Anti-Bullying Policy 2022-23
Anti-Bullying Policy 2022-2023
Date created - October 2022
Staff consultation: Autumn 2022
Pupil consultation: Autumn term 2 2022
Parent consultation: Autumn term 2 2022
Governor Approval: November 2022
To be reviewed: October 2023
Everyone at Co-op Academy Smithies Moor has the right to feel welcome, safe and happy. We provide a secure, caring and friendly climate for learning for all our pupils to allow them to improve their life chances and help them maximise their potential. We also create an inclusive environment for all pupils where differences between people are acknowledged and celebrated.
We expect pupils to act safely and feel safe in school. We contribute to this by developing pupils’ knowledge of bullying. We strive to ensure that they feel confident to seek support from school should they feel unsafe or should they witness unacceptable behaviour towards themselves or their peers. We also want parents to feel confident that their children are safe and cared for in school and incidents, if and when they do arise, are dealt with promptly and effectively.
We are careful in the language we use, as it can be very emotive and can ‘label’ children, suggesting permanence. Instead of ‘victim’ we say person (child) who is being bullied, and instead of ‘bully’ we say person (child) who is using bullying behaviours/doing the bullying. In this way we are labelling behaviours and roles, not people.
Anti-Bullying policy aims
This policy outlines the different types of bullying and indicators to look for in identifying bullying. It also provides the procedures staff will implement when they suspect bullying could be evident, or when they receive a report of alleged bullying.
We understand that bullying is damaging and potentially has negative effects into adulthood for those who have experienced bullying. We also know that children who engage in bullying are often experiencing difficult circumstances and low self-esteem. We therefore do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable.
Our curriculum is designed to raise awareness and develop understanding of bullying (particularly see PSHE, history, computing, assemblies). Our aim is to produce a safe and secure environment where all can learn without anxiety.
In line with the Co-op Ways of Being, we want our school to be a place where all children and adults feel safe, happy and successful. We know that the consistent application of this policy is key to this. We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.
Legal and statutory requirements
This policy is based on advice from the Department for Education (DfE) on:
It is also based on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice.
· Schedule 1 of the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014; paragraph 7 outlines a school’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, paragraph 9 requires the school to have a written behaviour policy and paragraph 10 requires the school to have an anti-bullying strategy
· DfE guidance explaining that academies should publish their behaviour policy and anti-bullying strategy online
This policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.
This policy was formulated in consultation with the whole school community with input from:
- Members of staff through forum in November 2022
- Governors through discussion at meetings and ratification of the policy (November 2022)
- Parents/carers through discussion in parent forum ( November 2022)
- Children and young people through the pupil council and PSHE/circle time discussions (November 2022)
- Advice and guidance from other external agencies including the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the NSPCC
Bullying is defined as the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
Occasionally an incident may be deemed to be bullying even if the behaviour has not been repeated or persistent – if it fulfils all other descriptions of bullying. This possibility should be considered, particularly in cases of hate crime related bullying and cyberbullying.
Bullying can take place between:
- young people
- young people and staff
- between staff
- individuals or groups
Bullying by pupils is viewed as ‘serious misbehaviour’ (see Behaviour Policy) at our academy. Bullying by staff would be dealt with under the disciplinary policy and would be viewed as misconduct.
Although bullying can occur between individuals, it can often take place in the presence (virtually or physically) of others who become the ‘bystanders’ or ‘accessories’.
Bullying is not confined to the school premises. It also persists outside school, in the local community, on the journey to and from school.
The school acknowledges its responsibility to support families if bullying occurs off the premises.
Type of bullying
Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting
Hitting, kicking, pushing, taking another’s belongings, any use of violence
Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
Explicit sexual remarks, display of sexual material, sexual gestures, unwanted physical attention, comments about sexual reputation or performance, or inappropriate touching. This includes online behaviours.
Direct or indirect verbal
Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, banter
Bullying that takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming sites.
Cyberbullying can include:
Behaviours associated with bullying:
Baiting can be used in bullying both on and offline. It can be used to bully someone to get 'a rise' out of them and it can be used to antagonise those who might be bullying others to get them to bully. Sometimes baiting is used secretly to try and get a person to explode in a rage or react negatively/loudly so that they get into trouble.
The dictionary describes banter as: ‘the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks’.
Bullying is often justified as being just banter. It may start as banter, but some types of banter are bullying and need to be addressed as bullying.
