Anti Bullying Policy

Anti Bullying Policy

  1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde Primary School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
  1. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
  • A positive school culture and climate which:
  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  • promote respectful relationships across the school community ( see table A)
  • Effective leadership
  • A school wide-approach
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:
  • Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
  • Explicitly address the issues of cyber bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying;
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Supports for staff
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy
  1. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • Cyber- bullying and
  • Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

 

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

 

  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying which is (are) as follows ( see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
  • All class teachers
  • Deputy Principal
  • Principal
  1. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

Education:

  • RSE programme
  • Walk Tall programme
  • Age- appropriate material on cyber bullying
  • Friendship week
  • Extra-curricular activities (develop sense of self-worth)
  • SPHE eg Growing Up LGBT
  • Curriculum: Drama, English, Art etc

Prevention

  • Education on online safety
  • Development of anti bullying code to be displayed around the school eg Think before you click, web wise Primary Teachers’ resources
  • Concerns box in classroom
  • Display of anti bullying posters, display of messages of respect around the school
  • Fostering an inclusive and harmonious environment

 

  1. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools)
  • Establishment if it is an incident of bullying
  • Investigate all reports outside the classroom
  • Reassure the pupils that reporting incidents of bullying is not telling tales and that they are acting in a responsible manner
  • Interview children individually and write down what they report
  • Interview children as a group
  • Those involved write down their thoughts on the matter.
  • If it has been determined that bullying has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them on the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy)
  • The relevant teacher will speak to the child engaging in bullying behaviour, making clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the child being bullied
  • It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil, the parents and the school
  • Follow up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
  • In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying has not been adequately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded using Appendix 3 and the Principal must be informed
  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately dealt with the relevant teacher must take into account: (a) whether the bullying has ceased, (b) whether the relationship between the parties has been restored as far as is practicable, and (c) any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal
  • Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred to the school’s complaints procedures
  • In the event that a parent exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children

 

  1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
  • Buddy/ peer mentoring system
  • Development of the children’s self esteem
  • Group work such as circle time
  • Counselling where appropriate

 

  1. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

  1. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

 

  1. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ____________ .

 

  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

 

  1. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

 

Signed: ____________________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)

 

Signed: ____________________________________

(Principal)

 

 

Table A: Key Elements of a positive school culture and climate

 

Area of Focus Y/N Comment
The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment.
The school acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and his/her worth as a human being
The school promote positive habits of self respect, self-discipline and responsibility among all its members
The school prohibits vulgar, offensive, sectarian or other aggressive behaviour or language by any of its members
The school has a clear commitment to promoting equity in general and gender equity in particular in all aspects of its functioning
The school has the capacity to change in response to pupil’s needs
The school identifies aspects of the curriculum through which positive and lasting influences can be exerted towards forming pupils’ attitudes and values
The school takes particular care of ‘at risk’ pupils and uses its monitoring systems to facilitate early intervention where necessary and it responds to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner
The school recognises the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships on a school wide basis
The school recognises the role of parents in equipping the pupil with a range of life skills
The school promotes habits of mutual respect, courtesy and an awareness of the interdependence of people in groups and communities
The school promotes qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding among all its members both in school and out of school
Staff members share a collegiate responsibility, under the direction of the Principal, to act in preventing bullying/ aggressive behaviour by any member of the school community

 

Appendix 2 Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routine.
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.
  • Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for bullying in the school.
  • Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.
  • Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classroom.
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils.

 

 

Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour

  1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

 

Name _________________________________________Class__________________

 

  1. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))* 4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned Playground
Other Pupil Classroom
Parent Corridor
Teacher Toilets
Other School Bus
Other
  1. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
 

 

 

  1. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
Physical Aggression Cyber-bullying
Damage to Property Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (specify)

 

  1. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:
Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)

 

 

  1. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of actions taken
 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________

* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.

 

Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list.  In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

Yes /No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?

 

Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?

 

Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?

 

Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?

 

Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

 

 

Signed _____________________________________                              Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed _____________________________________                  Date ________________

Principal

 

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy

 

 To: _____________________________________

 

The Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde Primary School wishes to inform you that:

 

  • The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of

 

  • This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

 

Signed _____________________________________                              Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed _____________________________________                       Date ________________

Principal