Anti Bullying Policy

At Hillary Primary School we are committed to providing a warm, caring and safe environment for all our children so that they can learn and play in a relaxed and secure environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school. We take all incidents of bullying seriously. Everybody within our school has the right to feel safe, valued, protected and to be treated with respect and pupils who are bullying others need to learn different ways of behaving. 

At Hillary Primary School, we acknowledge that bullying may happen from time to. If bullying does occur, everyone should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively in accordance with our anti-bullying policy.  

Aims and Objectives of this Policy

The aim of this policy is to try and prevent and deal with any behaviour deemed as bullying. The implementation of this policy will create an ethos where bullying is regarded as unacceptable so that a safe and secure environment is created in which everyone can learn and work. All members of the school have a responsibility to recognise bullying when it occurs and take appropriate action in accordance with the school policy. This will happen in the following ways:

  • The school will meet the legal requirement for all schools to have an anti-bullying policy in place.
  • The school will work closely with other professional agencies to ensure that children stay safe as stated in The SEN and Disability Act 2005, The Children’s and Family Act 2014, SEND CoP 1014, Walsall Anti |Bullying and Online Bullying Strategy 2016 and Preventing and Tackling Bullying, July 2017.
  • All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents/guardians will have an understanding of what bullying is.
  • All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on bullying and will consistently and swiftly follow it when bullying is reported.
  • All pupils and parents/guardians will know what the school policy is on bullying and what they can do if bullying occurs.
  • Pupils and parents/guardians will be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Whole school initiatives (staff training, celebration assemblies etc) and proactive teaching strategies (PHSE [Personal, Health & Social Education] lessons, circle time etc) will be used throughout the school to reduce the opportunities for bullying to occur.
  • A positive, caring ethos will be created within the school environment where everyone can work, play and express themselves, free from the fear of being bullied.

Bullying and cyberbullying will not be tolerated. It is our responsibility to ensure that if it occurs any incident of bullying is dealt with in line with this policy.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is unacceptable behaviour used by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. 

Bullying can be short term or continuous over long periods of time. 

Bullying can be:-

Emotional

being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures), ridicule, humiliation  

Physical

pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, throwing stones, biting, hitting, punching or any use of violence, taking or hiding someone’s things

Racial

racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, making fun of culture and religion

Sexual

unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive or sexist comments

Homophobic

because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality

Verbal

name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, making rude remarks, making fun of someone 

Cyber bullying

sending offensive text messages/emails, internet chat, facebook misuse, misuse of associated technology ie. Camera and video facilities, iPad, games consoles

Disability

Discrimination

Any unfavourable or negative comments, gestures or actions made to someone relating to their disability or special educational needs

Reasons for being a victim may be related to:-

  • Race/ religion/ culture
  • Gender
  • Disability or special educational needs
  • Being a timid child on the edge or outside of a group
  • Appearance or health condition
  • Home circumstances, including young carers and poverty
  • Sexual orientation

Reasons for being a bully may be:-

  • A victim of violence
  • Bullied at home
  • Enjoyment of power
  • Enjoyment of creating fear
  • Not allowed to show feelings
  • Copying behaviour at home or on TV
  • Unhappy
  • Insecure
  • Self-hating

Children and adults from all backgrounds, cultures, races and sexes can be involved in bullying others.

Bullying is not:

It is important to understand that bullying is not the odd occasion of falling out with friends, name calling, arguments or when the occasional trick or joke is played on someone. It is bullying if it is done several times on purpose. Children sometimes fall out or say things because they are upset. When occasional problems of this kind arise it is not classed as bullying. It is an important part of children’s development to learn how to deal with friendship breakdowns, the odd name calling or childish prank. We all have to learn how to deal with these situations and develop social skills to repair relationships.

Where does bullying happen?

Bulling can take place in the classroom, in the corridor, in the toilets, in the dining hall, in the playground. Bullying may also happen on the journey to and from school and through social media. In such cases, the Head teacher is empowered by law to deal with such incidents but must do so in accordance with the school’s policy.

