Anti-Bullying Policy

Perry Court E-ACT Academy - Anti-Bullying Policy


Department Owner

Operations (National)

Section Owner

Education (National Behaviour Lead)

Approver

Education & Personnel Committee

Date Approved

July 2016

Review Date

July 2018

Status

This policy must apply to all E-ACT academies. The Head Teacher is responsible for ensuring that all academy specific information is completed (as highlighted).

 


Policy statement

1.1  Scope:  This policy applies to all pupils and staff at the Academy irrespective of their age and whether or not a pupil is in the care of the Academy when / if Bullying behaviour occurs. 

1.2  Publication: This policy is provided to all staff in the staff handbook and is also available on request in the Academy office.  In addition, the policy is published on the Academy's website.  This policy can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required.

1.3  Government guidance:  This policy has been drawn up with assistance from guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) Preventing and tackling bullying and will be reviewed against any new government guidance issued from time to time.

1.4  Equality:  This policy takes account of the Academy's public sector equality duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2011.

1.5  Policy aims:  Through the operation of this policy we aim:

·                  to maintain and drive a positive and supportive culture among all pupils and staff throughout the Academy; and

·                  to deter Bullying behaviour, detect it when it occurs, and deal with it by counselling and / or disciplinary sanctions and, if necessary, by permanent exclusion.

1.6  Bullying behaviour is always unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the Academy because:

·                  it is harmful to the person who is bullied, and to those who engage in Bullying behaviour, and those who support them, and can in some cases lead to lasting psychological damage and even suicide

·                  it interferes with a pupil's right to enjoy his / her learning and leisure time free from intimidation; and

·                  it is contrary to all our aims and values, our internal culture and the reputation of the Academy.

 

1.7  This policy will also apply to Bullying behaviour outside of the Academy of which the Academy becomes aware.

2       Bullying behaviour

2.1  Meaning:  Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying may be:

·                  Physical:  Hitting, kicking, pushing people around, spitting; or taking, damaging or hiding possessions

·                  Verbal:  Name-calling, taunting, teasing, insulting or demanding money

·                  Exclusionary behaviour:  Intimidating, isolating or excluding a person from a group

·                  General unkindness:  Spreading rumours or writing unkind notes, phone texts or emails; or

·                  Cyberbullying:  Using the internet, mobile telephones, social networking sites (such as Facebook and Bebo) etc deliberately to upset someone else (see section 2.2 below).

 

Bullying may also be:

·                  sexual - talking to or touching someone in a sexually inappropriate way

·                  sexist - related to a person's gender or gender reassignment

·                  racist, or regarding someone's religion or culture

·                  related to a person's sexual orientation (homophobic)

·                  related to pregnancy or maternity

·                  related to a person's home circumstances; or

·                  related to a person's disability, special educational needs, learning difficulties, health or appearance.

 

2.2  Cyberbullying:  The Academy has a separate policy which deals with "cyberbullying" see acceptable use policy.  Cyberbullying is the use of information and communications technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else. 

2.3  Intention:  Not all Bullying is deliberate or intended to hurt.  Some individuals may see their hurtful conduct as "teasing" or "a game" or "for the good of" the other person.  These forms of Bullying are equally unacceptable but may not be malicious and can often be corrected quickly with advice and without disciplinary sanctions.  A bully who does not respond appropriately to advice or sanctions would ultimately be permanently excluded from the Academy. 

2.4  Responsibility:  It is everyone's responsibility to ensure, whatever the circumstances, that no-one becomes a victim of Bullying.  A person may be vulnerable to Bullying because of his / her age, physical appearance, nationality, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, culture or disability, or because  he / she  is new in the Academy, appears to be uncertain or has no friends.  He / she may also become a target because of an irrational decision by a bully.

2.5  Legal aspects:  A person who makes a physical or sexual assault on another, or who steals or causes damage to the property of another, commits a criminal offence and also a civil wrong known as a "tort" for which there can be legal consequences outside the Academy.  Bullying behaviour may also be regarded as threatening behaviour or harassment which can be either a criminal offence or a civil wrong.  Misuse of electronic communications could also be a criminal offence, for example it is an offence to send an electronic communication (such as a text message or email) to another person with the intent to cause distress or anxiety.

3       Anti-bullying culture

3.1  Ethos:  Our expectation of all members of the Academy community is that:

·                  everyone will uphold the rules which are posted around the Academy

·                  a pupil or a member of staff who witnesses or hears of an incident of bullying will report it

·                  a complaint of bullying will always be taken seriously; and

·                  no one will tolerate unkind actions or remarks or stand by when someone else is being bullied.

