It is essential that students can learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear of being bullied. Bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in or outside the academy.
Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The three main types of bullying are:
- physical (hitting, kicking, theft);
- verbal (name calling, racist remarks); and
- indirect (spreading rumours, graffiti about the person, excluding someone from social groups).
Verbal and indirect bullying may include electronic or cyber bullying using PCs, email, social networking, mobile phones and other devices. Students who are being bullied may show changes in behaviour, such as becoming shy and nervous, feigning illness, taking unusual absences or clinging to adults. There may be evidence of changes in work patterns, loss of concentration or truanting from school. Students must be encouraged to report bullying in schools.
All staff must be alert to signs of bullying and act promptly and firmly against it in accordance with school policy.
To prevent bullying the academy will:
- seek to identify bullies,
- address the needs of individual children, both bullies and victims,
- provide a consistent response to bullies and their victims,
- implement a system to deal with different degrees of bullying,
- secure clear agreement among all the adults involved on the steps forward,
- provide time during the academy's in-service training programme to discuss issues associated with children’s physical, social and educational well-being, and
- disseminate the academy’s anti-bullying policies and procedures throughout the school.Responses to bullying
Teachers may take the following steps when dealing with incidents:
- if bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached;
- a clear account of the incident will be recorded and given to the small school head and safeguarding officer;
- the Head of Year or Small School Head interview all concerned and will record the incident;
- form tutors will be kept informed and if it persists the form tutor will advise the appropriate subject teachers;
- parents will be kept informed; and
- punitive measures will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned.
Students who have been bullied will be supported by:
- offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a form tutor or member of staff of their choice;
- reassuring the student;
- offering continuous support; and
- restoring self-esteem and confidence.
Students who have bullied will be helped by:
- discussing what happened;
- discovering why the student became involved;
- establishing the wrong doing and need to change; and
- informing parents to try to change the attitude of the student.
The following disciplinary steps can be taken:
- official warnings to cease offending;
- exclusion from certain areas or facilities of the academy or activities;
- minor fixed term exclusion;
- major fixed term exclusion; and
- permanent exclusion.