- 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 Chaitríona Infants proposes to adopt 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 Schools which were published in September 2013.
- 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:
- The fostering of a positive school culture which is welcoming of difference and diversity and based on inclusivity will encourage pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment while promoting respectful relationships across the whole 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.
- Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
- Supports for staff (Continuing Professional Development)
- Consistent recording, investigation and follow-up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies)
- On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
- Definition of bullying: 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 defintition 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 and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
- The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying will be the class teachers of the children concerned.
- The education and prevention strategies that will be used by the school are as follows:
The school’s prevention and awareness raising measures will take into account the age of the children in raising awareness of what bullying is and how the school deals with bullying behaviour.
A positive school climate where there is respect for all will be fostered.
The Social, Personal and Health Education area of the curriculum will be used to help pupils to develop a positive sense of self-worth and increase their sense of belonging and inclusion.
The Stay Safe Programme, which is taught in our school, is a personal safety skills programme which seeks to enhance children’s self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying.
Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils will be provided to prevent bullying occurring.
6.Procedures for investigation and follow-up of bullying behaviour
The school’s procedures for investigation and follow-up of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:
(In these procedures the member of teaching staff who has responsibility for investigating and dealing with bullying is referred to as the “relevant teacher”. The Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools state that at primary level the relevant teacher will normally be the class teacher.)
The primary aim for the relevant teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame).
In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher so that pupils will gain confidence in “telling”.
Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, SNAs, caretakers and cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.
Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues while restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible.
Incidents are generally best investigated outside the classrooom situation and interviews should be conducted with senitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned.
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, modelling how to deal effectively with conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
If a group is involved each member should be interviewed individually at first. Then all those involved should be met as a group.
In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted to inform them of the matter and explain the action being taken. The parents should be given an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school.
Efforts should be made to try to get the pupil who has carried out the bullying to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil bullied.
Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, 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.
7.Procedures for recording bullying behaviour
The relevant teacher will use her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept in relation to reports of bullying. If it is established that bullying has occurred the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 1 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
(a)In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after she has determined that bullying has occurred, she must record it in the recording template ( Appendix 1)
(b)Where the bullying behaviour is being reported to the Principal.
In each of the circumstances at (a) and (b) the recording template must be completed in full and a copy provided to the Principal. The relevant teacher may consult the Principal at any stage in relation to a case.
Serious instances of bullying behaviour should, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Service and/or Gardai as appropriate.
8. School’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying
Pupils involved in or affected by bullying behaviour need assistance on an on-going basis. For those with low self-esteem opportunities should be developed to increase feelings of self-worth. Use will be made of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) area of the curriculum and the Stay Safe Programme in this regard. Where deemed necessary pupils may be referred to community counselling services.
9.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.
10. Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligation under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
11. Links to other Policies:
12. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management in May 2014.
13. This policy will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will also be made available to the Department and the Patron if requested.
14 .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 and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the Patron and the Department.
Review of Anti Bullying Policy:
Signed: _________________________ Date: ______________
Signed: ___________________________ Date:_________________