Anti – Bullying Policy

Summer 2018
Review: Summer 2020 

Introduction

Bullying, especially if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on individuals. It can be a barrier to their learning and have serious consequences for their mental health. Bullying which takes place at school does not only affect an individual during childhood but can have a lasting effect on their lives well into adulthood.

By effectively preventing and tackling bullying, Valley End C of E Infant School aims to create a safe, disciplined environment where pupils are able to learn and fulfil their potential.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that children can learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear. Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.


What is bullying?

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages, social media or gaming, which can include the use of images and video) and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disabilities, or because a child is adopted, in care or has caring responsibilities. It might also be motivated by actual or perceived differences between children.

Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously Valley End C of E Infant School’s first priority but we also understand and acknowledge that emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical bullying.

Bullying involves an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim. This could involve perpetrators of bullying having control over the relationship which makes it difficult for those they bully to defend themselves. The imbalance of power can manifest itself in several ways, it may be physical, psychological (knowing what upsets someone), derive from an intellectual imbalance, or by having access to the support of a group, or the capacity to socially isolate. It can result in the intimidation of a person or persons through the threat of violence or by isolating them either physically or online.

Low-level disruption and the use of offensive language can in itself have a significant impact on its target. If left unchallenged or dismissed it can lead to reluctance to report other behaviour. At Valley End C of E Infant School, we believe that early intervention can help to set clear expectations of the behaviour that is and isn’t acceptable and help stop negative behaviours escalating.


Cyber Bullying:

The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new 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.

The Education Act 2011 amended the power in the Education Act 1996 to provide that when an electronic device, such as a mobile phone, has been seized by a member of staff who has been formally authorised by the Headteacher, that staff member can examine data or files, and delete these, where there is good reason to do so. This power applies to all schools, including Valley End Infant School and there is no need to have parental consent to search through a young person’s mobile phone or other electronic device that has wrongfully come into school.

If an electronic device that is prohibited by the school rules has been seized and the member of staff has reasonable ground to suspect that it contains evidence in relation to an offence, they must give the device to the police as soon as it is reasonably practicable. Material on the device that is suspected to be evidence relevant to an offence, or that is a pornographic image of a child or an extreme pornographic image, should not be deleted prior to giving the device to the police. If a staff member finds material that they do not suspect contains evidence in relation to an offence, they can, with the authorisation of the Headteacher, decide whether it is appropriate to delete or retain the material as evidence of a breach of school policy and rules.

All school staff, parents and pupils all have rights and responsibilities in relation to cyberbullying and work together to create an environment in which pupils learn and develop and staff have fulfilling careers free from harassment and bullying.

At Valley End we offer support to parents on how to help their children engage safely and responsibly with internet based activities, communication and games.  This is achieved through E-Safety workshops and information for parents.  This includes advice and signposting to other sources of support and advice. Pupils are also taught how to keep safe on the internet and how to communicate on and use the internet appropriately. This is taught through the Key Stage One Computing curriculum and within the technology element of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. Pupils also take part in Internet Safety Activities during Internet Safety Week. At Valley End we create a strong school-parent relationship that helps to create an atmosphere of trust and understanding. The school’s Computing Subject Leader has also undertaken Child Exploitation and On-line Protection (CEOP) training.

Incidents of cyber bullying are reported and dealt with in the same way as any other bullying incident. Please ‘Policy Implementation’ below. We do, believe, however, that EYFS and KS1 pupils are too young to have social media accounts and we recommend that parents ensure that their children do not access social media sites or mobile phones.

Through our Home School Agreement and our Staff Code of Conduct, all members of the school community, including parents and governors are asked to use social media and internet based communications responsibly. Staff and governors also sign, and agree to, an ICT code of conduct.


Manifestation:

Children who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, being absent from school, being ‘clingy’ with adults. There may be changes in levels of concentration and not wanting to come to school. Children are encouraged to report any anti-social behaviour incidents to staff.

 

Our statutory duty

Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 provides that maintained schools must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. These measures are part of Valley End Infant School’s Behaviour Policy and this policy. Both policies are communicated to all pupils, school staff and parents.

At Valley End Infant School, we are legally required to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) provision within the 2010 Equality Act. This covers age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The Duty requires Valley End Infant School and other public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

Maintained schools and Academies are required to comply with the PSED. At Valley End Infant School we understand and acknowledge that Part 6 of the Act makes it unlawful for the school, or any member of its staff, to discriminate against, harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil in relation to admissions, the way it provides education for pupils, provision of pupil access to any benefit, facility or service, or by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.

In addition to the duties in relation to pupils with disabilities under the Equality Act, Valley End Infant School also understands its duties under Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 to ensure that pupils with special educational needs engage in the activities of the school together with children who do not have special educational needs.


Safeguarding children.

When there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’ a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern under the Children Act 1989. Where this is the case, the school staff should discuss matters with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or one of the Deputy DSLs and report their concerns to Children’s Services at Surrey County Council and work with them to take appropriate action.

However, appropriate external support may be given to pupils whether or not it is deemed a child protection concern. Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue Valley End Infant School may draw on a range of external services (e.g. the Behaviour Support or Educational Psychology Service) to support the pupil who is experiencing bullying, or to tackle any underlying issue which has contributed to a child engaging in bullying.

 

Bullying which occurs outside school premises

All members of staff at Valley End Infant School have the power to discipline pupils for misbehaving outside the school premises. Sections 90 and 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 say that a school’s disciplinary powers can be used to address pupils’ conduct when they are not on school premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of school staff, but only if it would be reasonable for the school to regulate pupils’ behaviour in those circumstances. This may include bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises.

Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. The Headteacher will then consider whether it is appropriate to notify parents and take any action against a pupil.

