Drumlemble Primary School
Revised September 2017
Due to be revised September 2018
Children and young people who feel cared for and valued are much more likely to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. In Drumlemble Primary we want our children and young people to feel safe and secure and able to build positive relationships with their peers and with adults. To do this we aim to provide a supportive environment that promotes mutual respect. Bullying behaviour can seriously affect this. Bullying does not build character – trust, acceptance and mutual respect build character. We strive to create positive role models in the truest sense to prevent bullying behaviour.
Definition of Bullying
When talking about bullying, it is important not to label children and young people as ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’. Labels can stick for life and can isolate a child, rather than helping them to recover or change their behaviour. All children and young people need help to understand why bullying behaviour is wrong in order that they can change it.
It is important to recognise and acknowledge bullying behaviours so that it can be identified when it happens.
Bullying behaviours can include:
name calling, teasing, putting down or threatening and intimidating by racist, homophobic or sexist remarks
hitting, tripping, pushing, kicking
taking and damaging belongings
ignoring, excluding, spreading rumours
sending abusive messages electronically, e.g. via text, emails or social networking sites
making people feel like they are being bullied or fearful of being bullied
targeting someone because of who they are or who they are perceived to be.
This list is not an exhaustive list; there may be other behaviours that can be classed as bullying.
These behaviours can take place anywhere (schools, home, community, etc.) but bullying also occurs in the virtual world which children and young people access through mobile phones and the internet and through social networking sites.
As communication can happen anywhere and at any time, often unsupervised, cyber bullying can be very pervasive and difficult to handle. However in essence the bullying behaviour is the same as other forms of bullying and requires similar prevention and treatment.
For guidance on cyberbullying, we refer to the ‘respectme’ pamphlet, ‘Cyberbullying…Are you switched on?’ http://www.respectme.org.uk/publications.html We have ensured that the issue of Cyberbullying forms part of our school Health and Wellbeing programme of study.
It is crucial to take into account the impact that bullying behaviour has on a child or young person. The impact an incident has on a child or young person is more important than whether it is classified as bullying. Bullying is a behaviour which leaves people feeling helpless, frightened, anxious, depressed or demeaned. Actions can affect people in different ways and this should be taken into consideration.
Prejudice- based Bullying
Bullying behaviour may be related to prejudice-based attitudes and behaviours which may compound other differences or difficulties in a child or young person’s life. These include:
Homophobic bullying behaviour is mainly directed towards young people who have identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or young people who are questioning their sexuality. Bullying behaviour can also be directed at young people who are perceived to be different for not conforming to strict gender norms. Ultimately, any young person can experience homophobic bullying behaviour and any young person can display homophobic bullying behaviour if negative attitudes, language and behaviour remain unchecked.
Racist bullying is a term used to describe prejudicial bullying based on someone's race or ethnicity or someone's perceived race or ethnicity. Children from ethnic minorities are more likely to experience bullying behaviour. The impact of racist bullying can go far beyond the individual person. This bullying behaviour can impact on their family and others perceived to be from the same or similar group. For example, children and young people from Gypsy/Traveller communities frequently report racial bullying behaviour. Racist bullying can take a variety of forms. Verbal abuse includes name calling, offensive mimicry of accent and/or pretending not to understand what is said. Mockery and mimicry may extend to dress, religious observance, diet and country of origin or perceived country of origin. Non-direct bullying behaviour may include graffiti, vandalism of property, flaunting of racist badges, slogans, leaflets etc.
Disablist Bullying is the term used to describe the bullying behaviour of someone based on their physical, mental or learning disabilities or perceived disability. Many children and young people with a learning disability are bullied.
People who display bullying behaviour may see children and young people with disabilities as being less able to defend themselves and less able to tell an adult about the bullying behaviour.
Some children and young people may also experience mockery of their specific disability or disabilities: mockery of their contribution to work or play and refusal by other children to work, play or interact with them.
Low self-esteem often found in children and young people with disabilities can lead them to make friends with people who exploit them, and who, in reality, aren't really ‘friends' at all. This lack of confidence may also mean that they get hurt more easily and are less resilient in relationships with other children. In turn, there is a risk that the outward signs of bullying – a change in behaviour, low mood, dishevelled clothing or bruises - may not be picked up by adults as an indicator of bullying behaviour.
Bullying and Body Image
Bullying behaviour on the grounds of body image/size/obesity is one of the most prevalent forms of prejudice-based bullying. Recently, the level of such bullying has been exacerbated by national concerns about rising levels of obesity. The media's constant reinforcement of concerns about body image/size/obesity and the trivialisation of these issues is a key factor related to this problem.
