Anti-Bullying Policy

Anti Bullying Policy

O Connell Primary School.

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of O’Connell’s Primary school has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complieswith the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

· A positive school culture and climate which-

o is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;

o encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and

o promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

· Effective leadership;

· A school-wide approach;

· A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;

· Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-

o build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and

o explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.

· Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

· Supports for staff;

· Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

· On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

· deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,

· cyber-bullying and

· identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of thosewith disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where thatmessage, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows:

a. Anti Bullying Coordinator (ABC)

b. Class teacher

c. Where necessary the ABC/teacher will be supported by the Principal and Deputy- Principal.

5. The education and prevention strategies that will be used by the school are as follows:

· A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.

· The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.

· The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.

· Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention.

· An annual audit of professional development needs with a view to assessing staff requirements through internal staff knowledge/expertise and external sources

· Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant teacher(s)

· Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.

· The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed with pupils and all parent(s)/guardian(s) are able to access the Code of Behaviour of the school (website, Parents’ Room, copy for new students on enrolling).

· The implementation of regular (e.g. per year/per term/per month/per week) whole school awareness measures e.g. a dedicated notice board in the school and classrooms on the promotion of friendship, and bullying prevention; annual Anti-Bullying awareness Week, and parent(s)/guardian(s) seminars; annual or term or monthly student surveys (Anti-Bullying boxes); regular school or year group assemblies by principal, deputy principal, year heads etc.

· Encourage a culture of reporting, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘reporting’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.

· Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:

o Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.

o Hand note up with homework.

o Anti-Bullying boxes

o Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.

· Identify clear protocols to encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied. The protocol should be developed in consultation with parents.

o The development of an Acceptable Use Policy in the school to include the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored, as is the pupils’ use of mobile phones

o Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf.

o Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.

· Full implementation of the SPHE Curriculum including:

Stay Safe Programme

Relationship and Sexuality Programme

Walk Tall Programme

· Education around acceptable use of computers, appropriate online behavior, how to stay safe while on-line

· Visiting speakers on related topics, e.g. Community Guard, HAY Project

· Transfer Programme for Sixth Class pupils moving to Secondary Education

· Co-operation, communication and teamwork will be promoted through sports and extra-curricular activities

· Special days\weeks will be used to promote positive relationships, self esteem and an awareness of bullying and how the school deals with it.

Friendship Week

Anti-Bullying Day\Inclusion Day

6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behavior and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behavior are:

The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame.) ie. No Blame Approach

The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following approach.

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset.

Reporting bullying behaviour

· Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.

· All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.

· Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher;

Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach

· Upon receiving complaint, teacher notes complaint and determines whether this is a ‘once off incident’ or whether bullying has occurred.

· If an investigation is required, parents and pupils are required to co-operate and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring relationships of the parties as quickly as possible.

· Incidents should be investigated as discretely as possible outside the classroom (if possible). Interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils

· When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.

· Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;

· If it has been determined that bullying has occurred the teacher will fill out Appendix 3 and inform the Principal and Deputy-Principal.

· Parents of the parties involved will be contacted and informed of the actions being taken to support both sets of students. Ways to reinforce and support the actions of the school will be discussed.

· If disciplinary sanctions are required they will be imposed according to the school’s Code of Behaviour and Discipline and will remain private for each set of pupils and parents.

· Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged if necessary.

· In cases where the teacher considers that the bullying behavior has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days of the occurrence of the bullying behavior, it must be recorded by the teacher at Appendix 3.

· Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents should refer to the school’s complaints procedures.

· In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for children.

Recording of bullying behavior

It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.

The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred

· All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. Consideration needs to be given to where the records will be made e.g. incident book\class discipline book. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher (ABC)

· While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same

· The relevant teacher must inform the principal of all incidents being investigated.

· If it has been determined that bullying has occurred Appendix 3 must be completed.

Established intervention strategies

· Teacher interviews with all pupils

· Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process

· Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions

· No Blame Approach

· Circle Time

· Restorative interviews

· Restorative conferencing

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach. Opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendship and social skills and build resilience, e.g.

-Buddy system

-Care Team

-Group work such as Circle Time

Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/support programme works in all situations. Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals from outside agencies in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed. Programmes such as Big Brother may be accessed for this purpose.

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviourand to facilitate early intervention where possible.

9. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

10. This reviewed policy was adopted by the Board of Management on

09 – 02 - 2016.

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents andpupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron ifrequested.

12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completedwill be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request)and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

Signed: Thomas Carroll.

Signed: Patsy O Keeffe.

Chairperson of Board of Management Principal

Date: 09 – 02 – 2016.________________________

Appendix 1. Examples of bullying behaviours

Appendix 2

Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.

Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.

Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.

Catch them being good - notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.

Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.

Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.

Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with

the school rules and routines.

Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.

Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.

Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.

Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around

social media.

Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school. Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language inthe classroom and in

common areas.

All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.

Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.

School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for

bullying in the school.

o Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.

o Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.

Support the establishment and work of student councils.

Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name Class

2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour

3. Source of bullying concern/report

(tick relevant box(es))*

4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern

6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact

9. Details of actions taken

Signed (Relevant Teacher) Date

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal

* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.

Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. Thechecklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitativeanalysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

Yes /No

Signed:_________________Date:

Chairperson

Signed: Date:

Principal______________

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy

To:

The Board of Management of wishes to inform you that:

o The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of [date].

o This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s

Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. February 7th 2016

Signed DDd Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed Principal

Appendix 2

Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.

Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, soundslike and feels like in class and around the school.

Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.

Catch them being good - notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.

Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.

Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.

Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with

the school rules and routines.

Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.

Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.

Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.

Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around

social media.

Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school. Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in

common areas.

All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.

Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.

School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for

bullying in the school.

o Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.

o Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.

Support the establishment and work of student councils.

Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name Class

2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged inbullying behaviour

3. Source of bullying concern/report

(tick relevant box(es))*

4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern

6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact

9. Details of actions taken

Signed (Relevant Teacher) Date

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal

* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.

Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting thisreview and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and reviewinvolving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementationof the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

Yes /No

Signed:_________________Date:

Chairperson

Signed: Date:

Principal______________

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy

To:

The Board of Management of wishes to inform you that:

o The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation wascompleted at the Board meeting of [date].

o This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s

Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

Signed DDd Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed Principal