Anti- Bullying Policy


                             Anti-Bullying Policy

 

                              Scoil Naomh Pádraig

 

  1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education(Welfare) Act 2000 and the Code of Behaviour issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of  Scoil Naomh Pádraig has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour.  This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
  1. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils, and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practise in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

 

    • A positive school culture and climate (See Appendix 1) which is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusively: encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment: involves collaboration among and between staff & pupils and promotes respectful relationships across the school community: encourages the work of the student council in this area
    • Effective leadership
    • A school-wide approach
    • A shared understanding of what bullying is and  its impact
    • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils and explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying
    • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
    • Supports for staff
    • Consistent recording investigation and follow up of bulling behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies) and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
    • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

  1. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying procedures for Primary and Post-PrimarySchools bullying is defined as follows:

 

‘Unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an 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

ü  Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying

ü  Cyber-bullying

ü  Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 

Isolated or once-off incidents do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying procedures for Primary and Post-PrimarySchools and appears as Appendix 1 of this document.

  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
  • The class teacher(s) initially
  • The principal thereafter if necessary

 

5        The following education and prevention strategies, at the appropriate and relevant level for each class will be used by the school:

  • Prevention and awareness raising measures across all aspects of bullying and involves strategies to engage pupils in addressing problems when they arise.  In particular, such strategies need to build empathy respect and resilience in pupils
  • Provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures focusing on cyber-bullying by educating pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while online.
  • Teachers can influence attitudes to bullying behaviour in a positive manner.
  • There are a number of curriculum components and programmes which are particularly relevant to the prevention of bullying and the promotion of respect for diversity and inclusiveness.  The SPHE curriculum makes specific provision for exploring bullying as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication, conflict, friendship, personal safety and relationships.  The Stay Safe & RSE programmes at primary level are personal safety skills programmes which seek to enhance children’s self protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying.  Various other social, health and media education programmes can further help to address the problem of bullying behaviour.
  • The work could be extended into many other areas such as Art, Drama, Religious Education, and Physical Education.  Co-operation and group enterprise can be rooted through team sports, school clubs and societies as well as through practical subjects.
  • Sporting activities in particular can provide excellent opportunities for channelling and learning how to control aggression.  GAA and soccer coaching is offered to some classes from outside agencies and teachers can be involved in coaching the school’s soccer and gaelic teams.

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 in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame.  With this in mind the schools procedures are as follows:

                    i.            The primary aim for the relevant teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame )

                  ii.            In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.

                iii.            All reports, including anonymous reports of bulling must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.  In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’.  This confidence factor is of vital importance.  It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.

                iv.            Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.

                  v.            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:

                vi.            It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset.

              vii.            Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils staff or parents.

            viii.            Initial investigations of bullying will be done in class where possible but some incidents might be best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved.

                ix.            All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned.  Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way:

                  x.            When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher(s) should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why  This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.

                xi.            If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first.  Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group  At the group meeting each member should be asked for his / her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements.

              xii.            Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher.

            xiii.            It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)

            xiv.            In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy).  The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils.

              xv.            Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her hw he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.

            xvi.            It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents that in any  situation where disciplinary sanctions are required this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his parents and the school

          xvii.            Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should 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.

        xviii.            In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately  and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template at Appendix 3 ( See Section 6.8.10 (iii))

            xix.            In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

  • Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased
  • Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable
  • Whether the relationships between the parties involved have been restored as far as is practicable: and
  • Any feedback received from the parties involved their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

              xx.            Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.

            xxi.            In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

Recording: Noting and reporting of bullying behaviour is to be documented using the template for recording bullying behaviour (Appendix 3).  All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation.  The school’s procedure for noting and reporting bullying behaviour will adhere to the following:

        i.While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s), the relevant teacher(s) will use his/her /their professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same.

      ii.If it is established by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher(s) must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved

    iii.The relevant teacher(s) must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:

a) in cases where he/ she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/ she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and

b) Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

 

In each of the circumstances at (a) and (b) above, the recording template at Appendix 3 must be completed in full and retained by the teacher in question and a copy provided to the Principal of Deputy Principal as applicable.  It should also be noted that the timeline for recording bullying behaviour in the recording template at Appendix 3 does not in any way preclude the relevant teacher from consulting the Principal or Deputy Principal at an earlier stage in relation to a case.

 

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach.  Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/ support programme works in all situations.  Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals so that appropriate outside agencies, in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed.  In cases where the school has serious concerns in relation to managing the behaviour of a pupil, the advice of NEPS will be sought.  Serious instances of bullying will, in accordance with Child Protection Procedures for Primary and PostPrimary Schools, be referred to HSE Children and Family Services and for Garda as appropriate.

 

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils:  The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practises are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

 

9. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on

____11/03/14_______________.

 

10. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website, is otherwise 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.

 

11. This policy and its implantation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.  Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website 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: _____Anne Mc Carter________________________  Signed: ____Roisin Walsh_____________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)           (Principal)

 

Date: _11/03/14_____________________                    Date: ______11/03/14_________________

 

 

Date of next review: __________________________

 

 

Appendix 1: Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

 

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school.  Involve pupils in the development of these messages
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use
  • Follow-up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/ school yard/ outdoor supervision
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying ‘hot spots’ and ‘hot times’ for bullying in the school
    • Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/ outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and areas of unstructured supervision
    • Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/ school yard or moving classrooms

 

 

Appendix 2: Types of bullying

 

The following are some of the types of bullying behaviour that can occur amongst pupils:

 

Physical aggression: This behaviour includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people.  It may also take the form of severe physical assault.  While pupils often engage is ‘mess fights’, they can sometimes be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain.

Intimidation:  Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation.  It may be based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon.  Particularly upsetting can be facial expression which conveys aggression and/ or dislike.

Isolation/ exclusion and other relational bullying: This occurs where a certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored  by some or all of the class group.  This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour and can be difficult to detect.  It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the pupil in public places, by passing around notes about or drawing of the pupil or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard.  Relational bullying occurs when a person’s attempts to socialise and form relationships with peers are repeatedly rejected or undermined.  One of the most common forms includes control: ‘Do this or I won’t be your friend anymore’ (implied or stated), a group ganging up against one person (girl or boy), non-verbal gesturing, malicious gossip, spreading rumours about a person or giving them the ‘silent treatment’.

Cyber-bullying: This type of bullying is increasingly common and is continuously evolving.  It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social network sites, email, instant messaging (IM), apps, gaming sites, chat rooms and other online technologies.  Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying.  As cyber-bullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behaviour and does not require face-to-face-contact, cyber-bullying can occur at any time (day of night).  Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyber-bullying.  For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person’s sexuality, appearance etc

Name calling: Persistent name calling directed at the same individual(s) that hurts, insults or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour.  Often name calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g. size or clothes worn.  Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention.  Academic ability can also provoke name calling.  This tends to operate at two extremes.  There are those who are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be weak academically.  At the other extreme there are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers are also targeted.

Damage to property: Personal property can be the focus of attention for bullying behaviour.  This may result in damage to clothing, mobile phones or other devices, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil’s locker or bicycle.  The property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden.

Extortion: Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out in the event of the targeted pupil not delivering on the demand).  A pupil may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour.