Policy and Procedure for the Prevention and Tackling of Bullying

Canterbury New School values and celebrates diversity and expects all sections of our school community to demonstrate respect towards others and together make our school safe for everyone.

We want our school to be an environment which is safe, supportive and listening, where all sections of our school community (trustees, staff, pupils and parents) understand that bullying in any form, by anyone (adults or children) and anywhere, is always unacceptable. We expect everyone to take action when bullying occurs.

DEFINITION OF BULLYING

“Behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally”.

The key elements are:

  • Intent;
  • Repetition;
  • imbalance of power;
  • The nature of relationship between the bullied and those bullying.

It needs to be recognised that a single instance can in some cases be perceived as bullying by the victim. Sometimes the goal is not to harm and the distress of the victim is not always recognised by those responsible for the bullying. There are different forms of bullying. There are those general forms that describe how the bullying was carried out, either direct (physical, verbal or non-verbal) or indirect (eg. cyber bullying). Bullying can be described in terms of specific forms describing why it was carried out. These are based on difference, real or perceived, or prejudice.

Canterbury New School endeavours to ensure that everyone in the school community has a shared understanding of what constitutes bullying, and what does not, via INSET Days, teacher/class discussions and parents’ evenings.

Canterbury New School aims to create a school community where bullying is not tolerated. This means we are committed to:

  • Encouraging inclusive play and positive social behaviour;
  • Discussing, monitoring and reviewing the school’s anti-bullying policy on a regular basis;
  • Supporting staff to promote positive relationships and identify and tackle bullying appropriately;
  • Ensuring that pupils are aware that all bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively and that pupils feel safe to learn;
  • Reporting back quickly to parents/carers regarding their concerns on bullying and dealing promptly with complaints. Parents/carers in turn work with the school to uphold the anti-bullying policy and reflect its principles in their own relations with other adults in the school;
  • Seeking to learn from anti-bullying good practice elsewhere and utilising the support of the local authority and other organizations where appropriate;
  • Reporting / sharing incidents and concerns, at teachers’ meetings.

PROCEDURE FOR TACKLING BULLYING SITUATIONS

Response levels:

LEVEL 1 – Learning about and Responding to Incidents.

  1. An incident causing concern is observed or reported on by a pupil, parent or adult. The staff member listens and assures the person that it will be dealt with. In the case of the complaint coming from a child, the teacher offers immediate comfort and protection.
  2. The incident is recorded in the anti-bullying log, held in the school office by the teacher who first dealt with the incident.
  3. The Class teacher is informed and looks into the matter.
  4. The Class Teacher informs a member of the Risk and Compliance Committee, who will advise and work with the Class Teacher on steps to be taken. The Risk and Compliance Committee has a duty under Working Together To Safeguard Children (2015) to work to prevent bullying. The likely approaches are as detailed in LEVEL 2 below.
  5. All teachers, by way of a report in the appropriate Teachers’ meeting and by way of email (so that all are notified), are informed.
  6. All the children involved are more closely monitored by teachers at all times.
  7. Any further connected incidents are recorded and reported directly to the Class Teacher.
  8. The parents of all children involved are informed of the incident and encouraged to give any further information, history, insights. They are asked to encourage the children to tell the teacher of subsequent incidents. The parents are given the details of the procedure being put in place and it is suggested that they let the school handle it and give their child and the school their support. The parents should be directed to read this policy from the School’s website or to collect a copy from the School’s Office.

More specific expected time-frames:

  1. The Parents of the pupil who has experienced the ‘bullying’ should be informed on the day of the incident. They should be told what the next steps are and a follow up call arranged for a suitable time a few days later to report progress.
  2. The Parents of the pupil (s) who are doing the ‘bullying’ should be informed as soon as possible. They should be told what action the school is taking and a time set for a further call to report on progress.

Keep regular contact with parents of all pupils involved and take notes which detail the date/time of the meeting, where it took place and who was present. This includes telephone conversations. Log these notes on anti-bullying log.

LEVEL 2 – Suggested Approaches.

If the incident is serious or part of a pattern, the class teacher will initiate a response (with the advice of the Risk and Compliance Committee).

Classes 1 – 3

The pupil experiencing the bullying:

  • Listen to the child, tell the child what you have seen and invite him/her to talk/write about the experience or do a drawing.
  • Make full notes of their side of the story
  • Offer them a channel of report/telling an adult if anything further should happen.

