Anti Bullying

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah; even though it be against yourselves, --------- Allâh is ever well acquainted with what you do [4:135] 

Statement 

Unity Girls High School's ethos emphasises good character and is aligned with Islamic ethos where everyone must be treated with respect and where no one is discriminated against because of their diversity. The school takes the view that bullying is a form of injustice since it involves an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim and therefore has a zero-tolerance for such acts. 

All children have an absolute right to be educated in a safe and secure environment and to be protected from others who may wish to harm, degrade or abuse them.  

There is no justification whatsoever for bullying behaviour and it should not be tolerated in any form. Differences of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability are absolutely repudiated as reasons for bullying.  

Introduction  

Bullying behaviour is a problem for both the bully and the victim and should be addressed in positive and constructive ways which provide opportunities for growth and development for the bully and victim alike.  

Effective management of bullying is a shared responsibility and strategies should involve school staff; parents/carers and other professionals involved with children who are the victims or perpetrators of bullying behaviour. 

It is important to invest time and resources in the prevention and management of bullying and staff require advice, training and support to manage it with confidence.  

Information about School's policy and procedures should be readily available in form to children and parents/carers.  

This policy is in conjunction with the Safe-guarding, and Behavior and Discipline policies and aligns with the statutory guidance; Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2016), the Education Act (2002) and the DfEWorking Together to Safeguard Children (2015) as well as the Children’s Act (2004).  

Under the Education and Inspection Act 2006, the school has an obligation to set out clear guidance to prevent and respond to bullying.The Independent School Standards Regulation 2010 requires that the proprietor/s assures that effective Anti–bullying strategies are drawn up and implemented.Alliance (ABA) believes that an effective way for schools to do this is to produce and publish an anti-bullying policy. 

Under the Children Act (1989) a bullying incident should be treated as a child protection concern where there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering. The school encourages good behaviour and takes measures to prevent all forms of bullying. The Equality Act (2010) requires that all public bodies should aim to: 

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act 

Advance equal opportunity for all 

Foster good relations between people who share and do not share the same characteristics 

In accordance to the school’s ethos and the new Act the school is against and will not tolerate any discrimination, harassment or victimisation of pupils. All pupils will be given the same opportunity to learn, achieve and have access to facilities or services.  

What is Bullying? 

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group which is consistent and intentionally hurts another person or group, either physically, verbally or emotionally. Bullying may take many shapes but is often motivated by some type of prejudice, for example, race, or just being different.  Bullying involves an imbalance of power; the persons being bullied find it difficult to defend themselves. Stopping physical harm is a priority for the school but is also alerted to emotional bullying.    

Any interaction between an individual or group of people with a more powerful individual or group which is perceived or intended to cause hurt, pain, suffering, humiliation or degradation.  

Bullying behaviour may be direct or indirect. Direct forms include physical violence and threats; verbal assaults and taunts; the destruction of property; extortion; unwanted sexual interest or contact. Examples of indirect forms of bullying include ignoring and the withdrawal of friendship; excluding; malicious gossip and spreading rumour; abusive or oppressive graffiti. 

Aims and Objectives 

  • To fulfil Unity Girls High School’s, statutory responsibility to respect the rights of children and to safeguard and promote their welfare.  
  • To clarify the School's responsibility for responding to incidents of bullying and to emphasise to staff, pupils and their parents and carers the School's zero tolerance attitude towards bullying behaviour. 
  • To develop and implement an anti-bullying policy based on a consistently implemented whole school approach. 
  • To raise awareness among staff; parents/carers and pupils about the issue of bullying and the school's attitude towards it and to create an environment in which bullying is seen as inappropriate and unacceptable.  
  • To be proactive in the prevention of bullying. 
  • To make pupils, parents/carers and staff aware of what steps to take when an incident of bullying     has occurred. 
  • To demonstrate to bullies that their behaviour is unacceptable and to reassure victims that action will be taken to keep them safe.  
  • To clarify the extent of the problem and ensure that UGHS allocates a proportionate amount of time and energy to bringing it under control.  
  • To accurately record all incidents of bullying and to monitor the effectiveness of strategies for bringing it under control.  
  • To address with bullies their problematic behaviour in a fair and firm, non-oppressive manner, and to provide them with support to enable them to change their behaviour. 
  • To foster a school community where everyone feels safe from physical and emotional harm 
  • To ensure that racial, social, and cultural diversity is respected  
  • To ensure that prejudice, discrimination and racism does not become the grounds for bullying. 
  • To create an environment where pupils can learn free from harassment  
  • To ensure that this policy is clearly understood by pupils parents and staff  

Breadth of Responsibility 

This policy applies only to incidents of bullying which take place on school premises. The School is not legally responsible for bullying which takes place elsewhere. However, if it emerges that if a pupil is responsible for bullying other children outside school then this matter will be addressed and (if appropriate) the bully's parents informed.  

