property
· graffiti
· inciting others to behave in a homophobic way
· mockery of a person’s demeanour or way of speaking
· mockery of person’s contributions to work
· refusing to co-operate in work and play (refusing to sit next to someone).

What is racist and religious bullying?

In racist and religious bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as being a member of a different ethnic, cultural or religious, group. People do not have to be of that group to suffer racist and religious bullying. This bullying not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same or similar group. Inappropriate assumptions maybe made about some one’s religion or belief because of their ethnic origin.
Incidents may include:

· verbal abuse by name-calling, offensive mimicry
· pretending not to understand/using gibberish
· physical threats or attacks
· mockery of physical appearance
· wearing of provocative badges or insignia
· having racist leaflets, comics or magazines
· defacing of property
· graffiti
· inciting others to behave in a racist way
· mockery of a person’s demeanour or way of speaking
· mockery of person’s contributions to work
· refusing to co-operate in work and play (refusing to sit next to someone)
· mockery of dress, religious observance, dietary habits
· mockery of country of origin.

 

What is sexist bullying?

In sexist bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as being a member of a particular gender. This bullying impacts on the individual person and on all men and women.

Incidents may include:

· verbal abuse by name-calling, offensive mimicry
· physical threats or attacks
· inappropriate and uninvited touching
· sexual assault
· display of pornographic material
· mockery of physical appearance
· wearing of provocative badges or insignia
· having sexist leaflets, comics or magazines
· sexual innuendo
· defacing of property
· graffiti
· inciting others to behave in sexist way
· mockery of a person’s demeanour or way of speaking
· mockery of person’s contributions to work
· refusing to co-operate in work and play (refusing to sit next to someone)
· mockery of clothing
· mockery of subject and career choice.

Whilst all the above constitute some manifestations of bullying, it should be remembered that an incident of bullying is anything that the victim or anyone else perceives to be such an incident.

Prevention

Children’s behaviour is affected by the behaviour of the adults around them. Therefore we expect adults in the school community to model respectful and courteous behaviour.

It is now a legal requirement to have an anti bullying policy.
In the promotion of the school’s anti-bullying work all pastoral and academic curriculum areas and all school staff will reflect the school’s equal opportunities policy and practice in all their work

The school will develop partnerships with outside agencies such as the local education authority, local voluntary groups, theatre in education projects, victim support and the police where appropriate, both to inform pupils, staff and parents/carers/guardians of the issues and to give them support.

All areas of the school including toilets and playgrounds will be appropriately supervised.

Assemblies, the school environment and displayed material will consistently reinforce the equal opportunity and anti bullying policies.

Expectations of the School Community.


The school accepts that:

-every member of the school community has the right to feel comfortable, safe, secure, equally valued and respected;

-every member of the school community has the right to grow and change, free from prejudice, stereotyping, harassment and negative discrimination;

-every pupil in the school community has the right to equal access to a curriculum that meets their needs;

-learning is the entitlement and responsibility of every member of the school community;

-every member of the school community has the right to object to and/or reject language or behaviour, which is offensive and/or intimidating,

-every member of the school community has the responsibility to treat others with respect;

-it is the responsibility of every member of the school community to address and/or report all incidents of bullying.

Action

All members of the school community will be alert to the possibility of breaches of the policy and take appropriate action. Pupils who identify that the policy is not being followed will alert an adult they trust. This may be their Form Tutor or Head of Year. The person who receives a report from a pupil will take it extremely seriously and be seen to be doing so.


Staff have a particular responsibility in addressing all forms of bullying. A failure to do so will be perceived as collusion.
All allegations of breaches of the policy will be investigated thoroughly and sensitively. If a teacher is unsure how to deal with the incident, he or she will seek advice from more senior staff.

Bullying can be a crime, we may therefore choose to 9nvolve the police where appropriate.

Incidents and allegations will be investigated and the outcome recorded on the appropriate form. Feedback will always be provided to individuals who have made the allegations or complaint.

All incidents of bullying will be recorded and their frequency and type monitored. This information will be used to inform the development of the school’s anti-bullying work.

Parents/carers/guardians are very important to the school and in particular they have much to contribute to our anti-bullying work. As part of the home/school contract all parents/carers/guardians will be asked to commit themselves to this policy.

The school, in return, commits itself to investigate any allegations of any form of bullying from parents/carers/guardians promptly and to feedback back the outcome of such investigations. All incidents reported by parents/carers/guardians will be recorded.

The school will also discuss with parents/carers/guardians any incidents of bullying in which their child has been involved, either as victim or perpetrator.

Parents/carers/guardians, pupils and all staff will be given clear procedures on how to report incidents.

The school will provide training to all staff on how to recognise and deal with bullying.
We recognise that this must be done in a consistent and transparent manner.


Web Link

http://www.schools-out.org.uk/policy/docs/AntiBullying.doc

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