At Hillary Primary School, we are concerned with our children’s conduct and welfare outside as well as inside school and we will do what we can to address any bullying issues that occur off the school premises. The following steps may be taken:    

  • Talk to the local Community Police Officer 
  • Talk to the transport companies about bullying on school buses and in school taxis
  • Talk to the Head Teachers of other schools whose children may be involved in bullying off the premises
  • Discuss coping strategies with parents
  • Talk to the children about how to handle or avoid bullying outside the school premises
  • Discuss e-safety  

Signs and Symptoms for Parents and Staff

A child may indicate, by different signs or behaviour, that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and investigate further if a child:

  • is frightened of walking to or from school
  • doesn’t want to go on the school bus/in the taxi
  • begs to be driven to school
  • changes their usual routine/route to school
  • begins truanting
  • becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
  • starts stammering
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • feels ill in the morning
  • begins to under-perform in school work
  • comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
  • has possessions go “missing”
  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)
  • has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
  • has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • comes home starving (money/snack/sandwiches have been stolen)
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • starts swearing or using aggressive language for no apparent reason is bullying other children or siblings
  • stops eating
  • is frightened to say what’s wrong
  • is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above

These signs and behaviours could indicate other social, emotional and/or mental health problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be taken seriously and investigated as soon as possible. 

What can children do if they are being bullied?

Wherever you are in school, you have the right to feel safe. Nobody has the right to make you feel unhappy. If someone is bullying you, it is important to remember that it is not your fault and there are people who can help you.

  • Tell someone that they can trust – it can be a teacher, a teaching assistant, a member of the lunchtime team, a parent, a friend, or a relative. Generally it is best to tell an adult they trust straight away. 
  • When you tell an adult about the bullying give them as many facts as you can                                             

(What? Who? Where? When? Why? How?).

  • Don’t suffer in silence. Tell themselves that they do not deserve to be bullied and that it is wrong.                       
  • Try not to show the bully that they are upset. It is hard, but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
  • Stay with a group of friends/people. Bullies usually pick on individuals.
  • Write down the problem if you don’t feel you can talk to someone about it and put it in the phase worry boxes.

What can children do if they know someone is being bullied?

Ignoring bullying is cowardly and unfair to the victim. Staying silent means the bully has won and gives them more power. There are ways you can help without putting yourself in danger.

  • Take action! Watching and doing nothing looks as if they are on the side of the bully.
  • If safe to do so, let the bully know that their behaviour is unacceptable.
  • Tell a member of staff as soon as you can.
  • Encourage the person to talk to someone and get help.
  • Try and befriend the person being bullied.
  • If they feel they cannot get involved, they should tell an adult immediately. 
  • Teachers will deal with the bully without getting them into trouble.
  • Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully. 

Bullying of children with Special Educational Needs

Hillary Primary School is an inclusive school. We provide a secure, accepting, safe and stimulating environment where everyone is valued for who they are.

We have some children who have physical disabilities, and some who have learning disabilities and/or communication difficulties. Everyone involved in the school is very aware that these children can be especially vulnerable to bullying and we are therefore particularly vigilant at all times.

High attainers, gifted or talented pupils can also be affected by bullying. Staff will treat this type of bullying as seriously and in the same way as any other type of bullying.

Procedures for reporting and responding to bullying incidents

All staff will respond calmly and consistently to all allegations and incidents of bullying at Hillary Primary School. They will be taken seriously by all staff and will be dealt with impartially and promptly. All those involved will have the opportunity to be heard. Staff will protect and support all children involved whilst allegations and incidents are investigated and resolved.

The following step-by-step procedure will be used for reporting and responding to bullying allegations or incidents:

  1. Report all bullying allegations and incidents to staff.
  2. Staff will make sure the victim is and feels safe.
  3. Staff will listen and speak to all children involved about the incident separately.
  4. The problem will be identified and possible solutions suggested.
  5. Appropriate action will be taken quickly to end the bullying behaviour or threats of bullying.
  6. Staff will reinforce to the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Hillary Primary School.
  7. The bully may be asked to genuinely apologise, as appropriate to the child’s age and level of understanding. Other consequences may take place and appropriate sanctions applied.
  8. If possible, the pupils will be reconciled.
  9. An attempt will be made, and support given, to help the bully understand and change his/her behaviour. 
  10. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff on Sleuth. All paperwork will be kept in a file in the Headteachers office.
  11. In serious cases parents will be informed and will be invited to come into school for a meeting to discuss the problem.
  12. After the incident has been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
  13. Bullying incidents will be discussed regularly at staff meetings.
  14. The Headteacher will present termly reports on serious bullying incidents to the Governors.
  15. If necessary and appropriate, Social Services or police will be consulted.

