We believe that all students have the right to live and be educated in an environment which is supportive, caring and safe, and where there is mutual respect, courtesy, kindness and co-operation. Bullying is anti-social behaviour which threatens the fundamental principles of the College, and it will not be tolerated. This policy has been developed with due regard to the duties and obligations under existing legislation and public sector duties for the safeguarding and well-being of all students.
Forms of Bullying
Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour to someone as a single incident or over a period of time. It can be either physical,verbal or indirect or a combination of any of these forms . Often it includes one of more of the following: intimidation, exclusion, rumour-spreading, name-calling, anonymous messages, damage to or theft of personal property. The victim may react by becoming silent or withdrawn, feigning illness, missing lessons, not eating, or not working. The potential serious consequences of bullying, both physical and emotional, should not be underestimated.Bullying can lead to psycological damage and in extreme cases, suicide.
Cyberbullying includes the use of ICT in the following ways:
- Texting or emailing unpleasant, scary or rude mobile phone messages.
- ‘Sexting’, where sexually inappropriate mobile phone pictures of one person are used by another person to upset, harass or demean the person in the pictures.
- Posting abusive or demeaning comments on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or in chat rooms.
- Deleting or ignorning a person’s messages on social networking sites or in chat rooms.
Sexual and sexist bullying
Sexual and sexist bullying includes:
- Making any offensive, derogratory or demeaning comment or innuendo to a person linked to their gender, sexuality or sexual activity.
- Displaying sexual or pornographic pictures on any electronic device with intent to insult, demean or harass another person.
- Any unwanted physical conduct or coercion into a sexual act.
Racist and religious bullying
Racist and religious bullying includes making any offensive, derogratory or demeaning comment to a person linked to their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion or belief, or cultural practices.
Homophobic bullying includes making any offensive, derogratory or demeaning comment or innuendo to a person linked to their sexuality to upset, harass, humiliate or isolate that person.
Disability bullying includes making any offensive comment or phycial interference towards another person who has a mental or physical disability or a learning difficulty, whereby that disability or learning difficulty is exploited with the intent to upset, harass, humiliate or isolate that person.
The following procedures and recommendations are intended to discourage bullying in all its forms.
General: Preventative Measures to stop bullying
- Unauthorised absence from class will be reported by the teacher to the house staff, and will then be followed up by the Deputy Principal.
- Poor academic performance is monitored and addressed by the Deputy Principal.
- Personal tutors will see any member of their tutor group, by appointment, during the school day, who wishes to discuss any personal problem with them.
- Personal tutors will be informed of anyone in their tutor group who has reported or is suspected of being bullied or bullying, and asked to monitor the situation.
- Catering staff will report anyone who is absenting themselves from meals or not eating normally.
- The issue of bullying and anti-social behaviour will be periodically addressed in Morning Meetings, Tutor groups, and the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme.
- The pastoral team will be vigilant around College at all times. Any student whose behaviour is a cause for concern will be discussed at the weekly meeting between the Principal, Deputy Principal, house staff and college nurse.
- The College will discourage the formation of racial or ethnic cliques and insist on the use of English in and out of lessons.
- Students will be advised that members of staff do have the ability to stop bulllying and encouraged to speak to them.
- Students will be advised that anyone who feels that they are being bullied, or who knows that someone else is being bullied, should tell any member of the academic, pastoral or house staff. The disclosure will be passed on to and dealt with by the Child Protection Officers in the first instance.
- All complaints of bullying will be taken seriously, investigated, dealt with appropriately, effectively,sensitively and as confidentially as possible, and responded to in a consistent manner.
- Staff will receive frequent traning opportunitites to help prevent and tackle bullying.
Cyber-Bullying: Preventative Measures to stop bullying
- All students are required to adhere to the College’s ‘Acceptable Use of IT Policy’ for the safe use of the internet. Certain sites are blocked by the College’s filtering system and staff may monitor students’ use. Students’ email use may also be monitored by the College.
- In PSHE lessons and in assemblies, guidance is offered on the safe use of social networking sites and cyber-bullying. This guidance covers blocking, removing contacts from friends’ lists and sharing personal data. This is also included in the College’s ‘Acceptable Use of IT Policy’.
- Guidance is offered on the safe-keeping of names, addresses, passwords, mobile telephone numbers and other personal details.
- Mobile telephones are to be used with discretion and not in lessons unless expressly for teaching purposes, as directed by the teacher.
- The use of cameras on mobile telephones is not allowed in lessons (unless with express permission) nor in washing and changing areas.
Recording, reporting and monitoring Bullying
Students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying to any member of the academic, pastoral or house staff of their choice. Students may also choose to give information anonymously by a note. The member of staff learning of the incidient will follow the College’s ‘Child Protection Policy’ and communicate it to those who will be able to deal with it effectively, if appropriate.
All incidents of bullying should be recorded and reported to relevant personal tutors, subject teachers and parents/carers. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) should be copied into all reports and trustees should receive regular updates and reports.
Where students have been involved in a bullying incident, they will be observed to ensure that the behaviour is not repeated.
Support for Students
Students who have been bullied will be supported in the following ways:
- Being offered an immediate opportunity to discuss what happened, particularly their feelings, with their personal tutor or any member of staff of their choice.
- Being reassured that they have done the right thing by reporting the incident, if applicable, and that the College will be investigating the incident and taking it seriously.
- Being offered on-going and continuous support, if appropriate.
- Working together to restore their self-esteem and confidence, if appropriate.
- Using the services of the College Nurse/Counseller/Listener, if appropriate.
The above forms of interventation will be aimed at supporting and empowering students who have experienced bullying rather than encouraging a view of them as victims.
Students who have bullied will be helped in the following ways:
- Discussing what happened and discovering why they became involved.
- Exploring different perspectives of the incident, as appropriate.
- Establishing all hurtful and offensive behaviour and the need to change.
- Informing parents/guardians and encouraging them to support the change in their child.
- Using the services of the College Nurse/Counseller/Listener to help bullies control their aggression and be more empathatic, if appropriate.
Sanctions for Bullying
The College will impose sanctions on students who have bullied in accordance with its ‘Behaviour Management Policy’.
The type of sanction will depend upon the severity of the incident.
Reviewed: August 2013
Next Review: August 2014