The school is anxious to differentiate between conflict, mutual harassment and real bullying. In schools there are often disputes and arguments between young people who resort to verbal abuse and sometimes fight to resolve differences of opinion. Where mutual harassment is established, both parties must accept responsibility for their actions.
However, bullying is behaviour which is deliberately designed to intimidate and control others, and which leaves a child or young person unhappy, bewildered, frightened or threatened.
Bullying can take the form of physical assault, name-calling, “sending to Coventry” or taunting. In dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour, consideration will be given to the following:
- Bullies often are or have been "victims" themselves.
- Bullying incidents are often aggravated by the involvement of a wider group.
The staff that deal with bullying incidents will recognise that these issues are likely to have to be addressed if a real solution is to be achieved.
John Spence Community High School is committed to:
- Taking consistent action on all incidents of bullying behaviour
- Heightening the awareness of all staff, parents and students about what is regarded as bullying behaviour
- Creating an atmosphere in which students and parents feel able to report incidents of bullying with confidence
- Making clear to all staff, students and parents the procedures employed in the school for dealing with bullying incidents
- Identifying factors within the school community which might allow incidents of bullying to take place and endeavouring to eradicate them
- Where necessary involving the parents of all the students involved in bullying incidents
- Maintaining a record of all reported incidents of alleged bullying, conflict and mutual harassment
- Evaluating the success of measures employed to deal with bullying
Procedures for staff suspecting incidents of bullying
- Take all incidents, which involve any aspect of bullying seriously. Students should not be told to ignore the situation or cope on their own.
- Ensure that the victim is referred to a member of staff who will listen and who is able to take action.
- Take any measures within the classroom or within the department, which will prevent or reduce the chance of the bullying behaviour continuing.
Procedure for students suspecting incidents of bullying
All students who are:
- victims of bullying
- witnesses to incidents of bullying
- aware of incidents of bullying
- encourage the victim to tell a responsible adult
- tell a responsible adult themselves
- avoid any action which would appear to lend support to the actions of bullies
What action will be taken when a bullying incident is reported?
At each stage:
- The parents will be kept informed
- The victim will be offered support
- The long term interests of those involved will be considered
- Staff who teach the students involved will be kept informed
The following action will be taken:
- All incidents of bullying will be taken seriously
- All incidents of bullying will be recorded
- The bully will be warned about the consequences of the continuation of the bullying behaviour
- The bully will receive support to help change his/her behaviour
- The parents of all students involved in the incident will be contacted where appropriate
- Practical measures will be taken to protect the victim. The bully will be encouraged to see the victim’s point of view
- If the warning and these measures are unsuccessful in solving the problem, all other possible avenues will be pursued
- The case will not be closed until a satisfactory outcome has been achieved.
Opportunities will be sought to inform and heighten the awareness of all staff to the issues involved in recognising and dealing with bullying through our Staff Development Programme.
This School will take every step possible to create a positive, anti-bullying environment.
Opportunities will be sought to raise the issues involved in dealing with bullying at Governors’ Meetings and on Parents’ Consultation Evenings / Tutor Review Days.
The issues of bullying will be raised at various levels within the Personal and Social Development Programme. This input will aim to:
- develop confidence in students, whether victims or witnesses to bullying, to speak up.
- explore strategies, which can help to reduce the situations in which the bully can act and to help individuals to avoid becoming victims.
- enlist the help of students in identifying threatening areas in and around the school.
- enlist the help of students in monitoring the success of the anti-bullying policy.
Measures will be taken to ensure that substantial ‘safe’ areas are available within the school, which are adequately supervised. These areas should be available before school starts, at breaks and lunchtimes.
An evaluation of the anti-bullying policy will be undertaken on a regular basis taking into account any National and Regional developments.