Preventing and Tackling Bullying
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or a group, usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally and involves an imbalance of power”. (DfE “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, October 2014)
Bullying behaviour can include: name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; producing offensive graffiti; gossiping; excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.
This includes the same inappropriate and harmful behaviours expressed via digital devices (Online bullying) such as the sending of inappropriate messages by phone, text, Instant Messenger, Snap Chat, through websites and social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading images by mobile phone or via the internet.
This type of bullying involves the use of physical force. This may involve, for example, spiting, shoving, kicking or punching. In many instances, the aggressor is physically larger than the victim or may be within a group. Physical bullying may be used by the bully to establish superiority and continued control over a victim.
Verbal bullying incorporates the use of words to carry out an act of bullying. In this type of bullying, the aggressor, also known as the bully, tries to verbally upset the victim through taunting and teasing. The verbal assault might focus on an individual’s appearance, lifestyle choices, intellect, skin color and even ethnicity. Most verbal bullies have a low self esteem and tend to bully others so as to increase their social standings and feel better about themselves.
Also known as relational aggression, emotional bullying is the act of an aggressor attacking a victim on an emotional level. Emotional bullying is when someone acts in such a manner as to bring about distress to the other person. Emotional bullying may involve the spreading of rumors, excluding an individual from certain activities, refusing to talk to someone and even making a statement with an intention of hurting a person’s feelings.
This is increasingly an issue for children in the modern world. Online bullying can be described as any form of bullying that incorporates the use of technology. The school is often contacted by parents in order to deal with bullying behaviour which has occurred through the internet on a range of devices including ipads, tablets, smart phones, gaming devices etc. This can often be through social media - often things like Facebook or Instagram which primary school children are not old enough to use and are often used unchecked by parents.
The school holds regular workshops around these issues for parents which we encourage everyone to attend as it is an increasingly problematic area for parents to deal with at home. Please look at our Online Safety section of the web site for further information.
- Bullying related to race, religion or culture.
- Bullying related to SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability).
- Bullying related to appearance or physical/mental health conditions.
- Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic and biphobic bullying).
- Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances.
- Sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying.
- Bullying via technology –“online bullying”
The following steps will be taken when dealing with alledged bullying incidents:
- If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached.
- A clear and precise account of the incident will be recorded and given to the head teacher and Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) Sally Dixey and/or Deputy Designated Safeguard Lead Sam Toynbee.
- The head teacher/ Designated Safeguard Lead will interview all concerned and will record the incident. A decision is made as to whether the incident is bullying.
- Teachers will be kept informed.
- When responding to Online bullying concerns (taking place on the school systems) the school will take all available steps to identify the bully, including looking at the school systems, identifying and interviewing possible witnesses, and contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary. The police will need to be involved to enable the service provider to look into the data of another user if this is deemed necessary.
- Where the bullying takes place outside of the school site then the school will ensure that the concern is investigated and that appropriate action is taken in accordance with the schools behaviour policy and/or Bullying Policy and will support parents as appropriate.
- Parents/carers will be kept informed by Miss Dixey or Mrs Toynbee and will work with you to support the children involved - bully and victim(s).
- Sanctions will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned
- If necessary and appropriate, the police or other local services will be consulted