  • If a child is found to be the victim of bullying outside school then help and support will be offered and advice given on how to avoid further incidents in future. The victim's parents will be informed.  
  • If there are more general concerns about children's safety outside school then the local police will be contacted and their help sought in making the area around the school premises more secure. If concerns arise in relation to school transport then the issue will be raised with the transport companies and their help sought in dealing with the problem.  
  • If information is received that a child is being bullied by a sibling outside school this will initially be discussed with the parents. If concerns persist then the matter will be referred to the Community Services Department.  
  • If children are being bullied by pupils of another school the Head of that school will be informed and invited to deal with the matter. 

Prevention  

All staff involved in the education and/or supervision of children will be made aware of the issue of bullying and the need to apply the schools policy of zero-tolerance consistently when episodes of bullying are witnessed or reported. Staff will constantly reinforce the message to children that bullying is unacceptable and will take positive action to prevent and control it.  

In addition, the issue of bullying will be raised with pupils at a number of levels including:   

  • At whole school level - through assemblies when children will be informed of the school's zero-tolerance policy and the actions that will be taken to prevent bullying taking place. This issue will be raised regularly when the whole schoolwill be informed of the progress of the anti-bullying policy and any changes which may be introduced.  
  • At classroom level - during form periods, tutorial groups, circle time, projects, PSHE and Citizenship  
  • At individual level - children who are felt to be at risk of bullying (or who have suffered from bullying in the past) will be offered additional support and guidance.  
  • Children who have bullied others will be given advice and support and taught strategies to enable them to bring their unacceptable behaviour under control and to prevent further incidents.  
  • UGHS recognises that there are particular times when children may be more vulnerable to bullying - lunch and break times and the beginning and end of the school day. Arrangements will be made to ensure that at such times there is adequate supervision available to reduce the risk of bullying incidents.  
  • Also, there are locations about the school in which incidents or bullying are more likely to occur and again arrangements will be made to ensure that these are properly supervised or pupils will be forbidden access to these areas.  
  • Children will be encouraged to talk to staff about incidents of bullying which they experience or of which they may be aware. In these circumstances staff will respond positively, take the expression of concern seriously and ensure that the matter is fully investigated.  
  • Parents who believe their children are the victim of bullying should share their concerns with UGHS at the earliest opportunity and be prepared to work with UGHS to keep their children safe in future. All expressions of concern will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.  
  • Similarly, if parents believe their child is bullying others, this information should be shared with UGHS so that the problem can be addressed and a plan agreed to prevent further incidents and the bullying child helped to change their behaviour. 

Parental involvement   

UGHS is firmly committed to working in partnership with parents and believes that the best outcomes emerge when professionals and parents/carers are able to work together when bullying occurs.  

UGHS recognises the important influence which parents/carers have on their children and would wish, using the home/school agreement, to enlist their support when their child is involved in bullying - either as victim or a perpetrator.  

UGHS is committed to creating a bully-free environment and will ensure that its zero-tolerance policy is applied rigorously. All staff involved in the teaching and/or supervision of children will take responsibility for addressing incidents which fall with the school's definition of bullying and ensure that the victim receives what support is required; the bully is informed of the unacceptability of his/her behaviour and a record is made of the incident.  

All children need to be aware that staff want to be informed of any incidents or concerns and that action will be taken when bullying is reported.  

Incident management   

UGHS will take firm and decisive action to deal with any incident of bullying which is witnessed by or reported to any member of staff.  

Post incident responses for the victim  

When a member of staff receives information, either directly or indirectly, that a child may have been the victim of a bullying incident, this report will be taken seriously and investigated. 

UGHS will offer a proactive, sympathetic and supportive response to children who are the victims of bullying. The exact nature of the response will be determined by the particular child's individual needs and may include:  

  • immediate action to stop the incident and secure the child's safety  
  • positive reinforcement that reporting the incident was the correct thing to do  
  • reassurance that the victim is not responsible for the behaviour of the bully  
  • strategies to prevent further incidents  
  • sympathy and empathy  
  • counselling befriending  
  • assertiveness training  
  • extra supervision/monitoring  
  • creation of a support group  
  • peer mediation/peer mentoring  
  • informing/involving parents 
  • adult mediation between the perpetrator and the victim (provided this does not increase the victim's vulnerability arrangements to review progress 

For the bully  

UGHS takes bullying behaviour very seriously and will adopt a supportive, pragmatic, problem-solving approach to enable bullies to behave in a more acceptable way. UGHS does not believe that the use of punishment is helpful in managing this problem but is of the view that the positive use of sanctions can be useful in demonstrating to bullies that their behaviour is unacceptable and in promoting change. 