Body image is hugely important to children and young people and bullying because of body image can have a real negative impact. The impacts of bullying behaviour on the grounds of body image can manifest in the development of poor eating habits and eating disorders.
Bullying: Sectarianism Religion and Belief
Bullying based on religion is directed against individuals and groups because of their actual or perceived religious belief or their connection with a particular religion or belief. For example, someone may be targeted because of the religion of a friend or family member, or because they are wrongly assumed to belong to a particular faith community, due to their appearance. As well as religious intolerance and bullying behaviour between one faith against another, bullying behaviour can also occur because of differences (or perceived differences) between different denominations or sects within the same faith, e.g. between Catholic and Protestant Christian. Sectarianism and religious intolerance put children and young people at greater risk of bullying directly and indirectly.
Sexism and Gender
Gender stereotyping based on the notion of acceptable and unacceptable male and female behaviour can leave children and young people who do not conform to these notions vulnerable to indirect and direct bullying. Personality traits that do not fit into the unwritten rules of ‘appropriate' male and female behaviour can make children and young people a target for their perceived difference. For example, boys portraying compassionate and sensitive characteristics and girls who are seen as being assertive and loud can lead to bullying, questioning and targeting of their gender.
Bullying and Looked After & Accommodated Children and Young People
Children and young people who are looked after and accommodated (LAAC) by the local authority are vulnerable to bullying behaviour for a number of reasons. This can be due to regular changes in schools or care placements which can make forming friendships difficult, poor relationships skills stemming from attachment difficulties, inappropriate reactions to situations as a result of learned behaviours, a reluctance to make friends, low self-esteem, lack of role models and a heightened sense of the need to preserve privacy.
Looked after and accommodated children and young people may have very similar experiences of bullying behaviour to other young people, but often the bullying behaviour will focus directly on the fact that they are looked after.
Bullying and Young Carers
The lives of young carers can be significantly affected by their responsibility to care for a family member. Young carers may find themselves being bullied because of the differences or perceived differences in their family circumstances.
Communication of our school Anti-bullying policy
Copies of the school anti-bullying policy are found in the school vestibule.
Our school policy makes it clear to whom any incidents of bullying should be reported and includes details of support and resources for pupils, parents and staff.
Staff are aware of the schools’ anti-bullying procedures. Our staff work actively to implement. monitor and review our school’s policy.
Implications of our Anti-bullying policy are reinforced through
vision, values and aims of our school
discussion at Parent Council level
Delivery of a concise Health and Wellbeing programme which addresses the issue of bullying
Induction and transition programmes
The wider curriculum and the world of work.
Prevention of Bullying
Within this policy all members of staff understand their role in preventing bullying and in dealing with instances of bullying. The knowledge and skills required will be delivered through in-service training, either within educational establishments or by outside agencies or CPD opportunities.
Pro-active strategies to help decrease the incidence of bullying include the following:
anti-bullying days/weeks taking on board issues that are raised in school, locally or nationally
use of playground buddies
Curriculum for Excellence – delivery of Health and Wellbeing experiences and outcomes
use of programmes such as “Fun Friends”, “Friends for Life” with psychological services team
use of leaflets and posters either ‘school made’ or commercially produced from, for example, respectme, Childline, CEOP, Parentline, etc. (see Appendix 2)
copies of anti-bullying policy displayed
partnership working with parents, outside agencies and the local community.
internet safety programmes for children and young people, parents/carers
Management of bullying behaviour
The Head Teacher ensures that those who have experienced bullying behaviour will receive appropriate support and protection.
This is achieved by
- being listened to
- mediation/restorative practice
- peer support
- playground buddies
- circle time
- involvement of specialist partner agencies
When a child or young person has been involved in bullying behaviour the Head Teacher will ensure that parents or carers are informed in consultation with their child or young person and will actively seek their support in implementing a resolution to the bullying incident.
The Head Teacher with full staff support will help those who engage in bullying behaviour to understand the impact of their behaviour and support them to change it.
RECORDING AND MONITORING
Incidents of bullying will be recorded to ensure that appropriate response and follow up is issued. It will help our school to monitor the effectiveness of our policy and practice and may also help identify a need for training.
Monitoring bullying incidents can provide information on recurring patterns, including:
- involvement of particular children and young people, staff or other adults
- where and when bullying takes place
- aspects of prejudice or discrimination underlying bullying
- action taken or resolution at an individual or organisational level
- consideration of personal or additional support needs
.The message we wish to convey to our pupils is this
“Anyone with a concern about bullying will be listened to and taken seriously.”