 

3.2  Equal opportunities:  In the Academy and in every year group:

·                  discriminatory words and behaviour are treated as unacceptable

·                  positive attitudes are fostered towards people who are disabled and towards ethnic, cultural and linguistic groups within and outside the Academy; and

·                  positive attitudes are fostered towards both sexes through the curriculum and tutorials.

3.3  Staff:  Through their training and experience, members of staff are expected to promote an anti-bullying culture by:

·                  celebrating achievement

·                  anticipating problems and providing support

·                  disciplining fairly, consistently and reasonably, taking into account any special educational needs or disabilities of the pupil and the needs of vulnerable pupils

·                  making opportunities to listen to pupils and

·                  acting as advocates of pupils.

 

3.4  Pupils:  Through our pastoral care systems, pupils are informed and taught that bullying will not be tolerated in the Academy.  They are encouraged:

·                  to celebrate the effort and achievements of others

·                  to hold and promote positive attitudes

·                  to feel able to share problems with staff

·                  to turn to someone they trust, if they have a problem

·                  not to feel guilty about airing complaints.

 

4       Anti-bullying systems

4.1  Vigilance:  Members of staff are vigilant at all times but particularly:

·                  before lessons

·                  in the queue for the Cafeteria and in the Cafeteria itself

·                  on school transport.

 

4.2  Meetings:  Bullying is regularly discussed in meetings between:

·                  members of the Senior Management Team

·                  senior management and prefects

·                  teachers and pupils in their classes; and

·                  Academy staff and year group staff

 

·                  The result of these meetings is to feedback information about friendship patterns, particular incidents, any pupil who seems to be isolated, any growing "power base" and any known conflict between a member of staff and a pupil, or between pupils so that strategies can be developed to prevent bullying incidents.

4.3  Education:  Measures are taken throughout each year to educate pupils about bullying and this policy.  These measures include:

·                  Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)

·                  Anti-bullying posters placed around the Academy.

·                  Anti-bullying messages are given in assemblies.

·                  Once a year we hold an Anti-bullying week.

4.4  Staff training:  Appropriate training in all aspects of care is arranged to ensure that Heads of Year and other staff have the necessary professional skills, especially:

·                  awareness of the risk and indications of child abuse and bullying, and how to deal with cases

·                  counselling skills (including bereavement).

 

·                  And in year groups, ensuring that:

·                  there is an adequate presence of staff

·                  staff are actively involved with pupils in all areas of the year group when they are on duty

·                  measures are taken to avoid boredom and lack of purpose among pupils

·                  there is space available for pupils' quiet withdrawal

·                  good behaviour and discipline is maintained.

 

4.5  Pupils' responsibilities:  We emphasise with senior pupils the role which is expected of them in setting a good example and being helpful to younger pupils and each other, in particular:

·                  all senior pupils have the opportunity for year group duties but senior pupils who do not wish to have extended responsibilities are not coerced

·                  the responsibilities of senior pupils are appropriately limited

·                  members of staff expect prefects to offer supervisory support; and



4.6  Record keeping and monitoring:  Phase Leaders and staff maintain records of the welfare and development of individual pupils.  In addition, every complaint or report of bullying must be entered in the incident book.  Phase Leaders keep incident books up-to-date.  The Deputy Head Teacher monitors all incident books and teacher files at the end of each term in order to enable patterns to be identified, both in relation to individual pupils and across the Academy as a whole and to evaluate the effectiveness of the Academy's approach.  There will be a full review of the policy every two years, see paragraph 6 below.

4.7  Culture:  When we drive and implement this policy we encourage every pupil to understand that:

·                  every complaint of bullying will be taken seriously

·                  members of staff will deal with a complaint correctly and effectively in accordance with their experience and the training they have received

·                  there is a solution to nearly every problem of bullying

·                  a pupil who complains will receive support and advice and in many cases the problem can be dealt with on a no names basis; and

·                  the primary aim will be for the Bullying to cease, not the punishment of the bully unless this is necessary.

 

5       Procedures

5.1  Guidelines:  The following procedures are a guideline except where expressed in the terms "should' or "must".  The best guide is the experience and training of the staff.

5.2  Reporting Bullying complaints

·                  Pupils: A pupil who is being bullied, or who is worried about another pupil being bullied, should complain without delay and can do so in several ways.  He / she  can:

·                  tell his / her parents, his / her Phase Leader, or a member of staff or a responsible older pupil; alternatively

·                  place a note in the "bully box"

·                  contact the Academy Counsellor for advice

·                  contact Childline (0800 1111); or

·                  Parents: Parents who are concerned that their child is being bullied should inform their child's Teacher or Phase Leader without delay.