UGHS will respond to incidents of bullying behaviour in a proportionate way - the more serious the cause for concern the more serious the response. When sanctions are felt to be necessary they will be applied consistently and fairly. The following options will be considered:  

  • immediate action to stop an incident of bullying in progress  
  • engagement with the bully to reinforce the message that their behaviour is a breach of school rules and is unacceptable  
  • loss of lunch/break time privileges  
  • detention  
  • daily/ Head teacher's report  
  • removal from class/group  
  • withholding participation in sports or out of school activity (if not essential part of curriculum)  
  • parents informed  
  • counselling/instruction in alternative ways of behaving adult mediation between the perpetrator and the victim (provided this is safe for the victim)  
  • fixed periods of exclusion  
  • permanent exclusion (in extreme cases)  
  • Rewards/positive reinforcement for children in order to promote change and bring unacceptable behaviour under control. 

Monitoring and evaluating  

Each incident of bullying falling within the school definition will be recorded.  

An annual report will be made to the management committee indicating the extent of the problem and any trends which may emerge. This information will be shared with parents/carers and pupils.  

Senior staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and agree adjustments that may be necessary to address any ongoing concerns. These will be shared with staff, parents/carers and pupils. 

In the case of any incident of bullying staff are required to fill in the Bulling incident form obtained from the office and handed in to the Safeguarding Officer. 

As Muslims we are reminded to: 

  • Guard our tongue 
  • Restrain our anger 
  • See good in everyone 
  • Not to slander or backbite 
  • Be just 
  • Recognise the consequences of our actions 

Types of Bullying: 

  • Verbal 
  • Emotional 
  • Physical 
  • Cyber 

More details on cyber bullying are located in the E-Safety policy. 

Examples of bullying behaviour: 

  • Hitting, kicking, or other physical assault. 
  • Verbal threats, name-calling or spreading rumours.  It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical/social disability or personality 
  • Writing, drawing or circulating offensive material. 
  • Sending intimidating or threatening messages on mobile phones, via email, chat rooms or other means. 
  • Deliberate isolation or exclusion from a group 
  • Hiding, spoiling or destroying personal property 
  • Being bullied into truancy, misconduct in school, anti-social or illegal behaviour. 
  • Slander or spreading nasty stories. 
  • Discrimination 

Anti-bullying strategies 

Strategies to prevent bullying are taken at different levels 

Whole School approach 

  • Reinforce Islamic teachings –values of respect for all 
  • Staff awareness of policy and their responsibility in keeping pupils being harassed. 
  • Train staff to be alerted to signs of bullying and to act promptly 
  • Work with staff and outside agencies to identify all forms of prejudice-driven bullying. 
  • Actively provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including their resilience. 
  • Consider all opportunities for addressing bullying including through the curriculum, through displays, through peer support and through the School Council. 
  • Train all staff including lunchtime staff, to identify bullying and follow school policy and procedures on bullying. 
  • Maintain an inclusive approach 
  • Organise the school community to make it physically safe (e.g.: proper supervision at break and lunch time) 
  • Opportunities for parent meeting 
  • Ensure that the scheme of work on Bullying is delivered to all Year 7 students in their PSHE lessons 
  • Support and reinforce anti-bullying messages in the curriculum (e.g.: Drama, Citizenship, English) posters anti-bullying week 
  • Train students in both buildings to work restoratively as ‘peerReview this policy to ensure that we are following it and that it is perceived as fair and effective 
  • To be incorporated in the Curriculum; Religious Studies, Citizenship/PSHE, English- Drama 

Involvement of pupils / students  

  • Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying. 
  • Ensure students know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying. 
  • Ensure all students are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying. 
  • Involve students in anti-bullying campaigns in schools. 
  • Publicise the details of help-lines and websites. 
  • Work with students who have been bullying in order to address the problems they have. 
  • Offer buddy and mentoring system, a support system so that students who feel more comfortable talking to someone their own age will come forward and speak up 
  • Help pupils to develop positive relationships 
  • Educate pupils on safe use of mobiles and internet 
  • Pastoral care 

 In the classrooms: 

  • Create an environment where there is mutual respect 
  • Enforce class rules 
  • Praise and sanctions 
  • Regular tutor meetings 
  • Cooperative and collaborative Learning 
  • Common positive class activities 

Liaison with parents and carers/ community 

  • Ensure that parents /guardian know whom to contact if they are worried about bullying. 
  • Ensure parents know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively. 
  • Ensure parents / carers know where to access independent advice about bullying. 
  • Work with parents and the local community to address issues beyond the school gates that give rise to bullying 
  • Share information about policy with all members of the school community. 

