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 Chros tSeáin 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.
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
- promotes respectful relationships across the school community
- Effective leadership
- A school-wide approach
- A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
- 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
- On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy
- Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures that-
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-PrimarySchools 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.
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.
The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows: the class teacher.
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
- Organise the school community in order to minimise opportunities for bullying
- Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards each other e.g. Social and Personal Health Education programme, Circle time
- Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints, involving parents where necessary
- The school Staff will continue to have a firm but fair discipline
- Structure. The rules should be few, simple and easy to understand
- Encourage pupils to discuss how they get on with other people and to form positive attitudes towards other people
- This includes a review of what friendship really is
- Encourage pupils to treat everyone with respect
- Provision of Anti-bullying resources e.g. books and videos
- Suggestion box in the senior classes
- Display anti-bullying charters at various locations around the school
- Provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self worth
- Educate pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while on line and also develop a culture of reporting any concerns about cyber-bullying
- Ensure that the AUP is reviewed regularly
- Ensure that all SEN pupils are treated properly by developing a good school culture which has respect for all and helping one another
- Appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices will be put in place to prevent and deal with bullying behaviour
- All school staff will contribute and be part of the process to counter bullying behaviour in school
- School will sign up to the anti bullying campaign.ie
The school’s procedure 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
- All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher
- Incidents will be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure privacy of all involved
- All staff are 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 and restoring as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible
- The teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved
- All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils
- When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher will seek answers to question of what, where, when, who and why
- If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved will be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member will be asked for his account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements
- Each member of a group will be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher
- The relevant teacher will ask those involved to write down their account of the incident
- In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved will be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school will give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils
- Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts will be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied
- It will also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his parents and the school
It will be made clear to all pupils that when reporting incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly
This will be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
- 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
- In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template of reporting cases of Bullying (iii) In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher will, 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; and Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal
- 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 school’s complaints procedures
- In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children
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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.
Prevention of Harrassment
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 ________________ (date).
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 make 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, published on the school website (or where none exits, 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.