The Anti Bullying Alliance defines bullying as;
the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online.
Bullying can include:
- Physical (hitting, kicking, taking another’s belongings)
- Verbal (name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks)
- Indirect (spreading rumours, excluding from social groups, cyber bullying via sending malicious e-mails or text messages)
Bullying can be an attack on a group to which an individual may belong. At NOVA Trust schools, in accordance to the Equal Opportunities Policy, we will pay particular attention to any form of bullying involving:
- Sexual orientation
- Disability and Special Educational Needs
- Looked After children
Reporting, responding and recording incidents
It is important that incidents of alleged bullying are reported immediately so that appropriate action can be taken by the school in supporting all parties involved. If the incident is deemed not to be bullying, it will still be considered serious and therefore dealt with under the Behaviour Policy.
Parents are encouraged to report any concerns relating to bullying to the tutor or Head of Year via a telephone call or, if required, an appointment. Should neither be available then a member of the Senior Leadership Team will act on their behalf.
Pupils who have been bullied or have witnessed others being bullied should ideally report the incident to their tutor, as soon as possible. The staff member will investigate the allegation in order to reach resolution, whilst keeping the Head of Year informed via our internal recording system (PARS and bullying log). If the tutor is not available, pupils should report to any other member of staff (teaching or non-teaching) who will take appropriate action to report the matter to the tutor and Head of Year.
We will provide support to pupils who are bullied by:
- Assuring them that it was right to report the incident.
- Encouraging them to talk about how they feel.
- Ascertaining the extent of the problem by interviewing those involved and taking written statements where necessary.
- Trying to ensure that they feel safe by discussing strategies to remain so.
- Asking them to report any further incidents in order that bullying can be stopped.
- Seek to take a restorative approach by involving friends, peer support, mediation with the bully (with pastoral support staff or other staff) and parents/ carers where appropriate.
- Considering and applying sanctions under the behaviour policy (refer to policy)
We will provide support to pupils involved in bullying others by:
- Encouraging them to talk about how they feel
- Involving parents, carers and staff to ascertain what support they need, e.g. anger management, counselling.
- Using sanctions under the Behaviour Policy to impress upon the perpetrator that their behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
- Monitoring future behaviour and taking appropriate course of action.
All incidents of bullying will be recorded on the Bullying Log to allow tracking, monitoring and evaluation. This will in all instances include:
- Incident details
- Action taken including sanctions applied
- Staff involved
This information will be used by the Senior Leadership Team and Heads of Year for:
- Sharing of good practice
- Ensuring parity in dealing with incidents
- Identifying where bullying is a factor in non-attendance at school
- Exclusion data relating to bullying
At Toot Hill we aim to create a positive learning environment where pupils take responsibility for their own and each other’s well-being. For example;
- Curriculum opportunities in class are used to raise awareness about bullying and our anti-bullying policy, create an anti-bullying ethos and encourage pupils to manage their relationships positively with others.
- We use the SMSC and British Values programme to develop social and emotional skills such as empathy and the management of feelings, thereby providing continuity from primary to secondary education.
- Assemblies and tutorial time are also used to promote awareness of the negative consequences of bullying.
- We raise awareness through the Anti-Bullying week events in November each year, which provides a direct link to primary school experiences.
- Our Anti-Bullying ambassadors are included in the annual review and evaluation of our policy, involving wider student consultation if required.
- Our Anti-Bullying Policy is included within our Behaviour Policy, and can be accessed on the school website or alternatively a copy can be requested from school reception. The policy is included in our staff handbook and is accessible from the network shared drive.
- We aim to provide understanding and tolerance of all our differences and encourage our pupils to disown bullying in any form.
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