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Anti Bullying Policy

Policy

This anti-bullying policy operates in conjunction with the Code of Behaviour, which is used to address isolated instances of anti-social behaviour.

The school has a central role in the children’s’ social moral development just as it does in their academic development.  In school, we work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility.  The individuality of each child needs to be accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to education in a disruption free environment.

Bullying is defined as repeated aggression, whether verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others.  Examples of bullying include physical aggression, damage to property, intimidation, isolation, name-calling, taunting or ‘slagging’. Child to child bullying, teacher to child, intra staff bullying, parent to staff and parent to child bullying (including a child other than their own) are examples of the areas where bullying may occur.

Isolated instances of aggressive behaviour, which would be dealt with under the Code of Behaviour, would not be described as bullying. However when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing, it is bullying.

The school acknowledges that there are three parties involved in bullying – those who bully, those who are bullied and those who witness the bullying.  Staff and teachers bear this in mind when dealing with bullying incidences and try to support and work with all parties involved.

Aims of the Policy

  • To foster a school ethos of mutual and self-respect
  • To raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour
  • To outline, promote and raise awareness of preventative approaches that can be used in response to reported incidences of bullying
  • To develop a programme of support for those affected by bullying behaviour and for those involved in bullying behaviour
  • To outline procedures for noting and reporting instances of bullying behaviour
  • To outline procedures for investigating and dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour

Bullying behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim often feels a sense of hopelessness. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, can not be described as bullying.

 

The Board of Management 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 key 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 pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
    • Promotes respectful relationships across the school community.
  • Effective leadership
  • A school-wide approach
  • 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; and
    • Explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying
    • including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Supports for staff
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

Indications of bullying:

  1. Anxiety about attending school
  2. Deterioration in educational performance
  3. Pattern of physical illness
  4. Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour
  5. Visible signs of anxiety or distress
  6. Possessions missing
  7. Increased requests for money
  8. Unexplained bruising
  9. Reluctance to say what is troubling him/her

 

These are all signs of a variety of problems as well as bullying.

 

Procedures for noting and reporting incidents:

  1. If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher
  2. Reports of bullying either from parents or staff members should be recorded. The teacher should investigate and act appropriately. If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred, the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed
  3. Parents of those involved should be notified and given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the teacher
  4. It should be made clear that children reporting incidents of bullying are acting responsibly
  5. A record should be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on, the succeeding teacher should be informed of any problems that existed

 

Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:

  1. Calm, unemotional, problem solving approach
  2. Incidents are best investigated outside of the classroom situation
  3. Teachers should speak separately to the children involved
  4. Members of a gang should be met separately and as a group
  5. Parents should be informed where it has been determined that bullying has occurred
  6. Once the bullying of the child has ceased, the teacher should check with the child on a regular basis that no further difficulties have arisen

 

Child to Child Bullying

Stage One

Unless the incident is of a very serious nature, it will be dealt with by the classroom teacher who will talk to the children involved. Teachers respect the need to support the esteem of each party involved in an incident.  When a teacher becomes aware that a child is regularly involved in incidents he/she will start a record of such incidents.  The purpose of this record is:

  • To aid memory by recording details of the incident
  • For clarity in assessment of the situation
  • For planning and intervention

Prior to a record of incidences being kept, parent(s) will be informed.

Should the action taken at this stage prove not to have resolved the issue, the staff will proceed to stage two.

 

Stage Two

The Principal will arrange to meet with the parents of the child who is seen to be bullying and separately with the parents of the victim of bullying.  The children themselves may be required to attend part or all of these meetings.  The child who is bullying will be placed on report.  This means that the child’s behaviour in all areas is monitored during the day.  The child has three meetings with his/her teacher and together they decide on what is to be written for that part of the day.  All positive behaviour, progress on work etc will be noted.  At the end of the day, the teacher writes his/her own comment.  The purpose of this report to focus as much as possible on the positive qualities and efforts of the child and to motivate the child to move away from negative behaviour.  The child should be able to see that parents and school are working together in his/her interest, so the co-operation of the parents is essential.  Initially a review of the reports will be carried out on a weekly basis, in a meeting with the Principal, teacher, parents and child.  If progress is being made, longer intervals between meetings may be decided upon.  The child who is the victim of bullying will also meet with the Principal and his/her parents.  The aim of such a meeting(s) will be to address emotional needs and devise strategies for the child to deal with the bullying.  This may involve reinforcing the programme being covered in class, or other strategies.

 

Stage 3

It is the duty of the school to provide a safe environment for all the children. Should the above interventions fail and the bullying continue, a programme of appropriate sanctions may be implemented by the Principal in consultation with the parents and Board of Management.  Sanctions implemented aim to encourage positive behaviour and support the esteem of the child.  These sanctions may include a period of suspension during which there will be ongoing consultation with the parents to decide on appropriate action(s) to be taken in the best interests of the child.  Suspension for any period of time will be reported in writing by the Principal to the Chair of the Board of Management.

 

Bullying by Adults

In the case of intra-staff bullying, Kilrane National School will adopt the procedures outlined in Section C (c2) of the INTO booklet: ‘Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations’.  A copy of this document is available for free download on the INTO website.

In the case of Teacher/Child bullying, a complaint should in the first instance be raised with the teacher in question by the parent/guardian of the child if possible and then if necessary referred to the Principal.  Where it has not been possible to agree a framework for resolution, the matter should be referred in writing by both parties to the Board of Management for investigation.

In the case of Parent/Teacher bullying, the Principal should be informed in the first instance, and if deemed necessary the Board of Management should subsequently be informed in writing.

In the case of Parent/Visitor to the school – Child bullying, the complaint should be referred in the first instance to the child’s class teacher and subsequently to the Principal if unresolved.

In the case of Principal – Parent/ Child bullying, the matter should be raised with the Principal if possible, or referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

 

 

 

 

 

Ratification and Review

This policy was reviewed by the Board of Management on the 28th September 2016.

 

It was ratified by the Board of Management on 28th September 2016.

 

Signed: Diarmuid Desmond ___________________________ Chairperson, BOM

 

Review Date: 

October 2019

 

 Anti_Bullying_Policy

 

Please also see the Department of Education Circular on

 Anti Bullying Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools

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