This Policy has been approved and adopted by the Governing Body in September 2019 and will be reviewed in September 2022.
At St. John the Baptist we are completely opposed to bullying of all types and will not tolerate it. Bullying is entirely contradictory to the Christian values of equality and tolerance that we work and live by. All members of the school community have a right to work in a caring and protective environment. They also have the responsibility to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the protection and maintenance of respect and tolerance in our community. Through our RE, PSHE and Relationship programmes and our collective worship we encourage the children to live out the Gospel values; through compassion, being open-minded and behaving respectfully.
Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 provides that maintained schools must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. These measures should be part of the school’s behaviour policy which must be communicated to all pupils, school staff and parents.
A key provision in The Equality Act 2010 is the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force on 5 April 2011 and covers age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
The Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
Maintained schools and Academies are required to comply with the PSED. In addition Part 6 of the Act makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against, harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil in relation to admissions, the way it provides education for pupils, provision of pupil access to any benefit, facility or service, or by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.
In England and Wales Part 6 of the Act applies to maintained schools and Academies and to other independent schools. In addition to the duties in relation to pupils with disabilities under the Equality Act, schools also have duties under Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 to ensure that pupils with special educational needs engage in the activities of the school together with children who do not have special educational needs.
Safeguarding children and young people
When there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’ a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern under the Children Act 1989. Where this is the case, the school staff should discuss with the school’s designated safeguarding lead and report their concerns to their local authority children’s social care and work with them to take appropriate action. Full details can be found in Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
However, external support can be given to pupils whether or not it is deemed a child protection concern. Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue, schools may need to draw on a range of external services to support the pupil who is experiencing bullying, or to tackle any underlying issue which has contributed to a child engaging in bullying. Full details can be found in Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Peer-On Peer Abuse
Peer-on-peer abuse is abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil. It can manifest itself in many ways and can include bullying (including cyber bullying), physical abuse, initiation/hazing violence and rituals, sexting, sexual assault, gender-based issues and harmful sexual behaviours including sexual violence and sexual harassment. We believe that all bullying and peer-on-peer abuse is unacceptable and must be dealt with in this context. Abusive comments and interactions should never be passed off or dismissed as “banter” or “part of growing up”. Nor will harmful sexual behaviours be dismissed as the same or “just having a laugh” or “boys being boys”.
Please refer to the Safeguarding Policy for further details on peer-on-peer abuse and the management of allegations.
Although bullying in itself is not a specific criminal offence in the UK, it is important to bear in mind that some types of harassing or threatening behaviour – or communications – could be a criminal offence, for example under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, the Communications Act 2003, and the Public Order Act 1986.
If school staff feel that an offence may have been committed they should seek assistance from the police. For example, under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, any person who sends an electronic communication which conveys a message which is indecent or grossly offensive, a threat, or information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender, is guilty of an offence if their purpose in sending it was to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
Bullying which occurs outside school premises
School staff members have the power to discipline pupils for misbehaving outside the school premises. Sections 90 and 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 say that a school’s disciplinary powers can be used to address pupils’ conduct when they are not on school premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of school staff, but only if it would be reasonable for the school to regulate pupils’ behaviour in those circumstances.
This may include bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside the local shops, or in a town or village centre. Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. The head teacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police or anti-social behaviour coordinator in their local authority of the action taken against a pupil. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.
While school staff members have the power to discipline pupils for bullying that occurs outside school, they can only impose the disciplinary sanction and implement that sanction on the school premises or when the pupil is under the lawful control of school staff, for instance on a school trip
Definition of Bullying:
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.
Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages, social media or gaming, which can include the use of images and video) and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disabilities, or because a child is adopted, in care or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.
Many experts say that bullying involves an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim. This could involve perpetrators of bullying having control over the relationship which makes it difficult for those they bully to defend themselves. The imbalance of power can manifest itself in several ways, it may be physical, psychological (knowing what upsets someone), derive from an intellectual imbalance, or by having access to the support of a group, or the capacity to socially isolate. It can result in the intimidation of a person or persons through the threat of violence or by isolating them either physically or online.
Bullying can be planned and organised or unintentional. It may be perpetrated by individual or by groups of pupils. Bullying is not the same as quarrelling – all children will fall out with each other from time to time.
This also includes rough playground games which are due to unthinking children rather than intentional behaviour. This is also true of individual losing their temper and saying hurtful things. Not all aggression is bullying, nor all name calling. It becomes bullying when it is exercised through the use of power rather than an exchange between equals.
Most incidences of bullying have these things in common:
Bullying can take many forms including:
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Examples of racism that we need to be alert to include:
Sexual bullying can have the following characteristics:
We should be alert to sexual bullying based around sexual orientation, whether or not the person being bullied is gay, lesbian or bisexual. Generally Homophobic bullying looks like other sorts of bullying, but in particular it can include:
Special educational needs and disability
We should be alert to the fact that pupils with special educational needs or disabilities are often at greater risk of being bullied than other pupils on the basis of their educational difficulties or disability.
It should be noted that abusive comments and interactions may not be passed off as mere ‘banter’. Such comments referring to a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, special educational needs or because a child is a carer are not acceptable and will be treated as bullying matters.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school.
Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click.
The Education Act 2011 amended the power in the Education Act 1996 to provide that when an electronic device, such as a mobile phone, has been seized by a member of staff who has been formally authorised by the head teacher, that staff member can examine data or files, and delete these, where there is good reason to do so.
This power applies to all schools and there is no need to have parental consent to search through a young person’s mobile phone.
