Anti-Bullying Policy

Anti Bullying Rev 26/5/2014

Anti-Bullying Policy
Scoil Eoin Baile an Chollaigh
1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
2. The Board of Management recognises the serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
a) A positive school culture and climate which:
i. Is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
ii. Encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment;
iii. Promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
b) Effective leadership; and a school-wide approach with a shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
c) Implementation of education and prevention strategies which
Include awareness raising measures that –
i. Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
ii. Explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
d) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
e) Supports for staff;
f) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour including use of established intervention strategies and
g) Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti bullying policy.
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3. Bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by and individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:
 Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying, cyber-bullying and
 Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on;
 A person’s membership of an Ethnic community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message/private message, do not fall within the definition of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
However, in the context of this policy, while placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people may be regarded as bullying behaviour.
The school policy in Scoil Eoin forbids the use of personal electronic communication devices on the school premises during school hours
Parents are advised that it is their responsibility to supervise responsible use of social media outside of school.
Instances that occur in school will be dealt with according to the school policy.
Negative behaviour during school hours that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with an allegation of bullying will normally be the class teacher. However an allegation of bullying may be raised by a child with any teacher in the school. Teachers will take appropriate measures regarding allegations in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy.
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5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies aimed at cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:
 Teach anti bullying lessons in accordance with the S.P.H.E. Programme from Junior Infants to 6th class explicitly teaching respectful language and respectful behaviour.
 Teach Stay Safe Lessons on bullying which focus on the different types of bullying and what to do if bullied.
 Teach Religion /Ethical programme content that relates to anti-bullying.
 Oral work in all subjects to promote self-esteem and enhance relationships.
 Use School Assemblies to foster a positive school spirit, to increase awareness of the schools anti bullying policy.
 Staff will model respectful behaviour.
 Display respect messages in classrooms and around the school.
 Acknowledge desired respectful behaviour.
 Tackle the use of discriminatory/derogatory language in the school including homophobic/racist language and language that belittles pupils with a disability and give feedback when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
 Teach school rules and promote/recognise compliance with school rules and routines.
 Discuss appropriate use of social media and the need to be safe with pupils within said lessons.
 Discuss compliance with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.
 All staff will actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
 Provide adequate supervision including playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.
 Actively seek parental support for anti-bullying measures/procedures.
 Make clear to pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are acting responsibly and are not telling tales.
Pupils are not permitted to use a mobile phone during school time or while on the school premises. (Refer Scoil Eoin policy on mobile phones)
School computers have a system to block social media websites limiting access to opportunities to engage in any inappropriate activity online.
Parents are reminded that the legal age for Facebook use is 13 yrs. Parents are required to be familiar with the advice and guidelines in relation to their responsibilities for keeping their children safe on line as outlined on internet safety sites e.g. Webwise, The McAfee 10 step Internet Safety Plan, Digizen.org etc.
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Upon enrolment parents are required to sign an acceptable Internet Use Policy, the contents of which teachers will regularly raise with pupils and which parents are expected to discuss with their children
6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:
 The primary aim is to resolve issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved rather than to apportion blame;
 In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
 Reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with.
 Non-teaching staff are encouraged to report incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them to the relevant teacher; ( normally the class teacher )
 Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour should be encouraged to discuss them with teachers.
 Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;
 Teachers will take a calm, problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents;
 Interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned;
 If a group is involved, each member may be interviewed individually or asked to write down their account of the incident(s) or meet as a group. At a group meeting, each member may be asked for his account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
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 In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved will be contacted to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy)
 Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;
 Any disciplinary sanctions are a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his parents and the school and are dealt with in accordance with the schools behaviour policy;
 Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
 In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been resolved within 20 schooldays after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the appropriate recording template;
In determining whether a bullying case has been resolved appropriately the relevant teacher will, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account;
a) Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
b) Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
c) Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable; and
d) Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal;
Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents will be referred, as appropriate , to the school’s complaints procedures. (see attached)
In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for children.
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The Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 (Children First) and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools provide that in situations where “the incident is serious and where the behaviour is regarded as potentially abusive, the school must consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response, such as a management plan”.
Serious instances of bullying behaviour will in accordance with the Children First and The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate.
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows;
 Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by the school within the limits of resources available through the provision of opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and thereby build resilience whenever this is needed.
 Where appropriate and available a referral for counselling may be recommended to the parents for their child.
 Support for pupils involved in bullying behaviour will also be provided by the school within the limits of resources available. For those with low self-esteem this will include opportunities to increase feelings of self-worth.
 Where appropriate and available a referral for counselling may be recommended to the parents of pupils who engage in bullying behaviour.
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8 The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour in school and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
9 The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of an Ethnic community.
10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 26/5/2014
11 .This policy has been made available to school personnel, is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management regularly. Notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed; Kieran Costello Chairperson of B.O.M.
Signed; Gobnait Uí Nuanáin Príomh Oide
Date; 26/5/2014
Date of next review; ___________________________
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Appendix 1 Template for recording bullying behaviour
1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group
Name _________________________________________Class__________________
2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))*
4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned
Playground
Other Pupil
Classroom
Parent
Corridor
Teacher
Toilets
Other
School Bus
Other
5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
Physical Aggression
Cyber-bullying
Damage to Property
Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion
Malicious Gossip
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Name Calling
Other (specify)
7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:
Homophobic
Disability/SEN related
Racist
Membership of Ethnic community
Other (specify)
8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact
9. Details of actions taken
Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher) Date ____________________
Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________
* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.