Anti-bullying Policy

Click here to download a pdf. version of this policy.   1. Rationale In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEB, the Board of Management of St Teresa’s school 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. 2. Key Principles The Board of Management of St Teresa’s school 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 principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour: A positive school culture and climate which:Is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity; -Encourages respect, trust, care, consideration and support of others across the whole school community. -Encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in an non-threatening environment. -Effective leadership All those in leadership roles in the school should strive to engender an ethos under which bullying is unacceptable; A School-wide Approach -Involving school management, staff, parents and pupils to dealing with the problem of bullying behaviour is a key element of effective practice -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 -that explicitly address the issues of cyber bullying and identity based bullying including homophobic and trans-phobic bullying. -Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils -Good supervision and monitoring systems of pupils facilitates early intervention Supports for staff -Should enable staff to recognise bullying, implement effective strategies for preventing bullying and intervene effectively in bullying cases; -Temporary and substitute staff should be made aware of the school’s code of behaviour and its anti-bullying policy -Staff should be encouraged and facilitated to attend continuous professional development in addressing bullying when available. Consistent recording, investigating and follow up of bullying behaviour including use of established intervention strategies) On- going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy 3. Definition of Bullying In accordance with the Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows: Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time:  Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other related forms of bullying  Cyber bullying  Identity based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the travelling 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 or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with , as appropriate in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour. However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where the message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour. Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour 4. Who will deal with accusations of bullying: As with all instances of misbehaviour in school, if there is an accusation of bullying in school, the class teacher or the teacher on yard, (if the incident occurs on yard) will investigate and deal with the incident in the first instance. The teacher on the yard will discuss the incident with the child (ren’s) class teacher. The deputy principal is then informed of the incident and the sanctions imposed. If there is an acceptance that the behaviour constituted bullying, or the behaviour is repeated, the matter is brought to the attention of the principal. 5. The Education and Education Strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-bullying and identity based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used in the school are:  The promotion of a school ethos that is welcoming of difference and diversity.  The promotion of pupils’ self-esteem.  During the month of September, all classes will cover the SPHE (Social. Personal and Health Education) lessons which deal with healthy relationships and antibullying. These lessons are in the Stay Safe, the RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) and The Walk Tall programmes.  Using gay or any other gender identity title as derogatory terms are against the ethos of the school.  The display of class rules based on General School Rules as per the school’s Code of Behaviour which are decided upon through discussion and collaboration with pupils.  Ensure that pupils are supervised at all times accessing the internet in school.  Affirm pupils who report incidents of bullying that they have witnessed.  Circle Time  The following web sites: bullying – which teaches the correct use of social media /  SALT Conflict Resolution Programme  The use of the Yard Book by teachers which records on a daily basis any misdemeanours occurring in the yard during break-times.  Display of posters in classrooms and around the school building with key antibullying messages.  Regular use of Whole School Assembly to highlight key messages around anti-ibullying. 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: Once a parent or pupil reports an allegation of bullying behaviour or a member of staff observes the behaviour, the school will put the following procedures into action. 1. The class teacher will investigate the allegation to verify what has happened and whether bullying did occur. (If it transpires that the behaviour does not come under the definition of bullying, then the sanctions of the school’s Code of Behaviour will apply.) The primary aim for the relevant teacher investigating and dealing with the allegation of bullying is to resolve any issues and try and restore, as far as practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame). 2. In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how the situation might be resolved. 3. The principal will be informed of the allegation of bullying. 4. The class teacher will talk to the alleged perpetrator/s to give them an opportunity to give their side of the story. 5. The class teacher will talk to any witnesses to the bullying behaviour. 6. All investigations will be conducted in private. 7. A written record of what happened clarifying the ‘who, where, when and how’ of the incident will be noted and recorded by the class teacher on a Bullying Report Form (Appendix 1) in a specific folder. This record will also include the disciplinary measures taken. A copy of the Bullying Report Form with a note that parents have been informed will be sent to the office to be stored centrally. This folder will be passed on to the next class teacher. 8. The class teacher will request a meeting with the parents/guardians of the two parties involved (separately). The purpose of the meeting is (a) to inform parents /guardians of the problem, (b) explain the actions being taken and (c) the reasons for them. Their assistance will be sought in preventing a repeat of the behaviour. 9. 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 pupils being disciplined, his or her parents and the school. 10. The perpetrator will receive an appropriate sanction in line with the sanctions listed in our school’s code of behaviour and be expected to make an apology. 11. The class teacher will use conflict resolution approaches such as those in the SALT Conflict Resolution programme. 12. The school may seek assistance from outside agencies if necessary, including the National Educational Psychological Service, HSE, Mater CAHMS and the Gardaí. 13. The class teacher will record the allegation of bullying behaviour in the standard Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour if there is no resolution after 20 school days. (Appendix 2) A copy of this must be supplied to the Principal and the Deputy Principal as soon as possible. 14. The principal, class teacher and the deputy principal will monitor the situation and see how the pupils are interacting. 15. The Principal will provide a report to the Board of Management, at least once per term, which sets out the overall number of bullying cases reported (by means of the standard Bullying Recording Template in Appendix 3 Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary schools 2013) to the Board of Management since the previous report to the Board of Management. The Principal will also confirm that all cases have been or are been dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti –bullying policy. 7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves  discussing the incidents with the pupils  reassuring them that they were right to bring the events to the attention of staff  reassuring them that they were not telling tales  telling them that their actions will help others  arranging counselling for some pupils  organising activities to increase self-esteem, friendships and social skills to build resilience in the affected pupils. 8. Supervision and monitoring of pupils The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible. 9. Prevention of Harassment 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 the Traveller community. 10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 13th May 2014 11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provide 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 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 available, if requested, to the patron and the Department. Signed:____________________________ Signed:___________________________ (Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal) Date:_________________ Date:_____________________ Date of next review: September 2016  
Appendix 1 Bullying Report Form St. Teresa’s Primary School BULLYING REPORT FORM (BRF 1) Date of Report: _____________________ Name(s) of pupil(s) bullying others: Name(s) of pupil(s) who are victims of bullying: Notes of incident(s): Parents/Guardians have been informed by class teacher Copy of report supplied to Deputy Principal Copy of Report supplied to Principal Signature of Teacher:_____________________________________________ Date:_____________________  
Appendix 2 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 Name Calling Other (specify) 7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category: Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller 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 ___________________