If an electronic device that is prohibited by the school rules has been seized and the member of staff has reasonable ground to suspect that it contains evidence in relation to an offence, they must give the device to the police as soon as it is reasonably practicable. Material on the device that is suspected to be evidence relevant to an offence, or that is a pornographic image of a child or an extreme pornographic image, should not be deleted prior to giving the device to the police.
If a staff member finds material that they do not suspect contains evidence in relation to an offence, they can decide whether it is appropriate to delete or retain the material as evidence of a breach of school discipline.
Responsibilities of all Stakeholders:
The Responsibilities of Staff
Our staff will:
The Responsibilities of Pupils
We expect our pupils to:
Anyone who becomes the target of bullies should:
The Responsibilities of Parents:
We ask our parents to support their children and the school by:
PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH REPORTED BULLYING
If an incident of bullying is reported, the following procedures are adopted:
Bullying of adults:
All members of our school community, including staff, have a right to feel safe in our school.
If a parent or child is verbally or physically abusive to any member of staff inform them that you will have to fill in a violent incident monitoring form for the DCSF. This form can be obtained from the School Office.
Any adult who feels threatened in the workplace is deemed to be suffering from bullying.
Incidents should be taken to the Head teacher who will resolve the situation as speedily as possible.
Outside agencies who can offer support are:
Links with other policies:
This policy is to be read alongside:
Who is this advice for?
This is non-statutory advice from the Department for Education for head teachers and all school staff on how to protect themselves from cyberbullying and how to tackle it if it happens.
All forms of bullying (including cyberbullying) should be handled as a community issue for the whole school. It is important that schools take measures to prevent and tackle bullying among pupils. But it is equally important that schools make it clear that bullying of staff, whether by pupils, parents or colleagues, is unacceptable. Evidence indicates that one in five (21%) teachers have reported having derogatory comments posted about them on social media sites from both parents and children.
School leaders, teachers, school staff, parents and pupils all have rights and responsibilities in relation to cyberbullying and should work together to create an environment in which pupils can learn and develop and staff can have fulfilling careers free from harassment and bullying.
Schools can offer support to parents on how to help their children engage safely and responsibly with social media, perhaps through a parents’ evening, advice in a school newsletter or signposting to other sources of support and advice. Creating a good school-parent relationship can help create an atmosphere of trust that encourages parents to raise concerns in an appropriate manner. Part of this is making sure that parents and carers are aware and understand how to communicate with the school. Schools should also make clear that it is not acceptable for pupils, parents or colleagues to denigrate and bully school staff via social media in the same way that it is unacceptable to do so face to face.
Schools should encourage all members of the school community including parents to use social media responsibly. Parents have a right to raise concerns about the education of their child, but they should do so in an appropriate manner.
All school staff are in a position of trust, and there are expectations that they will act in a professional manner at all times. Here is some key advice for staff which may help protect their online reputation:
If you are bullied online:
Employers have a duty to support staff and no-one should feel victimised in the workplace. Staff should seek support from the senior management team, and their union representative if they are a member.
The Professional Online Safety Helpline is a free service for professionals and volunteers working with children and young people, delivered by the UK Safer Internet Centre. The helpline provides signposting, advice and mediation to resolve the e-safety issues which staff face, such as protecting professional identity, online harassment, or problems affecting young people; for example cyberbullying or sexting issues.
The Safer Internet Centre has developed strategic partnerships with the key players in the internet industry. When appropriate, this enables the Professional helpline to seek resolution directly with the policy and safety teams at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Tumblr, Ask.FM, Rate My Teacher and more.
Whole-school policies and practices designed to combat bullying, including cyberbullying, should be developed by and for the whole school community. All employers, including employers of school staff in all settings, have statutory and common law duties to look after the physical and mental health of their employees. This includes seeking to protect staff from cyberbullying by pupils, parents and other members of staff and supporting them if it happens.
Schools should develop clear guidance to help protect every member of the school community and to ensure that sanctions are appropriate and consistent. This will need to be effectively communicated to and discussed with employees, pupils and parents. Kidscape has also produced best practice advice and guidelines for professionals. The Diana Award also runs a whole school Anti-Bullying Programme, information and good practice can be found at www.antibullyingpro.com.
The whole school community should understand reporting routes and responsibilities. Many schools will appoint a designated person to deal with bullying while others will distribute responsibility among a number of staff.
Acceptable use policies
Every school should have clear and understood policies in place that include the acceptable use of technologies by pupils and staff that address cyberbullying. Agreements on the responsible use of technology should include:
The Parent Zone has established a training programme designed to enable schools and professionals working with parents to deliver their own sessions on internet safety. They also provide innovative resources for schools to help and support parents, particularly around e-safety.
Facebook has produced Empowering Educators support sheet specifically for teachers and launched the Bullying Prevention Hub with Yale's Centre for Emotional Intelligence.
Getting offensive content taken down
If online content is offensive or inappropriate, and the person or people responsible are known, you need to ensure they understand why the material is unacceptable or offensive and request they remove it.
Most social networks have reporting mechanisms in place to report content which breaches their terms. If the person responsible has not been identified, or does not respond to requests to take down the material, the staff member should use the tools on the social networking site directly to make a report.
Some service providers will not accept complaints lodged by a third party. In cases of mobile phone abuse, where the person being bullied is receiving malicious calls and messages, the account holder will need to contact the provider directly.
Before you contact a service provider, it is important to be clear about where the content is; for example by taking a screen shot of the material that includes the web address. If you are requesting they take down material that is not illegal, be clear to point out how it breaks the site’s terms and conditions. Where the material is suspected of being illegal you should contact the police directly.
Contact details for social networking sites
The UK Safer Internet Centre works with the social networking sites to disseminate their safety and reporting tools.