Types of Banter:
- Friendly Banter - There’s no intention to hurt and everyone knows its limits
- Ignorant Banter - crosses the line with no intention to hurt, will often say sorry.
- Malicious Banter - Done to humiliate a person-often in public
Prejudice related bullying
Under the Equalities Act 2010 it is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:
- being or becoming a transsexual person
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or having a child
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin including Gypsy, Roma, Travellers
- religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
- sex / gender
- sexual orientation
These are called ‘protected characteristics’.
As part of our work to promote fundamental British values, we do not accept derogatory and discriminatory language and behaviour including that which is racist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and disabilist in nature. We will record these types of bullying, even that which represents a one-off incident, and report them to the local authority for monitoring purposes. Our behaviour policy provides details of how such incidents are responded to.
Prejudice related language:
Racist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and disabilist language includes terms of abuse used towards people because of their race/ethnicity/nationality; because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual, or are perceived to be, or have a parent/carer or sibling who is; because they have a learning or physical disability. Such language is generally used to refer to something or someone as inferior. This may also be used to taunt young people who are different in some way or their friends, family members or their parents/carers.
In the case of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language particularly, dismissing it as banter is not helpful as even if these terms are not referring to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity they are using the terms to mean inferior, bad, broken or wrong. We will challenge the use of prejudice related language in our school even if it appears to be being used without any intent. Persistent use of prejudice related language and/or bullying will be dealt with as with any other form of bullying.
Roles and responsibilities
The Academy Governing Council:
The academy governing council is responsible for monitoring this anti-bullying policy’s effectiveness and holding the headteacher to account for its implementation.
The headteacher is responsible for reviewing and approving this anti-bullying policy.
The headteacher will ensure that the school culture is open and positive and that staff deal effectively with allegations of bullying. The headteacher will monitor how staff implement this policy to ensure all processes are applied consistently.
Members of Staff:
Staff are responsible for:
- Implementing the anti-bullying policy consistently
- Ensuring all claims of bullying are taken seriously
- Ensuring bullying is made to stop swiftly
- Recording bullying incidents, reports and actions taken
- Recognising that some pupils (inc those with SEND) can be more vulnerable to bullying
- Recognising that bullying behaviours (for both those exhibiting and those receiving) can be an indication of an underlying safeguarding/child protection concern
The senior leadership team will support staff in responding to bullying allegations and incidents.
Parents are expected to:
- Support their child in adhering to the pupil code of conduct
- Support the academy to prevent and eradicate any form of bullying
- Discuss any concerns with the class teacher promptly
Our expectations are underpinned by the Co-op’s ‘Ways of Being’.
Being Co-op is about creating an environment that celebrates difference. Somewhere both pupils and colleagues feel responsible, valued, empowered and trusted to do the right thing for each other and our community.
The four Ways of Being Co-op guide our future – no matter what we do, they’re how we do it. They are:
Our Pupil Behaviours help us define and explore each ‘Ways of Being’.
Vision and values
I care about the school and what we stand for. I show the values inside and outside of the academy.
I think about the future. I want to do well, and I want others to do well.
I make sure that we all get better together. I know that my behaviour and actions have an impact on others.
I focus on getting better. I improve how much I can learn.
I talk openly and honestly and know how my words help or hurt others.
I can be friends with anyone and treat everyone with respect.
I work co-operatively with others. I share my ideas and listen to others.
I am confident using technology in a safe and sensible way.
I know my words can help others to be better. I speak up when I see bullying or poor behaviour.
Being a good friend and learner
I develop good friendships and work with my teachers, in order to understand and support others.
I represent my academy through my behaviour and my actions.
I support the learning of others to promote a positive learning environment.
Indicators of bullying
A pupil may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. All adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a student:
● is frightened of walking to or from their school
● doesn't want to go into vulnerable areas of the school i.e. toilets, library, dinner hall
● is unwilling to go to school
● becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking
● changes in behaviours
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems (including safeguarding/child protection concerns), but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
First responses to an allegation, suspicion or observation of bullying
If child on child bullying is reported by a pupil or parent, the member of staff receiving the concern will:
- reassure the pupil or parent that bullying is taken very seriously
- claims of bullying will be fully investigated
- it may be necessary to provide pupils and parents with the definition of bullying
- gather detailed information about when and where incidents have occurred and who was involved and who was present/witnessed the incident
- write down the details gathered during the conversation
- take copies of any evidence (e.g. ask parents to email screen shots of cyber incidents to the generic office email)
- tell the parent/pupil that you will investigate
- arrange a time to report back to the parent/pupil (not longer than 5 working days)
The member of staff receiving the concern will then investigate by speaking to all those involved, including any witnesses or potential witnesses. If appropriate, the member of staff may wish to be supported by the learning mentor or members of the senior leadership team.
