Ss Peter and Paul JNS

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Anti-Bullying Policy

Policies

SS PETER AND PAUL JNS
ANTI-BULLYING POLICY


1. Introduction and Rationale
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 SS Peter and Paul JNS 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. Definition of Bullying
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013, 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, which is the act of bullying a target using technology such as mobile phones or the internet as a vehicle.
• Identity based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Travelling 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 available in the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013, Addendum 1.

3. Positive school culture and climate
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact it can have on the lives of pupils and therefore SS Peter and Paul JNS actively promote a positive school culture and climate through the following:

• Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
• Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
• Display key messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school.  Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
• Acknowledge children being good – notice and encourage desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
• Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
• Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
• Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
• Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on internet use and to engage in safe and respectful internet use (e.g. through ‘Webwise’ programme).
• Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
• Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
• All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
• Ensure there is adequate playground / school yard / outdoor supervision.

4. Procedures
4.1 Relevant Teacher
The term ‘relevant teacher’ refers to the member(s) of teaching staff who has (have) responsibility for investigating and dealing with bullying.  The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013):
• Each class teacher has the responsibility for investigating any instances of Bullying in the school and indications of Bullying.
• The Principal may be included at any state of these investigations.

4.2 Education and Prevention strategies
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 (see Section 6.5 and Appendix 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013):

• Anti-bullying lessons as set out in the Stay Safe Program are taught in all classes as part of the SPHE curriculum.
• Lessons are taught from the Walk Tall and Be Safe programs on self-esteem and Anti-bullying.
• “Webwise” program is taught to all classes as part of the Information Technology education.
• Community Garda is invited to talk to the children on Bullying and Cyber-bullying and how the children should report it and what help there is there for them.
• Parent Association to invite guest speaker or attend venues on talks on Bullying.
• NPC Booklet to be distributed to parents of the school.
• Alive O Program aims to create a caring and community based atmosphere in the school.
• Our Bullying Policy is linked to our Code of Behaviour Policy and bullying is dealt with in the sanctions of the Policy.

4.3 Investigation, follow-up and recording
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 (See section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013):

• The relevant teacher will speak separately to pupils involved.  Be calm.
• Ask questions such as – What? Where? When? Who? How? Why? (In a non-aggressive manner)
• In a group situation, interview separately, thereafter in a group, where each member is aware of their own statements.
• Teacher(s) may not request a child from another class where they are involved in ‘an incident’ unless the class teacher has been made aware of said ‘incident’.
• If children are in separate classes, the class teachers will consult and agree on the relevant teacher(s) for that particular case.
• Teacher(s) will keep a log of ‘incidents’.
• It may be helpful to ask those involved to write down / draw their account of the incident.
• Keep a written record of the case and the interview.
• Advise the pupil(s) who has engaged in bullying behaviour on how they must change this type of behaviour and to see the situation from the point of view of the person being bullied.
• In the cases where bullying behaviour has been determined by the teacher, parents of all parties involved should be contacted and informed on the matter.
• Inform parents of the breach of the Code of Behaviour Policy of the school and any sanctions to be imposed.
• Arrange for follow up meetings with both parties and monitor the situation.
• Inform the Board of Management of the bullying incident at the next Board meeting.
• If 20 school days after informing parents of pupil engaging in bullying behaviour, said behaviour has not ceased, form ‘Template for recording bullying behaviour’ must be completed by the relevant teacher.

4.4 Programme of support
The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows (See Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, September 2013):

• SPHE lessons to support self-esteem will be discussed in the classroom.
• Group work, group bonding, co-operative games in PE.
• Circle Time.
• Alive O Program, fairness and reconciliation lessons.
• Contact NEPS service to get advice for victims and parents of victims.
• “Where the incident is serious and where the behaviour is regarded as potentially abusive, the school must consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response” (as directed in Section 6.8.12).

4.5 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.

4.6 Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all 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.

5. Implementation and review
• This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on _________________.

• This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association.  A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department of Education 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 and provided to the Parents’ Association.  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the Department of Education and the Patron.




Signed:  ________________________________ ______________________________
(Chairperson of the Board of Management) (Principal)

Date: ________________________________ ______________________________

Date of next review: _________________________________











SS PETER AND PAUL JNS
ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

ADDENDUMS

ADDENDUM 1
TYPES OF BULLYING
The following are some of the types of bullying behaviour that can occur amongst pupils:
• Physical aggression: This behaviour includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people in line with the definition of bullying.  It may also take the form of severe physical assault.  While pupils often engage in ‘mess fight’s’, these can sometimes be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain.

• Intimidation: Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation:  it may be based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon.  Particularly upsetting can be a facial expression which conveys aggression and / or dislike.

