At BVGS we want our whole community to feel safe.
We believe it is every member of the School Community’s right to go to school in safety and to be free from harassment. It is the responsibility of all members of the community to ensure that education takes place in an atmosphere which is caring and protective.
Bullying can be:
o Physical – pushing or shoving, tripping up, kicking, spitting.
o Emotional – humiliating someone, name calling, using insulting names or comments.
o Driven by a prejudice – this might be homophobia, racism, or victimising those who have special needs or disabilities.
It may be picking on a looked after child because they are cared for away from home or it may be picking on a child who cares for a sick relative.
o Indirect – spreading rumours whether true or not.
o Cyberbullying – any form of bullying using a mobile phone or the internet, chat rooms, social networking sites, instant messaging or email.
It may also be bullying when:
o The same person or group always leaves someone out or shuns them.
o Someone makes threats of violence against someone else.
o Someone damages someone else’s clothing or kit deliberately.
o Someone takes someone else’s belongings deliberately.
o Someone tries to force someone else to do something they do not want to do.
o Someone tries to force another to do something sexual they do not want to do.
Although all of these actions are serious and adults should always intervene, they may not always be regarded as bullying unless they are part of an ongoing pattern of behaviour against the victim.
STEPS WE WILL TAKE TO PREVENT BULLYING:
* Adults will model respectful behaviour. Everyone works continuously to create an ethos where bullying will not be tolerated, including bullying in staff/student relationship.
* Every young person will have their rights respected.
* We will work to stop racism, homophobia, sexism and all forms of bullying.
* We will work to help everyone understand and respect people with disabilities.
* Within the curriculum the school will raise the awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in PSHE, form tutorial time, assemblies and subject areas, as appropriate, in an attempt to eradicate such behaviour. Pupils are taught that everyone has a duty to ensure that bullying does not occur.
* We will set up easy safe ways for young people to report bullying. Pupils are encouraged to share any problems concerning bullying with friends, teachers and parents. Students are expected to report any incident or on-going problem to a member of staff – Form Tutor, Head of Year or the first available person. We have adopted the SHARP system to allow students to report this easily and the school council also allows students to voice their concerns.
* Parents are invited to contact the Headmaster, Form Tutor, Head of Year or any other member of staff should they be concerned about any possible indication of bullying.
* We will work with anyone who bullies to help them change their behaviour.
* We will put in place sanctions to be used as appropriate.
* Areas of the school identified as possible bullying zones are supervised, (as far as is reasonably possible) by senior students and/or staff.
DEALING WITH BULLYING
The School defines unacceptable behaviour as that which includes disrespect or failure to follow the instructions of a member of staff. It also includes name-calling, verbal abuse, threatening language or behaviour, intimidation, bullying or harassment, inclusive of but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic abuse through any medium, along with damage to the school environment or equipment. Unacceptable behaviour disrupts a student’s learning, and can that of others. (Ref. paragraph 4 Behaviour Policy)
Staff and students should recognise that it is important that this is seen as everybody’s responsibility to understand what constitutes bullying and report incidents. Once an incident of bullying comes to light there needs to be a clear strategy:
- i) Form-Tutors and Heads of Year to be informed as soon as possible, then the Assistant Head i/c Behaviour and Attendance, all Senior Leaders including the Head Teacher.
- ii) Those involved should be given separate interviews. Each account to be taken seriously and the student to write down their version of events. (There will be a difference for one-to-one cases and for instances involving groups, but the basic procedure should be the same.)
iii) If necessary and deemed appropriate, use should be made of ‘whole group’ meetings to allow for the discussion of events.
- iv) The staff involved need to establish an agreement on facts and to discuss the appropriate sanctions/responses for the offenders. It is vitally important that both students and staff know the range of sanctions for an offence, and that this system is kept to in the vast majority of cases. Sanctions will range from detention through to exclusion from school. In the first incidence matters should be discussed with the Head of Year to agree on what is appropriate.
- v) The parents should be informed and should come into school to discuss the matter. Their support will be sought.
- vi) The Form-Tutor or Head of Year will monitor the situation, seeking to eliminate a repetition.
vii) Those involved will need to review school policy in the light of an incident to see if there is any way of making sure such things could be prevented in the future.
viii) Those concerned will be signposted to Learning Mentors as appropriate.
- ix) In cases where it is perceived that staff are bullying students, it is the Head and Deputies that will deal with the matter.
Monitoring, evaluation and review
The school will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.