Incidents of bullying are recorded systematically using the bullying incident recording form and authority procedures followed. Each bullying incident is recorded in the Pupil Personal Record and also entered on SEEMiS pastoral notes as a significant event.
SUPPORT AND RESOURCES
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
The CEOP website provides information and advice on keeping children and young people safe online. It hosts ‘Thinkuknow’ which has interactive programmes for children and young people, parents/carers and those working with children and young people on this topic.
CHILDREN 1ST runs ChildLine Scotland on behalf of the NSPCC. There is also a ChildLine anti-bullying helpline in Scotland (0800 44 1111) specifically for children and young people who are the victims of bullying or who are bullying other young people. The training and outreach team at ChildLine Scotland works with schools raising awareness of ChildLine and the issues faced by children and young people.
Enable Scotland is a charity run by its members campaigning for a better life for children and adults with learning disabilities and to support them and their families to live, work and take part in their communities. A report published in 2007 found that 93% of children and young people with learning disabilities are bullied. Enable Scotland, in partnership with respectme, have created a web site specifically to help adults tackle the bullying of children and young people with learning disabilities (http://www.enable.org.uk/campaigns/current-campaigns/Pages/Speak-Up-Anti-Bullying-campaign.aspx). Enable Scotland also provides training on disability awareness.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland provides direct services including groups, outreach, volunteering, advice and support, and actively campaigns to influence policy and improve services for LGBT young people and the wider LGBT community. Work with young people in schools includes interactive awareness raising sessions for young people. LGBT Youth Scotland has also trained young people in peer education to deliver LGBT awareness sessions in schools and other settings. LGBT Youth Scotland has also developed resources and support including the toolkit for teachers: Dealing with homophobia and homophobic bullying in Scottish schools, funded by the Scottish Government and developed in partnership with Learning and Teaching Scotland. The toolkit aims to increase awareness of the needs of LGBT young people in school, and to support school staff to develop skills and confidence in challenging prejudice and dealing with homophobic bullying; priorities which were identified in research with schools.
ParentLine Scotland (0808 800 2222) is the free confidential helpline for anyone concerned about or caring for a child in Scotland to call about any issues affecting their children or family life. The helpline provides emotional and practical support to parents whose children are being bullied, either at school or within the community.
Respectme is the Scottish Government funded anti-bullying service. Their highly interactive website provides guidance, support, advice, e-learning and further interaction through social networking to all stakeholders. Respectme develop resources both for training and awareness raising that are widely distributed across the country free of charge. These include Cyberbullying…Are you switched on?, Bullying…What can I do? - a leaflet for children and young people jointly developed with ChildLine, and Bullying…You can make a difference, for parents and carers.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
SAMH is a national mental health charity dedicated to mental health and wellbeing for all. They provide support to people who experience mental health problems, homelessness, addictions and other forms of social exclusion through 84 direct services across Scotland and campaign to influence policy and legislation to ensure they provide a framework to enable individuals to improve their life experiences and opportunities. SAMH is committed to progressing anti-bullying work across Scotland as we understand the mental health impacts of bullying behaviour both for children and adults. SAMH also Chair the management partnership for See Me, Scotland’s anti-stigma campaign.
Scottish Traveller Education Programme (STEP)
STEP is based at the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Scottish Government. STEP provides information, advice and support to professionals engaged in enabling Scotland’s travelling families to access education and web links for children and young people to a range of different websites, providing information and contacts with travellers and people working with them to support their cultures and life-styles. STEP’s remit includes supporting developments in inclusive educational approaches for Scotland’s Travelling Communities and to address racism, harassment and bullying.
Show Racism the Red Card
Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racist educational charity. They aim to combat racism through enabling role models, who are predominately but not exclusively footballers, to present an anti-racist message to young people and others. They achieve this through producing educational resources, developing activities to encourage people, including young people, to challenge racism, and through challenging racism in the game of football and other sports. Show Racism the Red Card also provides training opportunities to those working for or with children and young people to raise awareness of issues of racism and the impacts on young people, examining how race equality can be promoted through Curriculum for Excellence
Stonewall Scotland works to achieve equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. They help schools tackle homophobic bullying and provide safe and positive learning environments for all children and young people by providing training for staff and a number of resources. These include research reports on teachers’ and children and young people’s experiences and guides for staff such as ‘Challenging Homophobic Language’, ‘Supporting LGB Young people’ and ‘Including Different Families’.
Argyll and Bute Council
Use the above link to access the Council’s Education Anti-Bullying Policy.