Sanctions from the Behaviour Policy may be used:

  • Report to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher
  • Apologise to the victim verbally or in writing
  • Lose privileges
  • Lose playtimes 
  • Spend playtimes and lunchtimes with an adult
  • Parents invited in to school 
  • Removal from class and complete work in isolation
  • Be withdrawn from participation in school visit, clubs and events not essential to the curriculum.
  • Fixed term exclusion
  • Permanent exclusion 

Action to be taken to support the victim:

  • Environmental changes will be made if necessary – classroom, playground to ensure that child feels more secure.
  • Staff must communicate with other staff and record, where relevant, any incidents or concerns
  • The situation will continue to be monitored by all staff to ensure no repetition. Children will be observed at break times, lunchtimes and in the classroom. Any follow-up findings will be recorded in the monitoring section of the school Incident Log.
  • Key friends identified by the child will be asked for extra support.
  • The child may attend a nurture group.
  • The child will nominate an adult in school whom they trust and feel they can talk to.
  • The child will be made aware of the importance of immediate reporting of any further incidents.
  • Parents may be invited into school so that action taken can be shared.
  • The Inclusion Manager and the class teacher will work together to assess whether the child needs support in the development of social skills – assertiveness, language skills.

Action to be taken to support the bully:

Type and method of support will depend on individual needs, age and maturity of the child.

  • It may be suggested that the children involved meet with the support of their class teachers.
  • It will be made clear to the child that their behaviour is unacceptable because of the effect that it is having on the other child.
  • The child may be asked what they hoped to gain by their behaviour – if their answer indicates that a need is not being met, then this may be addressed through discussion with parents.
  • The child will be reminded that they are responsible for their behaviour and there are consequences for poor behaviour.
  • Following the implementation of a behaviour plan, if the behaviour persists, then outside agency support may be requested to address the needs of the child, with the permission of parents.
  • The child may attend a nurture group.

Role of Parents

Parents have an important part to play in our anti-bullying policy. We ask parents to:

  • Look out for unusual behaviour in their children – for example, they may suddenly not wish to attend school, feel ill regularly, or not complete work to their usual standard.
  • Always take an active role in their child’s education. 
  • If they feel their child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, to inform school. Their complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
  • If they feel their child has been bullied by another child, we ask them to not approach that child or the child’s parent on the playground, but to inform school immediately
  • Not to advise their child to fight back.  This will only make the problem much harder to solve.
  • Tell their child that it is not their fault that they are being bullied.
  • Reinforce the school’s policy concerning bullying and make sure their child is not afraid to ask for help.

Strategies for the prevention and reduction of bullying

Whole school initiatives and proactive teaching strategies will be used throughout the school to develop a positive learning environment with the aim of reducing the opportunities for bullying to occur.

These will include:

  • All staff aware of the anti-bullying and behavior policies 
  • Raising awareness through regular anti-bullying assemblies
  • PHSE (Personal, Health & Social Education) scheme of work from Reception to Year 6 to support the anti- bullying policy
  • Circle time on bullying issues
  • Questionnaires to find out children’s views and perceptions of bullying within school
  • Making national anti-bullying week a high profile event each year
  • Setting up of a circle of friends support network where a small group of children volunteer to help and support an individual experiencing difficulties
  • Using drama activities and role-plays to help children be more assertive and teach them strategies to help them deal with bullying situations
  • Introduction of a confidential ‘Worry’ box where children can write and post their concerns and ideas  Using praise and rewards to reinforce good behavior
  • Reinforcement of a general message that children do not have to be friends with everyone else, but they must be respectful of everyone else’s feelings and be kind to each other.

Linked Policies

This policy should be read in conjunction with:-

Hillary Primary School Safeguarding Policy

Hillary Primary School Behaviour Policy

Hillary Primary School Good to be Green Guidelines

Hillary Primary School Child Protection Policy

Hillary Primary School E-Safety Policy

Hillary Primary School SMSC Policy

Hillary Primary School Growing Up and Keeping Safe Policy

Hillary Primary School Equal Opportunities Policy

Hillary Primary School SEND and Inclusion Policy

Policy approved and adopted: July 2017

Review date by: July 2020