• Isolation / exclusion and other relational bullying: This occurs where a certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored by some or all of the class group.  This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour and can be difficult to detect.  It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the pupil in public places, by passing around notes about or drawings of the pupil or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard.  Relational bullying occurs when a person’s attempts to socialise and form relationships with peers are repeatedly rejected or undermined.  One of the most common forms includes control: “Do this or I won’t be your friend anymore” (implied or stated); a group ganging up against one person (girl or boy); non-verbal gesturing; malicious gossip; spreading rumours about a person or giving them the ‘silent treatment’.

• Cyber-bullying: This type of bullying in increasingly common and is continuously evolving.  It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social network sites, email, instant messaging (IM), apps, gaming sites, chat-rooms and other online technologies.  Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying.  As cyber-bullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behaviour and does not require face to face contact, cyber-bullying can occur at any time (day or night).  Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyber-bullying.  For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person’s sexuality, appearance etc.

• Name calling: Persistent name-calling directed at the same individual(s) which hurts, insults or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour.  Often name calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g. size or clothes worn.  Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention.  Academic ability can also provoke name calling.  This tends to operate at two extremes.  There are those who are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be weak academically.  At the other extreme there are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers, are also targeted.

• Damage to property: Personal property can be the focus of attention for bullying behaviour.  This may result in damage to clothing, mobile phone or other devices, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil’s locker or bicycle.  The contents of school bags and pencil cases may be scattered on the floor. Items of personal property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden.

• Extortion: Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out in the event of the targeted pupil not delivering on the demand).  A pupil may also be forced into theft or property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour.


ADDENDUM 2
TEMPLATE FOR RECORDING BULLYING BEHAVIOUR
1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group
Name __________________________________ Class __________________________

2.  Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour

Name Class






3. Source of bullying concern / report (tick relevant box(es))   4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))
Pupil concerned   Playground
Other pupil   Classroom
Parent   Corridor
Teacher   Toilets
Other   Other

5. Name(s) of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
Name __________________________________
6. Type of bullying behaviour (tick relevant box(es))
Physical aggression  Cyber-bullying
Damage to property  Intimidation
Isolation / Exclusion  Malicious gossip
Name calling  Other (specify)
  

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:
Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)
   

8. Brief description of bullying behaviour and its impact









9. Details of actions taken






















Signed: _________________________________ Date: ____________________
(Relevant Teacher)


Signed: _________________________________ Date: ____________________
(Relevant Teacher)


Signed: _________________________________ Date: ____________________
(Relevant Teacher)


Date submitted to Principal / Deputy Principal: ___________________________

ADDENDUM 3
PROCEDURES FOR INVESTIGATING AND DEALING WITH BULLYING
School authorities must ensure that the school has clear procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying and that these are set out in the school’s anti-bullying policy.  The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following:
(i) The primary aim for the relevant teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame).
(ii) In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his / her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
(iii) All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.  In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’.  This confidence factor is of vital importance.  It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
(iv) Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaner must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher or to any other teacher who will forward details of the incident to the relevant teacher for that particular incident.
(v) 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.
(vi)  It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset.
(vii) Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents.
(viii) Incidents are generally best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved.
(ix) All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned.  Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way.
(x) When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why.  This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
(xi) If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group.  At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his / her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statement.
(xii) Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that they may face from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher.
(xiii) It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down / draw their account of the incident(s).
(xiv) In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early state to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy).  The school should 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 the pupils.
(xv) Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him / her how he / she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him / her to see situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.
(xvi) It must 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 or her parents and the school.
(xvii) Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should 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.  This can have a therapeutic effect.
(xviii) In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not ceased within 20 school days after he / she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template (Addendum 2, Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour).
(xix) In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, 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.
• Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal.
(xx) Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
(xxi) In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaint procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Procedures for recording bullying behaviour
The Board of Management must ensure that the school has clear procedures for the formal noting and reporting of bullying behaviour and these must be documented in the school’s anti-bullying policy.  All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation.  The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour must adhere to the following:
(i) While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher(s) will use his / her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same.
(ii) If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his / her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
(iii) The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Addendum 2 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
a) In cases where he / she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he / she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred and
b) Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

ADDENDUM 4
CHECKLIST FOR ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE ANTI-BULLYING POLICY AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation.  The following checklist must be used for this purpose.  The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list.  In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the schools’ anti- bullying policy will be required.
Yes/No
Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (September 2013)?
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?
Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?
Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?
Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?
Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bu8llying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and / or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

Signed: _________________________________ ______________________________________
(Chairperson, Board of Management) (Principal)
Date:  _________________________________ ____________________________________

 


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