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In creating this policy Egham Park School considered the Department for Education’s ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’ document (July 2017) the ‘Equality Act’ (2010) Equality Duty April 2011, the Department for Education’s ‘Bullying – Don’t Suffer in Silence – An Anti-Bullying Pack for Schools’ (2000), Keeping Children Safe in Education 22
Egham Park School identifies bullying as any behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group, either physically or emotionally.
Bullying can take various forms and is often driven by prejudice that relates to perceived or genuine differences against groups, and discriminatory behaviour based on the perceived difference.
Prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying is any type of direct verbal or physical bullying, indirect bullying or cyberbullying based on protected characteristics such as:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Racism means you are subjected to abuse and harassment because of your race, colour, beliefs, or ethnic background. It can be defined as:
- An individual believing that another person’s race is inferior to their own. Racism can also be defined as an individual who is under the assumption that one race has entitlement to dictate or dominate another.
- Behaviour that is considered offensive or even aggressive to members who are of another race.
Racist behaviour includes:
- Physical Assaults
- Derogatory Language
- Verbal Abuse
- Stereotyped Comments
- Racist Propaganda
Religion – Bullying because of religion is when the motive/intention is because of the victim’s religion of perceived religion.
Homophobic/ transgender – Bullying is when people act in a way that makes someone feel bullied because of their perceived or actual sexuality. People may be a target of this type of bullying because of their behaviour, appearance, other physical traits or because they have friends or family who are LGBTQ+, or just because they are seen as being different.
Some of the more common forms of homophobic / transgender bullying include:
- Verbal bullying (being called names or teased, or being described in derogatory terms or with hate speech)
- Being compared to LGBTQ+ celebrities or characters that portray particular stereotypes of LGBTQ+
- Being ‘outed’ (the threat of one’s sexuality being exposed to friends and family)
- Indirect bullying / social exclusion (being left out or ignored)
- Physical bullying
- Sexual harassment (inappropriate sexual gestures)
- Cyberbullying (being called names, teased and/or threatened via text, email and on social networking sites)
Disability – One of the main reasons for children to bully others is that they are not the same as them, and they do not understand them. Assumptions and prejudices about disability can make disabled children at a greater risk of bullying for a number of reasons, such as:
- Negative attitudes towards disability.
- A lack of understanding of different disabilities and conditions.
- Being seen as “different”.
- Not recognising that they are being bullied.
- They may be doing different work or have additional support at school.
- They may be more isolated due to their disability.
- They may struggle in telling people about bullying.
- They may find it difficult to make friends.
In addition to the typical forms of bullying, disabled children may also experience different types such as:
- Manipulative bullying: where a person is controlling someone.
- Conditional friendship: where a child thinks someone is being their friend, but periods of friendliness are interspersed with periods of bullying.
- Exploitative bullying: where aspects of a child’s condition are used to bully them.
At Egham Park School all forms of bullying are addressed quickly and consistently.
- Verbal – Verbal bullying means using words in a negative way such as insults and teasing to gain power over someone else. Verbal bullying can also take the form of putting others down, criticism, spreading false rumours or threatening to cause harm.
- Physical – Physical bullying is when one person or a group of people targets or harasses another person in a face-to-face confrontational manner. It can be subtle actions to casually degrade the person over time, or it can be a series of more aggressive and explicit acts to purposefully hurt the person in the moment. Physical bullying can also sometimes be sexual in nature, as its psychological basis is in the desire to dominate and control in a bid to make the perpetrator feel more powerful. Physical bullying can include harassment like name calling or stalking behaviours, and more violent abuse such as hitting, beating up, torture and intimidation.
- Emotional – Emotional bullying is a deliberate attempt to cause hurt to someone else, such as teasing, talking maliciously about others behind their backs, spreading humiliating rumours, and excluding others from group activities.
- Cyberbullying – Is when a child is threatened, harassed, tormented, and humiliated by a person, child, or someone they know who uses the internet, social media websites, mobile phone voice messages and text messages to attack them. Refer to e-Safety Policy
Roles within Bullying
Egham Park School recognise various roles within the act of bullying, which have been adopted from guidance that has been issued by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
Styles of Bullying
Egham Park School also recognises the variation in styles of bullying. Anything from intimidation through gesturing, ‘looks’ or ‘evils’ (which are all classed as non-verbal bullying), threats or extortion, as well as gossip or exclusion from a group. Threatening texts, phone conversations and instant messages are also a separate style of bullying, though there is cross-over with cyberbullying.
