Policy Statement

According to the School Standards and Framework Act 1988 all schools have a legal duty to take bullying seriously. This school respects the right of every individual to enjoy all aspects of their time here. Our community will not tolerate behaviour of any kind which adversely affects another’s ability to enjoy this right. There is no place for bullying in our school.

 Why do we need a Policy?

 Everyone has the right to undertake their education in a safe, secure and friendly environment, without intimidating physical or emotional pressure. As a school we have a responsibility to provide this. The aim of this policy is to:

Emphasise the school’s responsibility and commitment to providing the kind of environment where bullying is not tolerated.

  • Clarify what we mean by bullying and why it is unacceptable.
  • Ensure that appropriate measures to deal with bullying are in place and that everyone is aware of what those measures are.
  • Raise awareness that all of us – staff, students and parents – have a role to play in preventing bullying and providing a safe and supportive environment for everyone.
  • Outline the care and support available to all those involved in incidents of bullying.

We want people in our school to feel comfortable and confident about knowing that they can get help and what help is available.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is behaviour that causes intentional harm to another person, leaving that person feeling intimidated, upset and defenceless. It is usually repeated over a period of time and may be both emotional and physical. It includes such actions as:

  • hitting, kicking or pushing
  • taking or damaging belongings
  • name-calling, mocking, taunting or making offensive remarks
  • exclusion of someone from a group
  • gossiping or spreading hurtful or untruthful rumours
  • cyberbullying:
    • inappropriate text messaging, emailing or internet chat room misuse
    • sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet

Bullying may be specifically directed against a person’s sexual orientation, special educational needs, disability, faith, race, culture, or social background. It often happens as a result of prejudice against people who appear different.

 Bullying, for whatever reason, especially when it is persistent, can leave the person being bullied feeling distressed, isolated and extremely unhappy. The effects can be damaging, long-lasting and, occasionally, result in very serious consequences.


  • An anti-bullying questionnaire was carried out with KS3 pupils and results analysed by learning mentor (See ‘some comments, suggestions or concerns about how the school deals with bullying taken from the Anti-Bullying Questionnaires of May 2007)
  • Learning mentor looked at policies of other schools and made amendments- indicated in brown text on policy document attached
  • Parents were invited to give comments via the school newsletter (See copy attached)
  • The Learning mentor met with peer mentors and school council representatives to look at a draft of the new policy (See ‘Working party for the revision of the school’s policy on the prevention of bullying’)
  • The working party wanted changes- indicated in blue text on policy document attached

What you should do if you think you’re being bullied

It is essential that you do something if you think you are being bullied. This is not a situation you should have to put up with! Although you may find it difficult, and even if you are not sure if the situation counts as bullying or you just need reassurance, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Tell your form tutor or any member of staff (e.g. a teacher you like, or your year group’s Pastoral Leader , or the Learning Mentor)
  • Tell your form prefect or go to one of the peer mentors, or tell your friends
  • Tell a parent or other adult
  • Put a note in the confidential box by the pay phone in the Physics corridor for the peer mentors (- remember to put your name and form on it!)

What you should do if you see someone being bullied

Do not stand by and allow it to continue: tell someone as soon as possible (see ideas above).

This is the very best thing you can do. If you know (or think) that someone is being bullied, it is important that someone is informed so that the situation can be sorted out. It should not be thought of as getting someone into trouble: but acting responsibly towards a fellow student in distress. The person doing the bullying may also be in need of help and support.

Remember that the school has a duty of care towards, and respects the rights of all students and will do its best to act in the best interests of everyone concerned.

Role of staff

  • Heads of year have a paper system at present but learning mentor has been on SENTINEL training and this system is to be introduced in the future
  • In year 7 PSHCE pupils look at how they can support each other at stressful times
  • In year 8 PSHCE pupils look at internet safety, sexual discrimination and bullying
  • In year 9 PSHCE pupils look at the characteristics of safe relationships and domestic violence
  • In year 10 PSHCE pupils look at getting on better with people different from ourselves and look at sexuality, disability, refugees and asylum seekers, race and religion

Role of Governors

Governors are responsible for approving the policy but play no part in disciplinary procedures as serious incidents are very rare at WGHS

Role of Parents

The Pastoral Booklet is sent to parents every September.

Positive Intervention

  • Senior peer mentors with sixth form support hold a drop in once a week
  • A team of year 10 pupils have been trained and are matched with younger pupils to offer one to one support
  • A team of Study support prefects often refer pupils who raise pastoral issues to the peer support prefects
  • The school was part of the National Peer Mentoring pilot for 2 years and now has ‘approved provider’ status
  • Pupils are referred to learning mentor who gives one to one support
  • School council is active and individuals can raise issues with form representatives each half term
  • Learning mentor took school council representatives to Wolverhampton School Council Conferences which looked at ‘Staying safe’ and ‘Transition and SEAL’
  • Learning mentor supervised peer mentors who delivered two assemblies during anti-bullying week
  • School nurse has a popular drop in every Friday called ‘Health club’ and emotional health and bullying issues have been addressed
  • Learning mentor is aware of ZAP and SIPS but has had no need to refer pupils to them to date
  • Learning mentor has attended courses on ‘Anger management’ and is trained to support pupils who bully when the need arises

What happens next?

All incidents of bullying are taken seriously. If you tell a member of staff, peer mentor or prefect, they will either be able to talk with you there and then or arrange another time to do so. If you put a note in the confidential box, a peer mentor will get in contact with you, discreetly and confidentially, and arrange a time to talk to you.

What is done next will depend very much on what has happened. It is likely that it will be necessary to talk with the other people involved and, if appropriate, parents. It is important to understand as fully as possible what has been going on and, if possible, why. Further investigations, especially in the case of cyberbullying, may be necessary. Sometimes it may be possible to address the problem without disclosing who has given the information. Sometimes it is better to ask both parties to sit down together and talk about the situation with a member of staff or peer mentor. Strategies for coping with the situation may be suggested and support given while the situation is being resolved.

Our primary concern is to stop any bullying, but we also aim to act sensitively and to involve as few people as possible, talking quietly only to those who need to know.

 What happens to the people who have been doing the bullying?

Each situation is different and each person, after being interviewed by a teacher, will be dealt with in a way that is thought most appropriate in that particular case. They can expect to be asked to explain why they have behaved in such a fashion and whether they realise what distress they are causing. Their parents may be contacted to discuss the problem. It will then be decided what measures of discipline should be employed (ranging from removal of privileges, such as team membership, and detention, to exclusion from school) or what additional support needs to be given. Physical bullying of any description will be dealt with separately by the headmistress and appropriate sanctions will be applied.

 What happens if the bullying continues?

The situation will continue to be monitored and further action will be taken if the situation continues or worsens. Such action will be at the discretion of the Headmistress. Do not assume that bullying will get worse if you tell the school. That is what bullies want you to think. We all have to work together to find solutions to such problems and to ensure that bullying behaviour is never tolerated in our school.

Updated : July 2009