Pupil Support & Guidance
The aim of the anti-bullying policy is to ensure that pupils learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied and that staff are free from fear of bullying by pupils. Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed will pupils be able to fully benefit from the opportunities available at school.
Our policy includes:
- Bullying of pupils by pupils within school
- Bullying of and/or by pupils outside of school, where the school is aware of it
- Bullying of staff by pupils within or outside school
Definition: Bullying occurs when a person or group of people, over a period of time, by word, action or gesture, deliberately deny the dignity of another individual or group i.e.
- Physically and/or mentally hurt or worried
- Unsafe and/or frightened
- Unable to do well and achieve
- different, alone, unimportant and/or unvalued
- Unable to see a happy and exciting future for yourself. In order for St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School to fulfil its Mission Statement in valuing and respecting all individuals and in providing opportunities for students to develop their confidence and self respect, bullying must be identified and eradicated.
What does bullying look like, feel like, sound like?
Bullying is any behaviour by an individual or group that:
- Is meant to hurt – the person or people doing the bullying know what they are doing and mean to do it.
- happens more than once – there will be a pattern of behaviour, not just a ‘one-off’ incident
- Involves an imbalance of power – the person being bullied will usually find it very hard to defend themselves.
It can be:
- Physical, e.g. kicking, hitting, taking and damaging belongings
- Verbal, e.g. name calling, taunting, threats, offensive/personal remarks
- Relational, e.g. spreading nasty stories, gossiping, excluding from social groups
- Cyber, e.g. e-mails, picture/video clip bullying, Instant Messaging (IM)
Indirect, e.g. graffiti, defacing of property, display of pornographic, class, disability, homophobic, racist or sexist material.
Who bullies? Anyone has the capacity to bully. There are no completely reliable predisposition diagnoses. However, those who perceive themselves as low status within a community, institution or group may use bullying in an attempt to artificially boost their status. Self-esteem is therefore a key factor in whether someone bullies or not. This puts equal opportunities and inclusion at the centre of all anti-bullying work in school Who is bullied?
Anyone can be bullied – young person, parent/carer/guardian, staff member or volunteer. People who suffer bullying are often perceived by others to be different. Sometimes the perceived difference is individual to that person – shyness, physical appearance, clothing and possessions, accent, perceived inappropriate behaviour.
Frequently the perceived difference comes from assigning an individual to a group. Such bullying would then be designated as class, disability, homophobic, racist, religious or sexist. People can be assigned or be a member of more than one group.
Identifying and reporting concern about bullying
All concerns about bullying will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Pupils who are being bullied may not report it. However, there may be changes in their behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absence or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lacking concentration or truanting from school. All school staff will be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with this policy. Pupils who are bullying others also need support to help them understand and change their behaviour. Pupils who are aware of bullying (‘bystanders’) can be a powerful force in helping to address it and will be encouraged to do so in a safe way.
All pupils will be encouraged to report bullying by:
- Talking to a member of staff of their choice
- Completing a ‘bullying concern’ form and placing it in the box at reception
Contacting local and national support agencies for advice/support