The member of staff will record on CPOMs the initial concern and all investigation findings.
Any allegations of bullying by staff members should be passed to the headteacher, who will follow the Disciplinary Policy in addressing this. An allegation about the headteacher must be referred to the Chair of Governors.
Outcomes and following up
If bullying is proven, it is not accepted and is considered to be serious misbehaviour. The procedures and sanctions in the behaviour policy are used to ensure pupils and parents know that the behaviour is unacceptable. We will always consider whether the pupil exhibiting bullying behaviours needs support, particularly when sexualised language, harassment or violence is evident. Any incidents of sexually harmful behaviour will be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and will be addressed through the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, in conjunction with this policy and the Behaviour Policy.
If appropriate, a trusted member of staff will see whether the pupil on the receiving end of the bullying is comfortable to explain how they felt/are feeling to the pupil(s) who did the bullying. This would be supported/facilitated by the trusted member of staff. The pupil(s) who did the bullying would then apologise and reassure the pupil that it will not happen again.
The parents of all those pupils involved are informed and these conversations are recorded on CPOMs.
In cases where evidence is not found to substantiate claims of bullying, we acknowledge that it is still possible that bullying is taking place. The relationships between pupils will continue to be monitored in the following ways:
- observations during lessons
- observations during less structured times (inc break and dinner time, extra-curricular clubs etc)
- check-ins with the pupil alleging being on the receiving end of the bullying at a frequency agreed with the pupil
- regular conversations (e.g. weekly) with the parent of the pupil alleged to be on the receiving end of bullying to share the findings of the ongoing monitoring
We will consider whether a friendship group or similar intervention is appropriate to support all parties.
All monitoring (including if nothing of note is observed) is recorded on CPOMs. When evidence over time (e.g. six weeks) indicates that no bullying is taking place, the monitoring practices will stop.
Our curriculum is designed so that pupils:
- know the definition of bullying
- know the different forms of bullying
- recognise bullying behaviours
- have strategies to prevent and stop bullying including telling their peers to stop and reporting to adults
The books in our curriculum have been chosen to develop pupils’ empathy and their understanding of pertinent issues, including those relating to equality and diversity.
Across the subjects, we have ensured that chosen role models (inc authors, artists, musicians, architects, chefs) are diverse.
Assemblies are delivered on topics related to the Ways of Being, including kindness, anti-bullying, being the best version of yourself. etc.
Our history curriculum content has been chosen to develop pupils’ knowledge of discrimination and the exploitation of people over time. For example, pupils learn about the impact of explorers, the suffragettes, the civil rights movement and the Holocaust.
In PSHE, pupils learn explicitly about bullying and anti-bullying. They also learn about emotions and the impact of bullying. E-safety is covered in both PSHE and in the computing curriculum.
We further raise awareness of bullying by:
Displaying posters: Pupils and teachers can both become involved in creating posters to display around school.
Childline, telephone helpline number will be displayed.
Childline – 0800 1111 (open 24hrs)
Leaflets: these can be displayed around the school and/or sent home.
Our staff are provided with training on anti-bullying. We recognise that staff supervising over lunchtime manage pupils’ behaviour at the least structured point in the day. Therefore, intensive training is provided for this group of staff.
Monitoring / analysis of bullying behaviour
The pastoral manager will analyse bullying allegations and incidents on a half-termly basis to evaluate whether the policy is being implemented appropriately and whether any pupils require additional support.
Reporting to governors will take place on a termly basis within the Headteacher report.
Links with other policies
This policy links closely to our Behaviour Policy. This policy is to be considered in close connection to the academy’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.
This policy has direct links with policies for P.S.H.E, Special Educational Needs, Equality, Health and Safety. Any supply teacher who does not work in school on a regular basis will be given a guide to the school containing a simplified version of this policy. For further questions, they will be asked to consult a teacher with regard to any queries over bullying.