‘Bullying in schools is serious. For the child who is silently and regularly isolated by their peers, to the child who is persistently and insidiously ridiculed and harassed to the child is threatened and even assaulted; bullying at every level is not only serious and damaging, it is preventable.’ (Brighton and Hove Anti-bullying Working Group January 2002)
At Patcham Junior School we recognise the right of every child to learn in a safe, secure and supported environment where they feel free from the fear of intimidation, harassment or ridicule from other individuals or groups of individuals. We understand the long-term damage bullying behaviour can have on young people. We therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards this type of behaviour. We will do everything we can to make Patcham Juniors a bullying free school.
What is bullying?
Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
We look for 4 key factors when identifying behaviour as bullying:
- Repetition – the behaviour is not a one off.
- Intentional – the behaviour was not an accident, or incidental.
- Hurtful – the behaviour is harmful (see below for further information on what this means)
- Power – there is an imbalance of power.
School structures and systems for tackling bullying behaviour
At Patcham Juniors, if a report of bullying is made we follow procedures as set out below. Further information can be found in our policy here: Anti-bullying and practice policy 2015-16
Stage 1 – Pro-active Strategies
At Patcham Juniors we discourage bullying throughout the whole curriculum and daily life by:
- PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) and SEAL (Social and Emotional aspects of learning) work about bullying and friendships.
- Whole school assemblies about bullying.
- Participating in anti-bullying week each November.
- Regular school council meetings.
- Monitoring pupil and parent surveys.
- Whole school Worry Box.
- Advocates – Selected children voice the opinions of others.
- Time to Talk – Opportunity for children to talk to trained teaching assistants about their concerns at lunchtimes.
- Anti-bullying Working Party – Cross section of staff to review and refresh the anti-bullying procedures in school.
- Playground Buddies.
Stage 2 – Incident reported – Accusation of bullying?
- If an allegation of a bullying incident has been made to any member of staff, an initial discussion would take place between the member of staff and the person making the allegation (could be alleged victim, friend or witness).
- A decision will be made to investigate if bullying has occurred.
Stage 3 – Investigation
Has bullying occurred? or is this a prejudicial based incident?
- As soon as possible, action is taken to interview the alleged victim and to interview the accused pupil separately, ensuring confidentiality.
- If the member of staff dealing with the situation considers it to be bullying or a prejudicial based incident, it is referred to the Deputy Headteacher (DHT) or the Headteacher (HT).
- He will ascertain the gravity of incident and record details in CPOMs.
- If it is a bullying or prejudiced based incident – complete record in CPOMs. Record will indicate details about the nature of the bullying incident and a description of the incident.
Is this another type of behaviour incident?
- Where an incident has occurred and a child has little understanding of the seriousness of his or her action, the child would spend a period of their playtime or lunch time in the Calming Down Room (see Behaviour Policy).
- If the event occurred on the playground at lunchtime, the incident may first be detected by a lunchtime supervisor. If the incident needs attention from a senior teacher, the child would be sent in to the Calming Down Room and the incident would be recorded in CPOMs.
Stage 4 – Action – Short Term
- Discuss with the child: If it is deemed to be bullying or a prejudicial incident the DHT or HT would discuss with the child, the seriousness of their actions.
- What has happened;
- What the impact has been on those involved;
- What needs to happen to put things right or to make things better in the future.
- DHT or HT will make contact with the child’s parents/carer to outline the situation, the school’s position on the situation and to request parental/carer support. The parent/carer will be invited to discuss the situation further. The incident and any subsequent meetings will be recorded in CPOMs.
- Following any further incidents, a discussion with the Governors, the Head Teacher/Deputy Head Teacher and parents (if appropriate) would take place and the child may be excluded for a period of time depending on the severity of the incidents.
Stage 5 – Action – Long Term
- The victim will be supported with counselling or small support group run by TA – e.g. Time to Talk or with the school counsellor.
- There will be a period of checking with the parents and students involved e.g. 1 week, 4 weeks and 3 months.
- If checking shows unresolved issues it will be investigated further and more support will be put in place to support the child.
At Patcham Juniors we aim to help the child carrying out the bullying come to terms with their actions and the reasons behind their behaviour. We recognise that bullies can themselves be victims.