Cyber bullying 

While the school supports the use of the Internet and other digital technologies to enhance learning; we recognise that bullying by these forms is just as harmful and this behaviour will not be tolerated. As a school we are committed to the safe use of the internet and we will educate pupils on how to be safe and responsible. Like other aspects of bullying the same anti-bullying strategies will be applied.  

Recording 

Incidences of alleged bullying will be thoroughly investigation and when possible witnesses will be called. Incidents of bullying and harassment should be recorded in the Bullying Incident Record Form. 

Guidance for Parents 

  • Encourage your child to open up with you about problem 
  • Make notes of what your child say and who was involved 
  • Reassure your child 
  • Explain to your child that it must be reported to the school 
  • Make an appointment to see the Form Tutor 
  • Explain to the Form Tutor the child’s experiences 
  • If not satisfied with result formal complaints may proceed 

Confidentiality 

Staff cannot promise not to disclose any information if asked by pupils, however Safe Guarding Procedures will follow when disclosure is deemed necessary issues relating to child protection will be dealt with under the Child Protection guidelines.  

Procedure of dealing with bullying 

  • All suspected cases of bullying must be reported immediately 
  • Clear account of incident will be reported to the Designated teacher  
  • All allegationswill be investigated 
  • The Head-teacher will interview everyone involved and keep a detailed record in line with the data protection Act 
  • Parents and relevant adult will be kept informed 
  • When bullying occurs outside school other agencies will be informed 

Pupils who have bullied 

  • Actions and incidents will be discussed 
  • Reason for action discussed 
  • Accountability and responsibility will be discussed  
  • An emphasis of Islamic teaching will be stressed 
  • Parents to work with the school to change behaviour 
  • Where necessary psychological intervention 

Pupils or staff being bullied 

  • Provide opportunities for discussion 
  • Assurance that bullying will be auctioned 
  • Support and reassurance 
  • Restore self esteem and confidence 
  • Consider referral if necessary 

Disciplinary Steps 

In keeping with our ethos the Restorative approach may first be taken, this means giving the person or persons who has caused harm to take responsibility for their actions by telling the truth, if this fails we will move straight to more traditional approach. 

The Restorative Approach 

This method involves healing emotional damage and making sure that fairness and justice prevails. It is not about finding who’s to blame, but making sure the young person who has caused the harm understands the impact of their behaviour. There is no set way to administer restorative justice – it ranges from a very formal process through to an informal approach to everyday events.  

A meeting be held, facilitated by the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 

The purpose of  purpose the meeting is not to blame or punish the wrong doers but instead to explore  who has been affected  by the bullying, how they have been affected and what needs to happen to put things right.  

In the case of serious or repeated bullying it is likely that a full Restorative Conference will be called. This means that the family and friends of the wrong doers and the harmed will come together for a formal, carefully facilitated meeting. 

The outcome of both Restorative meetings and full Restorative Conferences will be a formal agreement between all parties about future conduct. This agreement will be signed by the wrong doers, recorded on their school files and monitored by a named party to ensure that it is honoured 

In the case of broken contracts, more punitive measures such as class changes and exclusions will be applied. 

If the above measures do not result in a change of behaviour, we will recommend permanent exclusion 

In many cases Depending on the nature of the incident, a traditional disciplinary approach may be most appropriate. These may include 

  • A verbal warning 
  • An official written warning 
  • Detention 
  • Fixed term exclusion  
  • Permanent exclusion 
  • In the case where parents feel that their concerns are not resolved the Formal Complaints procedure may commence 
  • Where a crime is committed,an outside agency such as the Police will be involved.  

Allegations about bullying of pupils by staff will be dealt with under the Safeguarding Policy  

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review 

The Head Teacher has a statutory responsibility for school behaviour and discipline and the Anti-bullying policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.  The Head teacher will review this Policy at least once every two years as well as if incidents occur that suggest the need for review.  The school uses the guidance by the DCSF and the Anti-Bullying Alliance to inform its action planning to prevent and tackle bullying. The school will audit and evaluate annually all incidence of bullying.  

Reviewed by Headteacher : October 2016 

Next Review: October 2017