·                  Staff: This policy focuses mainly on the bullying of pupils by pupils although it is recognised that a staff member could be a victim and on occasion may be perceived to be guilty of bullying.  Staff members who are concerned about being bullied or harassed should refer to the Academy's Dignity at Work policy which is set out in the E-ACT Employment Policies (these can be accessed on E-ACT’s intranet).  Pupils and parents who feel that a member of staff is bullying should report this in accordance with the procedures set out above in section 5.2.  Complaints against teachers will be dealt with in accordance with staff disciplinary procedures.

5.3  Initial complaint:  A person in authority who learns of alleged bullying behaviour should:

·                  firstly, respond quickly and sensitively by offering advice, support and reassurance to the alleged victim, then

·                  report the allegation to the Phase Leader of the victim and the alleged bully as soon as possible.

 

·                  The Phase Leader must:

·                  record the complaint in their incident book; and

·                  contact the other Phase Leaders (if applicable) to agree on a strategy, and on who will take the lead.

 

5.4  Assessment:  The victim's Phase Leader will normally see the victim and (unless the case is very serious) any witnesses without delay and form an initial view of the allegation.  The assessment will consider:

·                  the nature of the incident(s) - physical?  verbal?  exclusionary? etc

·                  is it a "one-off" incident involving an individual or a group?

·                  is it part of a pattern of behaviour by an individual or a group?

·                  has physical injury been caused?  Who should be informed - Deputy Head Teacher?  Parents?  The Academy's Designated Safeguarding Lead?  Children's Social Care Services?  The police?

·                  can the alleged bully be seen on a no-names basis?

·                  what is the likely outcome if the complaint proves to be correct?

·                  At this stage, the possible outcomes for an incident which is not too serious include:

·                 there has been a misunderstanding which can be explained sympathetically to the alleged victim with advice to the alleged bully; or

·                 the complaint is justified in whole or in part, and further action will be needed (see range of action, below).

 

5.5    Serious incident:  If a Phase Leader believes that serious bullying behaviour has occurred involving a pupil; or has recurred after warnings have been given to the "bully", he / she  must inform the Head Teacher and the Academy's Designated Safeguarding Lead Anita Crawley  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will then:

-                  interview the alleged victim, bully and any witnesses separately, in order to establish the facts of the case.  He / she  may decide to ask the Phase Leader to be present; and

-                  send a summary of his / her findings to the Head, relevant Phase Leaders and the Deputy Head

 

·                  The Head Teacher and / or the relevant Phase Leader will interview the alleged victim and bully separately:

-                  to confirm the facts of the case, if considered necessary; and

-                  to decide on the action to be taken in accordance with the range of action set out below.

 

·                  The Head Teacher will notify the parents of the victim and bully giving them details of the case and the action being taken.

5.6  Range of action:  When a complaint is upheld the range of responses will include one or more of the following:

·                  advice and support for the victim and, where appropriate, establishing a course of action to help the victim including support from external services where appropriate

·                  advice and support to the bully in trying to change his / her behaviour.  This may include clear instructions and a warning or final warning

·                  consideration of the motivation behind the bullying behaviour and whether external services should be used to tackle any underlying issues of the bully which contributed to the bullying behaviour.  If these considerations lead to any concerns that the bully may be at risk of harm, the Academy's child protection procedures will be followed

·                  a supervised meeting between the bully and the victim to discuss their differences and the ways in which they may be able to avoid future conflict

·                  a disciplinary sanction against the bully, in accordance with the Academy's behaviour and discipline policy.  In a very serious case or a case of persistent Bullying, a pupil may be permanently excluded

·                  action to break up a "power base"

·                  moving either the bully or victim to another class after consultation with the pupil his / her parents and the relevant staff

·                  involving Children's Social Care or the police

·                  notifying the parents of one or both pupils about the case and the action which has been taken

·                  such other action as may appear to the Head Teacher to be appropriate

·                  noting the outcome in the relevant incident book.

 

5.7  Monitoring:  The position should be monitored for as long as necessary thereafter.  Action may include:

·                  sharing information with some or all colleagues and with pupils in the class so that they may be alert to the need to monitor certain pupils closely

·                  ongoing counselling and support

·                  vigilance

·                  mentioning the incident at meetings of staff

·                  reviewing vulnerable individuals and areas of the Academy

·                  liaison between Phase Leaders, the outcome being recorded in the incident books.

5.8  Formal complaint:  If the victim or his / her parents are not satisfied with the action taken, they should be advised to make a formal complaint, according to the complaints procedure outlined in the Academy Complaints Policy.

6       Review

6.1  This policy will be reviewed every two years by E-ACT to assess its effectiveness, and will be updated as necessary.  In undertaking the review we will take into account the results of the monitoring as set out at section 4.6 above, as well as any changes in legislation and / or statutory guidance and other relevant information gathered (such as through a Bullying survey).

 

 

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