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 Scoil Naomh Peadar s Pól has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary School 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 is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and 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-
- build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
- 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,
- identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying,
- racist bullying,
- bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community
- Bullying of those with 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 that message, 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.
Examples of bullying behaviours
General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying
|Identity Based Behaviours
Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).
Homophobic and Transgender
Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community
|This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:
|Special Educational Needs,
4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows:
A pupil or parent may bring a bullying concern to any teacher in the school
5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows
- Aspects of the S.PHE.,RSE Stay Safe and religion programmes that refer to bullying will be taught as appropriate
- Anti –bullying competitions ,anti bullying week
- Outside speakers to talk on cyber bullying
- Raising awareness in class of bullying
- We promote a positive school culture and climate that is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity and respect
- Children are encouraged to talk and tell
- In addition to the role of management and staff, parents and pupils have a role and responsibility in helping the school to prevent and address school-based bullying behaviour and to deal with any negative impact within school of bullying behaviour that occurs elsewhere.
- The school takes a pro active position- bullying is discussed regularly in S.P.H.E, the B.O.M. has provided each household with an Anti Bullying booklet. Other initiatives will be considered as they arise.
- Teachers use the Webwise
- Because we have identified the school bus as a potential starting point for bullying, the school appoints monitors from sixth class to promote good behavior. Children who travel on the bus sign a “Behavior contract” and the principal regularly speaks to these children Parents are encouraged to come to the school and inform the principal if they are concerned about behavior on the bus.
- Teachers of older children talk about correct use of the internet .Children from 4th class up sign an “Acceptable use contract” which specifies the correct usage of the internet
- 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.
- 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 acceptable use of the internet policy has been developed which pupils sign up to.The access to technology within the school is strictly monitored as is pupils use of mobile phones.
- The school is aware of the additional needs of SEN pupils attending the school in particular as this school has a Special Needs Unit. Respect for all pupils is very important to our school.
6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows
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);
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;
1 All reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with by teachers. We are guided by the accepted definition of bullying viz. “Bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. These procedures make clear that this definition includes cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying (such as homophobic bullying and racist bullying).
Teacher observation in class and yard will form the basis of this investigation and evidence will be gathered as described below. However a pupil or parent may bring a bullying concern to any teacher in the school. Individual teachers must take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy
.2 In any alleged incident of bullying, the class teacher will speak separately to the pupils involved in an attempt to get both sides of the story. Children may be asked to write their account of the incident. The questions of:
- “What, where, when, who and why will be asked with regard to the alleged incident. Should more than one person be involved, each child will be interviewed individually and then the group will meet with the teacher. Each member will again be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone else said. Parents may be informed at this stage if deemed necessary. The relevant teacher will keep record appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved. Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach.
- Where possible incidents will be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
- All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way;
. 3 If it is concluded that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behavior it will be made clear to him/her by the principal that he/she is in breach of the Code of Discipline and sanctions will be imposed. The parents will be asked to call to the school to meet with the principal and teacher.
- It will also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school;
Follow up and recording
- In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
– Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
– Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
-Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable;
-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal
- Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved will be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
- Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
- In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Recording of bullying behaviour
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 in the incident book. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher
- 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.
Formal Stage 1-determination that bullying has occurred
- If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
Formal Stage 2-Appendix 3 (From DES Procedures)
The relevant teacher will use the standardized recording template to record the bullying behaviour in all cases where it is determined that bullying has taken place.. When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal
Once in every school term, the Principal will provide a report to the Board of Management setting out:
- the overall number of bullying cases reported (by means of the bullying recording template)to the Principal or Deputy Principal since the previous report to the Board and
- confirmation that all of these cases have been, or are being, dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy and these procedures.
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows
Pupils who have experienced bullying will be monitored closely by staff especially the class teacher and the principal. They may be given opportunities to take part in activities to raise their self esteem, be given time to talk about their feelings or in certain cases counselling may be offered through the Tullow School Completion Programme
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 behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
Bullying by Adults
In the case of intra-staff bullying, we will adopt the procedures outlined in Section C (c2) of the INTO booklet: ‘Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations’. A copy of this document is available for free download on the INTO website.
In the case of Teacher – Child bullying, a complaint should in the first instance be raised with the teacher in question by the parent/guardian of the child if possible and then if necessary referred to the Principal. Where it has not been possible to agree a framework for resolution, the matter should be referred in writing by both parties to the Board of Management for investigation.
In the case of Parent – Teacher bullying, the Principal should be informed in the first instance, and if deemed necessary the Board of Management should subsequently be informed in writing.
In the case of Parent/Visitor to the school – Child bullying, the complaint should be referred in the first instance to the child’s class teacher and subsequently to the Principal if unresolved.
In the case of Principal – Parent/ Child bullying, the matter should be raised with the Principal if possible, or referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
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 policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 11-02-2014
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 and pupils 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 if requested.
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 completed will 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.
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date of next review: