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Anti-Bullying Policy

Our School

Anti-Bullying Policy (revised 2014)


Scoil Naomh Phdraig, Bhile Bhriain



1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Code of Behaviour Guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Scoil Naomh Phdraig has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school's overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.


2. Key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
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) A positive school culture and climate (See Appendix 1 for key elements of 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;
  • promotes respectful relationships across the school community

(B) Effective leadership
(C) A school-wide approach
(D) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
(E) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that provide for:

  • building empathy, respect and resilience in pupils and
  • explicitly addressing the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(F) Supports for staff
(G) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies) and
(H) Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.


3. Definition of Bullying
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

'Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time'.

Isolated or once-off incidents of negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school's code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and appears as Appendix 2 of this document.

Some examples of bullying behaviour

General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying " Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.

  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Name calling
  • Slagging
  • The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or offensive materials aimed at intimidating another person
  • Offensive graffiti
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation
  • Insulting or offensive gestures
  • The "look"
  • Invasion of personal space
  • A combination of any of the types listed


Cyber
Denigration: Spreading rumours, lies or gossip to hurt a person's reputation
Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual
Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person's name
Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images
Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
Silent telephone/ mobile phone calls
Abusive telephone/ mobile phone calls
Abusive text messages
Abusive emails
Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/ twitter/ you tube or on games consoles
Abusive website comments / blogs/ pictures
Abusive posts on any form of communication technology

Identity based behaviours
Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.)

Homophobic and transgender
( these terms will be taught in fifth and sixth class) Spreading rumours about a person's sexual orientation
Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
Name calling e.g. gay, queer, lesbian (where they are used in a derogatory manner)
Physical intimidation or attacks
Threats

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community Discrimination, prejudices, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background
Exclusion on the basis of any of the above

Relational
This involves manipulating relationships as means of bullying. Behaviours include:
Malicious gossip
Isolation and exclusion
Ignoring
Excluding from the group
Taking someone's friend away
"Bitching"
Spreading rumours
Breaking confidence
Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
The "look"
Use of terminology such as "nerd" in a derogatory way

Sexual
Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
Harassment

Special Educational Needs, Disability
Name calling
Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs
Taking advantage of some pupils' vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying
Taking advantage of some pupils' vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
Mimicking a person's disability
Setting others up for ridicule


4. Relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying
The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:

  • The class teacher(s) initially (or teacher on yard duty if the incident occurs on the yard) will investigate and deal with the issue in the first instance. The teacher on yard will discuss the incident with the child(ren)'s class teacher. The Principal is informed of the incident and the sanctions imposed


  • In cases where there is a repeat of the behaviour or that there is an acceptance that the behaviour constituted bullying, the Principal will speak to all the children involved and the incident will be recorded on the 'Template for recording bullying behaviour (Appendix 3).The principal will also contact the parents of all parties involved and address the issue with them and the class teacher.


Sanctions will be imposed in line with the school's behaviour policy.

5. Education and prevention strategies

  • A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.
  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudices and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.
  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  • Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra-curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.
  • The development of an Acceptable Usage Policy in the school to include the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored.
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures across all aspects of bullying and involves strategies to engage pupils in addressing problems when they arise. In particular, such strategies need to build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
  • Provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures focusing on cyber-bullying by educating pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while online
  • Teachers can influence attitudes to bullying behaviour in a positive manner
  • There are a number of curriculum components and programmes which are particularly relevant to the prevention of bullying and the promotion of respect for diversity and inclusiveness. The SPHE curriculum makes specific provision for exploring bullying as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication, conflict, friendship, personal safety and relationships. The Stay Safe & RSE programmes at primary level are personal safety skills programmes which seek to enhance children's self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying. Various other social, health and media education programmes can further help to address the problem of bullying behaviour.
  • A letter will be sent home annually to parents reminding them of the school's stance on certain websites. No pupil under 14 years is permitted to register with Facebook. It is against the law. No pupil should register with the online forum Ask.FM as it operates under a cloak of anonymity and is registered in Latvia.
  • As children will be entitled to register with Facebook once they reach the age of 14, lessons on responsible use of the internet, including Facebook and other similar fora will be taught through the schools SPHE programme.
  • The work could be extended into many other areas such as Art, Drama, Religious Education, and Physical Education. Co-operation and group enterprise can be promoted through team sports, school clubs and societies as well as through practical subjects
  • Sporting activities in particular can provide excellent opportunities for channelling and learning how to control aggression. GAA coaching is offered to all classes from a GAA Leinster Council initiative supported by the local GAA club. Teachers are also involved in coaching the school's football, and athletics teams.
  • The full implementation of the SPHE programme, incorporating the following;

o The Stay Safe Programme
o SPHE lessons
o RSE Programme
o Walk Tall Programme
o Circle Time
o Anti Bullying website (set up in conjunction with this programme)
o Lessons and learning materials in the case of cyber bullying
This policy directly relates to other policies on behaviour in our school e.g. Code of Behaviour, Child protection policy, Acceptable Usage Policy


6. Procedure for investigating and dealing with bullying


The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame). With this in mind the schools procedures are as follows:

Reporting bullying behaviour:

  • Any pupil or parent/guardian may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, SNAS must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.


Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach

  • In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher(s) will exercise his/her/their professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred, what type if it has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved
  • Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible
  • It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset
  • Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents
  • Initial investigations of bullying will be done in class where possible but some incidents might be best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved
  • All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way
  • When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher(s) should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner
  • If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other's statements
  • Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher
  • Where the relevant teacher(s) has/have determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school's anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied
  • It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
  • In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken. The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils
  • It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school.


Follow up and recording

  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

o Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased
o Whether any issues between the parties has been resolved as far as is practicable
o Whether the relationships between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable
o Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or guardians or the school Principal

  • Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable
  • An additional follow-up meeting with parents of the children involved may take place after an appropriate time to ensure that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily.
  • Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school's complaints procedures
  • In the event that a parent has exhausted the school's complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.


Recording of bullying behaviour:
Noting and reporting of bullying behaviour is to be documented using the template for recording bullying behaviour (Appendix 3).
All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation.

The school's procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

Informal pre-determination that bullying has occurred

  • All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. All incidents must be reported to the relevant class teacher.
  • While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s), the relevant teacher(s) will use his/her/their professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same.


Formal stage 1 - determination that bullying has occurred
If it is established by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher(s) must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.

Formal stage 2 - Appendix 3
The relevant teacher(s) must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:

a) In cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred
b) Where the school has decided as part of an anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal as applicable.

When the recording template has been used these must be retained by the relevant teacher and a copy retained by the Principal. The Principal's copy will be retained throughout the duration of the child's schooling.

7. Support for working with pupils affected by bullying
The school's programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach. Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/support programme works in all situations. Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals so that appropriate outside agencies in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed. If pupils require counselling or further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies or organise same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils:
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

9. Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on
07.04.2014.

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents' Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

11. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year in accordance with the check list set out in Appendix 4. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents' Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.


Signed:
Philip Burke (Chairperson BOM)


Signed:
Stephen Darby (Principal)


Date:
07.04.2014 Date: 07.04.2014


Date of next review:
April 2015.

Appendix 1. Positive School Culture and Climate

Appendix 2. Different types of Bullying

Appendix 3. Template for recording Bullying

Appendix 4. Checklist for Annual Review

Appendix1 Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.


Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.

Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
Catch them being good-notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour b providing positive attention.
Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school-this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
Give constructive feed back to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.

Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.

Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.

Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.

Actively involve parents and/or the Parents' Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.

Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the class room and in common areas.

All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.

Ensure there is adequate playground/schoolyard/outdoor supervision.

School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying "hotspots" and "hot times" for bullying in the school.

o Hot spots tend to be in the playground/schoolyard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.
o Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/schoolyard or moving classrooms.
o Support the establishment and work of student councils.

Appendix 2 Types of Bullying
The following are some of the types of bullying behaviour that can occur amongst pupils:

  • Physical aggression: This behaviour includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people. It may also take the form of sever physical assault. While pupils often engage in 'mess fights', they can sometimes be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain.
  • Intimidation: Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation: it may be based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon. Particularly upsetting can be a facial expression which conveys aggression and/or dislike.
  • Isolation/exclusion and other relational bullying: This occurs where a certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored by some or all of the class group. This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour and can be difficult to detect. It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the pupil in public places, by passing around notes about or drawings of the pupil or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard,. Relational bullying occurs when a person's attempt to socialise and form relationships with peers are repeatedly rejected or undermined. One of the most common forms includes control: "Do this or I won't be your friend anymore" (implied or stated); a group ganging up against one person (girl or boy); non-verbal gesturing; malicious gossip; spreading rumours about a person or giving them the "silent treatment".
  • Cyber-bullying: This type of bullying is increasingly common and is continuously evolving. It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social network sites, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), apps, gaming sites, chat-rooms and other online technologies. Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying. As cyber-bullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behaviour and does not require fact to face contact, cyber-bullying can occur at any time (day or night). Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyber-bullying, For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person's sexuality, appearance etc.
  • Name calling: Persistent name-calling directed at the same individual(s) which hurts, insults or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour. Often name-calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g. size or clothes worn. Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention. Academic ability can also provoke name calling. This tends to operate at two extremes. There are those who are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be weak academically. At the other extreme there are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers, are also targeted.
  • Damage to property: Personal property can be the focus of attention for bullying behaviour. This may result in damage to clothing, mobile phone or other devices, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil's locker or bicycle. The contents of school bags and pencil cases may be scattered on the floor. Items of personal property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden.
  • Extortion: Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out in the event of the targeted pupil not delivering on the demand). A pupil may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour.



Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name _________________________________________Class__________________

2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))* 4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned Playground
Other Pupil Classroom
Parent Corridor
Teacher Toilets
Other School Bus
Other

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern



6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
Physical Aggression Cyber-bullying
Damage to Property Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (specify)

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)



8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact



9. Details of actions taken




Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher) Date ___________________________

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________

Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation
The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school's anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school's anti-bullying policy will be required.

  • Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools? Yes /No
  • Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents' association? Yes /No
  • Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)? Yes /No
  • Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work? Yes /No
  • Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils? Yes /No
  • Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies? Yes /No
  • Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented? Yes /No
  • Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined? Yes /No
  • Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy? Yes /No
  • Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal? Yes /No
  • Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal's periodic report to the Board? Yes /No
  • Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school's handling of bullying incidents? Yes /No
  • Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school's handling of a bullying situation? Yes /No
  • Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school are handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed? Yes /No
  • Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour? Yes /No
  • Has the Board identified any aspects of the school's policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement? Yes /No
  • Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement? Yes /No


Signed _____________________________________ Date _________________
Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date _________________
Principal.


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