WHOLE SCHOOL POLICY ON THE PREVENTION OF BULLYING
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.
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:
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.
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:
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
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.
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