While school staff members have the power to discipline pupils for bullying that occurs outside school, they can only impose the disciplinary sanction and implement that sanction on the school premises or when the pupil is under the lawful control of school staff, for instance on a school trip.

 

The prevention of bullying

At Valley End C of E Infant School we create an environment and ethos that aims to prevent bullying from being a serious problem in the first place. We believe that pupils learn best in a safe and calm environment that is free from disruption and in which the main focus is the education of our pupils.

We have a strong Behaviour Policy and aim to:-

  • Treat all members of the school community with the utmost respect.
  • Create the best learning environment through teamwork and co-operation.
  • Value each and every member of the school community as unique and take every opportunity to recognise their achievements.
  • Manage unacceptable behaviour with consistency and through interaction with the child.
  • Help children to become self-disciplined and take responsibility for their own behaviour.
  • Focus on positive and acceptable behaviour and the personal fulfilment that this gives to the individual.
  • Develop social skills, strong Christian values and high self-esteem amongst pupils.

Therefore we provide:

  • A happy, safe, inclusive and pleasant learning community.
  • Good adult and peer role models of caring, respectful and co-operative behaviour.
  • A learning environment which demands that each individual maximises their potential.
  • A system that recognises and rewards achievement and positive behaviour.
  • Acceptance by all adults in the school of a common responsibility for maintaining good discipline.
  • An effective Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum and assembly plan that focus on flourishing positive behaviour and relationships amongst pupils.
  • An effective E-safety curriculum that aims to educate our pupils to behave responsibility whilst on-line.
  • Strong links with parents with regard to our school’s ethos, values and behaviour policy.
  • Positive, supportive and open links with parents in order to deal with any issues immediately and effectively.
  • Strong relationships between staff and pupils so that pupils are assured that they are safe, listened to and can report any bullying issues.
  • Strong Christian values that are lived out within the school community.
  • An Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) to support vulnerable pupils.
  • A set of Golden Rules that underpin and permeate school life that are consistently applied, reinforced and understood by all adults and children in the school.

 

The Golden Rules are:-
We love and care for each other.
We look after property and God’s creation.
We are honest and always tell the truth.
We always try hard to do our best.

As a member of the school community pupils have a responsibility to make a positive contribution to the life of the school. In order to create a secure and positive learning environment for all, we expect the children at Valley End to adhere to the school’s Golden Rules.

We also have a clear system of sanctions that are consistently used throughout the school and include:-

  • Verbal warnings.
  • Sanctions deemed appropriate by the class teacher, including, for example, time out from playtime or golden time.
  • In the event of an incident occurring that is unusual or of a more serious nature children can be taken to discuss it with the Headteacher who then takes appropriate action.

Intervention – Support for pupils who are bullied. 

At Valley End C of E Infant School we have a responsibility to support children who are bullied and make appropriate provision for a child’s needs. The nature and level of support will depend on the individual circumstances and the level of need. School staff will support all pupils who are bullied and be alert to the effect any form of bullying can have and being especially alert to where it may have a severe impact.

Children who have been bullied will be supported by:

  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a class teacher or member of staff of their choice.
  • Working with and supporting the child’s parents and wider family.
  • Reassurance and appropriate support to ensure continued positive well-being.
  • Offer of continuing support with members of staff and particularly with the school’s Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.
  • Working with the child to restore self-esteem and confidence.
  • If appropriate, working with outside agencies to support the child as appropriate.
  • If appropriate, working with the pupil, to restore any difficult relationships.

Intervention – Discipline and tackling underlying issues of bullying

Valley End C of E Infant School will apply disciplinary measures to pupils who bully in order to show clearly that their behaviour is wrong. Disciplinary measures will be applied fairly, consistently, and reasonably taking account of any special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils may have and taking into account the needs of vulnerable pupils. Valley End Infant School will also consider the motivations behind bullying behaviour and whether it reveals any concerns for the safety or well-being of the perpetrator. Where this is the case the child engaging in bullying will be given support themselves.

Children who have been the perpetrator will be helped by:

  • Discussing what has happened.
  • Discovering why the child became involved in bullying behaviour.
  • Discovering and dealing with any of the motivations or ‘drivers’ behind bullying incidents.
  • Establishing the wrong doing and putting in actions that will result in a need to change.
  • Targeting and focusing on steps towards changing negative behaviour into positive behaviour.
  • Informing and supporting parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviours of the child.
  • Understanding and supporting any further concerns for the perpetrator’s well-being.
  • Offer of continuing support with members of staff and particularly with the school’s Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.
  • If appropriate, working with the child to restore self-esteem and confidence.
  • If appropriate, working with outside agencies to support the child as appropriate.
  • If appropriate, working with the pupil, to restore any difficult or broken relationships.

The following disciplinary steps may also be taken:

  • Official warnings to cease offending.
  • Sanctions as outlined above and in the school’s Behaviour Policy.
  • Exclusion from certain areas of the school premises. Any exclusion will remain in place for as long as necessary.
  • Minor fixed term exclusion.
  • Major fixed term exclusion.
  • Permanent exclusion.
     

Policy Implementation:

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 in line with this policy and the school’s Behaviour Management Policy
  • A clear account of the incident will be recorded and given to the Headteacher or related verbally to the Headteacher who will record it with the member of staff.
  • The Headteacher will interview all concerned and make a written record the interview.
  • Class teachers, HLTAs, TAs and support staff will be kept informed.
  • Parents of all parties will be informed.
  • Corrective and support measures as described above will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned.

Please refer to the following supporting policies:

Equalities

Teaching for Learning

Computing/ICT

E- Safety

Staff Code of Conduct

Home School Agreement

Behaviour Management

Safeguarding/Child Protection

PSHE
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development.