Follow the link for the Anti-Bullying Charter aimed at students:
The School’s definition of bullying
Bullying is a deliberate attempt to repeatedly hurt, frighten or threaten a person and to make that person’s life extremely uncomfortable, be it physically or psychologically.
The aims and objectives of this policy are:-
- To prevent, de-escalate and/or stop any continuation of harmful behaviour.
- To react to bullying incidents in a reasonable, proportionate and consistent manner.
- To safeguard the pupil who has experienced bullying and to implement support for the pupil and, where necessary, the family.
- To apply a consistent and robust sanctions policy where deemed necessary and appropriate, in order to deter harmful behaviour and repeat bullying.
- To provide multi-agency support to the pupil causing harm, in order to prevent a cycle of bullying by the perpetrator.
Members of the Wiseman Community should feel confident to raise the issue of bullying in the knowledge that it will be treated with urgency and seriousness. We view silence as condoning bullying and therefore expect and encourage all our students to speak to a person whom they can trust. Everyone should have the opportunity to thrive and learn in a positive and safe environment.
Bullying can take many forms but the four main types are:
- Physical – pushing/pulling, hitting, kicking, taking belongings.
- Verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks.
- Indirect – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups,
- Cyberbullying/cyberstalking –may include - sending malicious emails or text messages, posting images on web-pages/blogs, filming or sending of picture/video messages (‘happy-slaps’), making offensive/threatening or abusive comments through the internet/chat rooms.
Reasons for bullying may include the following:-
- Racist bullying targets a child for representing a race, religion or culture, and attacking the individual sends a message to that group.
- Sexual bullying, including homophobic bullying, impacts on both genders. It can be directed at any student regardless of sexual orientation but who are deemed to be different. It may also include sexual harassment, intimidation and inappropriate physical contact.
- Pupils with Special Educational Needs, physical disabilities, appearance or health conditions can be at greater risk of bullying which is often directed at their specific difficulty or disability.
- Young carers or Looked After Children (LAC) may be bullied for reasons relating to their home circumstances.
Implementation of the Policy
The action taken by staff will be determined by the degree of bullying that has taken place. Pupils can refer incidents to any member of School staff who must immediately notify the Head of Year or Tutor.
The Pupil Support Team will be proactive in preventing bullying behaviour by:
- Promoting an anti-bullying week
- Ensure students sign up to the ‘Anti-bullying charter’ (see below)
- Listening to, and acting upon feedback from pupils
- Creating a climate of trust and respect
- Using the peer mediation system
- Using restorative justice
- Accessing multi-agency support and/or counselling
- Monitoring bullying records over time
Action taken by staff will be determined by the degree of bullying that has taken place.
For incidents such as name calling, or first offences tutors/teachers should:
- Deal with the incident as soon as is practically possible.
- Ensure that a sincere apology is made
- Provide sensible counselling for the pupils involved.
- Provide the Head of Year with a written account of the incident.
Incidents which would be deemed to be of a more serious nature include
- Physical assault (injury sustained)
- Sustained/repeated verbal abuse
- Persistent harassment or racist behaviour
In such cases, teachers/school staff should refer the situation to the Head of Year who will liaise with the parents/carers of all pupil(s) involved.
Heads of Year should keep electronic records of all bullying incidents, in order to monitor patterns of bullying behaviour. End of year reports must be produced to inform future policy and practice and liaise with Local Authority and other multi-agencies.
Should there be further incidents of a serious nature, the Head of Year will liaise with the appropriate Senior Staff to discuss whether to impose sanctions or if a temporary or permanent exclusion is required. Heads of Year may refer all students involved to the Pupil Support Teams e.g. Learning Mentors, Educational Therapist.
In cases of cyber-bullying within school or through the schools internet/intranet the following measures will be taken:
- evidence should be collected and stored where possible
- pupils will have mobile phones confiscated and will be barred from accessing school computers
- parents/carers will be contacted and in serious and/or persistent cases the school will consider a fixed term exclusion
When cyberbullying occurs outside the confines of the School, but is brought to the attention of the School, Heads of Year should be informed immediately. Heads of Years should inform all parents involved and may refer the victim’s parent(s)/carer(s) to the Safer Schools Police Officer if further action is required. The Police can take action under the ‘Telecommunications Act’ 1984 section 43 and/or ‘The Malicious Communications Act’, 1988, section 1. See also the school’s e-safety policy.
Record Keeping of Bullying Incidents
All incidents of bullying must be recorded, including the statements from the pupils, and action taken. These records must be given to the Head of Year concerned.
- Documented proof for future reference.
- A record of those individuals who are the victims of bullying, and whether those individuals suffer bullying from other sources.
- Statistical evidence which should inform future policy and practice
- Heads of Year must store all bullying-related incidents electronically
- Help for Heads of Year in identifying possible patterns across a Year/Tutor group.
- Historical documentation of the extent of bullying within the school and areas where bullying has taken place.
Record Keeping of Racist Incidents
All incidents of a racist nature must be tagged as such in the electronic record keeping system.