Bullying is unacceptable behaviour. At Montpelier Primary School, we are committed to creating a safe environment where young people can learn, play and talk about their worries, confident that an adult will listen and will offer help.
Bullying will not be tolerated within the school environment.
This policy reflects the aim of our behaviour policy which is to create a safe, secure and happy learning environment for all pupils and adults.
We make it clear to pupils, staff, parents and governors that when bullying happens we will work as a community in accordance with the procedures set out in this document to help both the people who are harmed and the perpetrators.
We will aim to ensure safety and the raising of self-esteem for the victim and work with the bully to improve behaviour.
This policy is for dealing with bullying at all levels of the school, which we recognise can happen on occasions:
- Pupil – Pupil
- Pupil – Adult
- Adult – Pupil
- Adult – Adult
We understand bullying to be the desire to hurt, frighten, and intimidate or to forcefully impose actions upon another or others. The behaviour is often repeated and habitual. It can take the following forms:
- Physical: pushing, kicking, pinching, any form of violence or threats of violence (including unwelcome “rough play” or play fighting)
- Verbal, Emotional, Racial, Sexual, Cyber-related: name-calling, sarcasm, homophobic, racist, transgender, spreading rumours, persistent teasing, ridicule, humiliation, exclusion, tormenting, coercion racial abuse, (verbal or graffiti), abusive comments or unwanted physical contact.
Bullying can lead the victim and the bully to show signs of depression, low self-esteem, shyness and poor academic achievement.
Staff provide role-models for anti-bullying behaviour by avoiding making sarcastic comments and humiliating and/or dominating treatment of pupils. All members of staff (teaching and non-teaching) will receive training in recognising signs of bullying so that they can be proactive in preventing the escalation of any potential case of bullying. However, some forms of bullying can be very ‘secretive’ and we strive to create an environment where the victim feels that it is safe to speak up about any unwanted experiences. In order to do this and to pre-empt incidences of bullying, the issues are regularly discussed in school in assemblies, class discussions, drama sessions, circle times and an annual ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ and internet safety sessions.
Posters are displayed around the school to raise awareness using the acronym ‘STOP,’ Several Times On Purpose. The poster aims to support pupils in recognising bullying and reminding pupils of the importance of telling an adult.
The PSHCE curriculum covers topics related to bullying. All cases of bullying will be taken seriously and steps will be taken to change the bullying behaviour. If the unacceptable behaviour continues, sanctions, as described in the Behaviour Policy, will be applied to pupils.
Where appropriate the school may seek advice and support from external agencies such as charities, or those that provide psychiatric, psychological or therapeutic guidance.
Procedures for dealing with observed or reported bullying
Information about a bullying incident may come from the victim, a witness, a parent, a guardian or other adult. All incidents will be investigated further.
The member of staff who has been informed must deal with the matter in an appropriate way. If children report bullying they should be listened to and enquiries should be made (e.g. who? what? when? why?).
Whilst children should be encouraged to report bullying incidents, parents reporting bullying may sometimes feel that they do not want their child to know that the matter has been reported. In this case, it may be necessary to use indirect methods of investigation The children involved should be interviewed on their own. However, in some cases, it may be appropriate for a parent or guardian to be present.
Children may be asked for a written account of the incident. The class teacher will be informed of any incidents regarding children from their class. Senior staff and the Head Teacher will be informed of serious or repeated incidents.
All incidents will be recorded on an Incident Form which should be kept by the Deputy Headteacher.
Appropriate action will be taken, such as;
- Obtain an apology from the bully/ies to the victim
- Impose sanctions against the individual(s) who display bullying behaviour e.g. loss of playtimes or other privileges
- Inform the parents and carers of the bullying behaviour and/or victim(s) so they can be asked to discuss the matter further and possibly contribute towards a solution to the problem.
- Provide a safe haven for the victim during school hours if requested
- Work with the victim to raise self-esteem
- Work with the bully to change his/her behaviour
- Work with the victim and bully together where this would be helpful
- Advice from external agencies may be sought
If the bullying behaviour continues, the issue may be referred to the Head Teacher. Sanctions including internal/external exclusion may be considered.
Special Educational Needs
Some children with special educational needs (for BESD) may be perceived to be displaying bullying behaviour. The SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) will advise on approaches and strategies best suited to the individuals’ needs.
Staff should be aware of any additional barriers where there are issues around bullying in this group of children. These can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
Monitoring of the policy
Reported incidents of bullying are reviewed on a half-termly basis, by senior teaching staff. The types and severity of incidents and steps for action will be reviewed. The majority of incidents will be dealt with by the class teacher, who may also choose to liaise with other colleagues.