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’.
Source: Anti-Bullying Procedures for primary And Post-Primary Schools. September 2013.Department of Education and Skills
This definition includes cyber-bullying and identity based bullying (such as homophobic and racist bullying)
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 Kilfenora National School 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 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-
-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; we are a ‘telling’ school and
-promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
•A school-wide approach;
•A shared clear understanding of what bullying is and what it is not and of the impact of bullying;
•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 trans-phobic 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 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.
N.B. Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with 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.
4.In accordance with section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, the relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
-Fiona Whelton, Class Teacher and Principal
-Sandra Paisley, Class Teacher and Deputy Principal
-Margaret Collins, Class Teacher
-Ann Mc Namara, SEN Teacher
-Regina Pender, SEN Teacher
Non teaching staff such as secretary, cleaner etc are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher
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;
-Prevention and Awareness raising, e.g. workshops for students, talks for parents
-Self esteem building through Circle Time, team building exercises etc
-Initiatives and programmes, e.g. Stay Safe, SPHE programme.
-Prevention of Cyber-bullying through stringent filtration programmes on computers and no access to social media sites allowed, no unsupervised work on computers, mobile phones are only allowed in exceptional cases, e.g. should the child need to contact parents after school. Phones may be kept in child’s school bag and are switched off during the school day. Alerting children of the dangers of using the internet, in particular social media sites, discussing safe internet usage at home etc.
-Promoting inclusion for those with SEN, cultivating a good school culture which has respect for all and helping one another as central.
-Anti-Bullying Awareness week
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 :
Child to child bullying:
Stage one: Unless the incident is of a very serious nature, it will be dealt with by the classroom teacher who will speak to the children involved outside the classroom situation. Teachers respect the need to support the esteem of each party involved in an incident. When a teacher becomes aware that a child is regularly involved in incidents he/she will start a record of such incidents. The purpose of such record is:
-To aid memory by recording details of the incident as it happened
-For clarity in assessment of the situation
-For planning and intervention
Should the action taken at this stage prove not to have resolved the situation, the member of staff will need to proceed to stage 2.
Stage 2: The principal will arrange to meet with the parents of the child who is seen to be bullying and separately with the parents of the victim of bullying. The children themselves may be required to attend part or all of these meetings. The situation will be monitored and all parties involved will endeavour to work towards a positive outcome.
Stage 3: It is the duty of the school to provide a safe environment for all children. Should the above interventions fail and the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days the relevant teacher will need to fill in an Incident Record Form a copy of which will be provided to the Principal/Deputy Principal as applicable. Following this a programme of appropriate sanctions may be implemented by the principal in consultation with the parents and Board of Management. Sanctions implemented aim to encourage positive behaviour and support the esteem of the child. These sanctions may include a period of suspension during which there will be ongoing consultation with the parents to decide on appropriate action to be taken in the best interests of the child. Suspension for any period will be reported by the Principal to the Board of Management chairperson.
N.B. It is important to note that the timeline for recording bullying behaviour in the Incident Record Form does not in any way preclude the relevant teacher from consulting the Principal or Deputy Principal at an earlier stage in relation to a case.
Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents will be referred as appropriate to the schools complaints procedures.
In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, this school will advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Bullying by Adults:
In the case of Intra-Staff bullying, Kilfenora N.S. will adopt the procedures outlined in section C (c2) of the INTO booklet: ‘Working Together: procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations’.
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 will be referred in writing by both parties to the Board of Management for further 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 themselves or Deputy Principal, or referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Management
7.The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is twofold.
In the case of pupils who have been bullied, it may be necessary for them to receive counseling and/or opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self esteem, to develop their friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience whenever this is needed.
Pupils involved in bullying behaviour need assistance on an ongoing basis. For those with low self-esteem, opportunities should be developed to increase feelings of self-worth. Pupils who engage in bullying may need counseling to help them learn other ways of meeting their needs without violating the rights of others.
Support will be on an ongoing basis and will take place in the form of Circle Time, class discussion, in school workshops
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.
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.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________
This policy has been made available to school personnel, and will be published on the school website. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
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 and published on the school website. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed: ____________________________________ Signed: ___________________________
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: ______________ Date: __________________
Date of next review: _______________