Signs & Symptoms
Bullying can often be detected early and subsequently stopped if staff and others are alert to certain signs and patterns of behaviour which then prompt investigation:
- An unwillingness to participate
- Being withdrawn or feeling depressed
- Seeming anxious or more anxious than usual
- A noticeable lack of confidence or nervous stammering
- Self-harming or other destructive behaviours
- Crying or looking visibly upset
- Trouble sleeping or having nightmares
- Regular illness or faking or pretending to be ill to get out of school or activities
- A drop in quality of academic work
- Ripped clothing
- Damaged belongings
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- A refusal to eat or changes in eating habits
- An unwillingness to say what is wrong
- Not wanting to talk about their day
- A drop in their grades
- Unexplained marks
- Loss of interest in friends
- Low self-esteem or lower than usual
- Bullying of others (often those bullied start bullying others to expel their feeling of anger)
Aims & Objectives
The aim of this policy is to eliminate entirely from the school day any form of bullying, by creating an environment where every single pupil and member of staff feels completely safe. This policy also aims to outline the strategies for eradicating bullying as well as the actions staff must take if bullying does occur.
The objectives of this policy are to make certain that there are well understood strategies that are instigated daily, and guidance to allow staff members and (to a lesser extent) pupils to quash bullying entirely. A feeling of vulnerability is met with immediate protection and reassurance and an objective of this policy is for staff to make this completely apparent to all pupils.
Guiding Principles, Morals & Values Framework
Egham Park School believes in the total equality of its pupils. Below are the principles, morals and values that drive it forwards.
Bullying is unacceptable. All allegations are investigated fully and carefully, but it is openness and honesty essentially that can help ensure bullying does not in at all and can be eliminated if it does begin. Egham Park School addresses the issues related to bullying in its curriculum. We strive for a harmonious school community, and it is the firm belief of Egham Park School that it is the victim that decides what bullying is and not the alleged perpetrator – that if the victim interprets an action as bullying and the alleged perpetrator does not, it is the view of the victim that takes precedent. Egham Park School also acknowledges the possibility that bullying can continue outside of school hours and does all it can to in ensuring this does not happen.
Organisation, Strategies and Prevention
Staff will notify the Head of Centre of all bullying incidents via email. If this occurs, then the Head of Centre will speak to the victim. All staff are responsible for reporting bullying and making the Head of Centre aware. The Head of Centre will make the Principal aware of all reported incidents of bullying.
Role of Staff (Duties)
Head of Centre
Under the ‘School Standards and Framework Act’ (1998) the Head of School (in the case of Egham Park School this is the ‘Head of Centre’) is obligated to promote procedures aimed at preventing bullying.
The Head of Centre leads any discussions regarding anti-bullying strategies and takes on board what the staff have to say. Staff are always aware of issues between pupils which might provoke conflict and develop strategies to prevent bullying occurring. This allows the details of how a situation is to be dealt with to be discussed and understood by all staff. The Head of Centre is also obligated to organise necessary training for the staff and volunteers. The Head of Centre reacts to feedback from staff and also conveys relevant information from families, authorities etc. to the appropriate staff.
Teachers and support staff
The day-to-day implication of anti-bullying strategies is the responsibility of all teachers and support staff. They have an obligation to inform the Head of Centre of any situations where bullying is apparent. Teachers and support staff also are expected to promote good pupil-pupil relations and anti-bullying at all times.
Role of Staff (Responses)
Dealing with Incidents
If an incident of bullying is either suspected or reported, then it is the duty of the nearest member of staff to deal with it immediately. However, if there is prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying based on protected characteristics as outlined above, then the Head of Centre must be informed immediately. General incidents of bullying require debrief at the end of the day with the relevant staff to discuss a plan of action. However, both parties – alleged perpetrator and victim – will have already been spoken to and the incident may have been dealt with and recorded. Parents will be kept informed, the incident is recorded and discussed in the weekly meeting/debrief. Sanctions are determined by the Head of Centre and recorded in the Record of Sanctions for Serious Misbehaviour. Any follow up actions will be recorded. (See Behaviour Policy)
Principles in Regard to Response
The key principles that Egham Park School promotes are that the bullied pupil should feel like they can be heard, and reassurance is important. All staff members should express the importance of letting an adult deal with the situation. It is essential to judge the different reactions of different victims (but also of the alleged perpetrators). This will enable the staff member to direct the pupil to the right member of staff e.g. the one who will adopt the appropriate tact and with the greatest and most positive influence on the particular pupil.