The pupil (s) who may be doing the bullying:

  • Describe what you have seen, heard
  • Ask them to say what “they” did.
  • Record their story
  • Invite them to write/ draw

The class:

  • Use pedagogical story, activity, exercise to build the social network, inspire a caring response – e.g. Kindness week etc
  • Devise or revisit class charter to address inclusive, exclusive culture
  • Be vigilant in observing patterns of behaviour in class and in the playground.

Above class 3

Once the children have experienced “the Rubicon” they are more able to adopt a responsible approach to the situation and address their own and peers’ behaviour. Items a – c as for classes 1 -3.

The ‘No Blame’ Approach.

  • The teacher arranges to meet with the group of pupils who have been involved and may include bystanders. A group of 4 – 6 works well.
  • The group is told about the way the pupil who has experienced the bullying is feeling (a poem, painting, drawing or story done by the her/him may be used). Some published material may be used; however, the emphasis should be placed on communicating to the group the situation the pupil finds him/herself in. Generally with pupils under twelve these feelings are best spoken by the teacher. The pupil may like to be present and contribute, but alternatively may not wish to be present. At no time does the teacher allocate any blame.
  • Ideas are sought and discussed. What is important is to let the group know that you have confidence that together they can do things to make the situation better. Some possible suggestions:
    • Each member of the group is encouraged to suggest a way in which the person who experienced the bullying could be helped to feel happier;
    • Guidelines and rules for problematic games or regularly occurring ‘trigger’ situations could be mutually agreed;
  • Vigilance on the part of the group members could be sought and their awareness to step in to suggest more positive solutions might be possible;
  • Talking to the class could be considered. This could involve a process to encourage empathy and social responsibility. This is helpful particularly if the bullying is non-specific in focus and a majority of the class are involved. e. It may be more appropriate to limit the discussion to those immediately involved.
  • The teacher gives a positive response but is careful not to extract a promise of improved behaviour. Look for ways in which to realistically support the groups’ ideas.
  • The teacher ends the meeting by passing over responsibility to the group to solve the problem, making it clear that any recurrence may be reported by anyone involved and help, not punishment will be given. They arrange to meet with the group again to see how things are going. It is best for these meetings to happen in school time and away from play and lunch times as the children feel they are being punished and can become resentful if it happens in their free time.
  • Communicate to Teachers’ Meetings and all staff involved. The ideas the pupils are trying to initiate should be reported so that the whole staff is aware and can support them.
  • Meet with them all again - about a week later the teacher and the group discuss how things are going. This may include the person who experienced the bullying. Otherwise the teacher can check in with him/her more privately. This allows for the monitoring of the bullying and keeps the children involved in the process.
  • Continue to monitor the situation at regular intervals - these meetings should become less frequent over a period of a couple of months. It is valuable if the teacher makes a point regularly to initiate informal discussion with the group and to generally keep an eye on things especially in the playground.
  • It is particularly important that both the school and the parents adopt a similar approach. In this way the pupil experiences a coherent approach.
  • In some situations it has been very helpful to bring the pupils together outside the school. Usually this takes the form of an outing or some semi-structured activity. In this way preconception and old behaviour and relationship patterns may be positively affected.

If the ‘No Blame Approach’ is not effective, then refer to LEVEL 3.

LEVEL 3

  • If the ‘No Blame Approach’ is not proving to be effective and the incidents persist, a letter will be sent home following a meeting of all teachers involved to parents of the perpetrators requesting a meeting to talk about ways forward.
  • At this meeting, suggestions of alternatives may be made including therapies, doctor, counselling, CAMHS, as have been discussed at the Teachers’ meeting beforehand.
  • Persistent deliberate bullying which has not responded to previous levels 1 – 2 and has not resolved itself, is formally reported to the Senior Leadership Team where the child’s continued presence in the school is considered.

PROCEDURE FOR TACKLING BULLYING BY AN ADULT

Where an adult is accused of bullying, the issue will be dealt with using:

  1. The complaints policy, when the person being bullied is also an adult;
  2. Where the person being bullied is a child, use the Procedure for Tackling Bullying Situations (above) to support the person being bullied and the Complaints Procedure for dealing with the complaint against the adult.

Related Policies and documents: