Contact Persons – Mr L Bateman
The aim of the Wadebridge School anti-bullying policy is to ensure that students learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear of being bullied. 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.
Bullying is ‘behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. [Preventing and Tackling Bullying Advice DFE Oct 2014]
Bullying is essentially peer on peer abuse and can take many forms such as physical (hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (name calling), indirect (spreading rumours, excluding someone from social groups) and cyberbullying (using the internet and mobile devices). It is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a medium for ‘virtual’ bullying which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click. [Preventing and Tackling Bullying Advice DFE Oct 2014]
Schools now have wider search powers (Education Act 2011) to tackle cyber-bullying by providing a specific power to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images (or files) on electronic device, including mobile phones.
In all cases where it is believed a criminal offence may have been committed parents/carers will be advised to contact the service provider and the police.
Please refer to our school E-Safety policy for further information about how we help all members of our school community to be responsible users of ICT and stay safe while using the internet.
Students who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, lacking concentration or truanting from school. Students must be encouraged to report bullying in school.
All adults in the Wadebridge School community must be alert to the signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with school policy. Form tutors, Key Stage Leaders, and other members of staff strive to form close relationships with students so that when bullying occurs students feel able to discuss the situation openly. Literature and notices giving advice and/or telephone numbers of help-lines are displayed around the school. These are regularly updated by the Student Support Team.
Statutory duty of schools
Head teachers have a legal duty under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and the Independent School Standard Regulations 2014 to draw up procedures to prevent bullying among students and to bring these procedures to the attention of staff, parents and students.
The following steps may be taken when dealing with incidents:
· If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached
· A clear account of the incident will be recorded and given to the appropriate member of the Key Stage team
· The Key Stage team will interview all concerned and will record the incident
· Form tutors will be kept informed and if it persists the form tutor or Key Stage team will advise the appropriate subject teachers
· Parents will be kept informed
· Punitive measures will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned
Students who have been bullied will be supported by:
· offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a form tutor, a member of the Student Support Team or another staff member of their choice
· reassuring the student
· offering continuous support
· restoring self-esteem and confidence
Students who have bullied will be helped by:
· being given an opportunity to discuss what happened
· discovering why the student became involved
· establishing the wrong doing and need to change
· informing parents or guardians to help change the attitude of the student
The following disciplinary steps may be taken:
· official warnings to cease offending
· obtaining an apology
· banning the student from computer use in school
· meeting with parents
· exclusion from certain areas of school premises
· minor fixed-term exclusion
· major fixed-term exclusion
· involving the police
· permanent exclusion
Within the curriculum the school will raise the awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in RSHE and during tutorial time, assemblies (which includes the themed Anti-Bullying Week focus) and subject areas, as appropriate, in an attempt to eradicate such behaviour. Emphasis will also be given to the dangers of Internet and mobile phone use. There is a separate policy for Mobile Phone and Internet use. Where bullying has taken place outside of school parents will be informed.
Monitoring, evaluation and review
The frequency and nature of bullying incidents will be recorded by Key Stage team for the students in their Key Stage using ClassCharts and SIMs. Detailed records of actions taken following allegations of serious bullying will be kept by those investigating. Both members of the SLT and members of the Trustees will review cases of bullying each school year. The effectiveness of the school’s responses to bullying will be observed, recorded and reviewed annually. The feelings of both students and parents towards bullying in the school will be monitored using questionnaires. All incidents of a racist nature will be logged specifically and the LA informed. The school will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.