Reporting and Recording
Once dealt with, incidents of bullying are reported in full in the Incidents of Bullying file. The reporting process is largely to allow patterns of behaviour to be identified and subsequently changed for the better. An important element is to determine how the incident was detected e.g. hearsay, gossip, witnessed.
Pupils are encouraged to feel they can talk to any staff member regarding being bullied or witnessing bullying.
Support & Confidentiality
Staff reassure pupils that feel they have been bullied, and concerns will be shared on a need-to-know basis.
Pupils who bully
Egham Park School recognises that in many cases the alleged pupils who bully will also need a form of support. The support will be based around the idea of changing attitudes linking to our values. We will endeavour to understand the alleged bully’s perspective and then advise from that point.
Curriculum – How it aids Anti-Bullying
Egham Park School dedicates a significant part of the curriculum to the awareness of anti-bullying, through dialogue in Tutor Time, morning Wellbeing sessions, and end-of-day Reflection and Wellbeing sessions.
Awareness and understanding of the need for tolerance in our diverse society is addressed through the PSHE, Personal and Self Development and Preparing for Adulthood lessons. Egham Park School recognises that the problem will not be solved by responding to single incidents in a solitary fashion, and that resolution should be sought through a sustained and consistent stance towards behaviour.
Egham Park School recognises and promotes Anti-Bullying Week.
Safety of the School Environment
Staff members are all tasked with supporting pupils and modelling good behaviours, during lessons and any break times. This allows staff to navigate pupil conversations towards positive topics. A proactive approach is taken to curtailing negative topics and topics that could lead to malicious comments. Staff are expected to always be vigilant in order to provide pupils with an immediate reference, should they encounter negativity.
Interventions, Sanctions & Disciplinary Procedures
Egham Park School applies disciplinary measures to any pupil bullying another to reinforce that their behaviour is unacceptable. Disciplinary measures will be applied fairly and consistently, considering any SEND needs and needs of vulnerable pupils. Egham Park School will also consider the motivation behind any bullying behaviours, what it may suggest about the alleged perpetrator and whether they need support or intervention themselves. The Head of Centre will accumulate all information relevant to the incident that has been collated by other members of staff. The Head of Centre must be made aware of all relevant information. Both the alleged perpetrator and victim are made immediately aware of the response.
The alleged perpetrator will be reminded of expected behaviour expected within Egham Park School and of the individual consequences and stipulations resulting from their unacceptable behaviour.
Usually, if there is a clear solution to the incident the sanction may be a letter of apology, a direct verbal apology, or occasionally, the removal of privileges. Serious incidents will result in exclusion In these serious cases the sanction is recorded in the Records of Sanctions for Serious Misbehaviour.
If bullying continues, the perpetrator will be permanently removed from Egham Park School through the Emergency review process.
Involving/Consultation with Parents/Carers
Parents/carers are made aware that Egham Park School does not tolerate bullying and the procedures to follow if they feel their child is being bullied. Parents/carers should feel confident that Egham Park School will take any complaint seriously. In extreme cases parents will be involved as soon as possible, typically the evening of the incident. Parents will be contacted via phone from school main office or via the school mobile phone.
Egham Park School pupils adhere to a simple set of values that provide the foundation of pupil behaviour: Respect, Kindness, Growth. All pupils understand the school approach and are clear about the part they play in prevent bullying. Other school pupils will become involved in a positive manner. Their input is valued, and group discussions/calm and compose times/reflection times and tutor times will focus on anti-bullying awareness in the aftermath of an incident concerning bullying. Coping strategies will be discussed as will the components that make up bullying.
Any complaints about anti-bullying procedures should be made to the school main office. (See Complaints Policy)
The procedures outlined in the policy also apply to off-site incidents of bullying where the pupils are involved in school activities e.g. trips, sport sessions. Incidents completely independent of school will be investigated by the Police, however, in such cases Egham Park School prefers to be notified, but that is at the discretion of the pupil’s parents/carers.
Availability of Policy
This policy, and all of Egham Park School policies are available to read on the school website www.eghamparkschool.co.uk. Hard copies are available upon request from school main office.