Rydal Penrhos School
1. School Commitment
The School recognises that bullying will always be a threat, and that there will be times when it emerges in practice. We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff. Parents must play
their part in encouraging children to tell in circumstances of bullying without worrying that they would be considered ‘tell-tales’.
We also recognise the seriousness of bullying in causing psychological damage and even suicide (although bullying is not a specific criminal offence, there are criminal laws which apply to harassment and threatening behaviour).
We are committed to raising awareness of staff through training, taking action to reduce the risk of bullying at times and in places where it is most likely.
2. Purpose and aims
The purpose of this policy is to enable all staff concerned, together with parents and children themselves, to undertake the achievement of this aim.
The objectives of this policy are to ensure that all members of the school community:
• feel safe from bullying and the fear of bullying
• recognise bullying behaviour
• understand and support the School’s stance against bullying
• know how to report incidents of bullying
• contribute to informing and, where possible, evaluating the policy
3. What is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying takes many forms:
• Verbal bullying includes name-calling, teasing, inappropriate comments, sarcasm, threats, and abusive comments
• Physical bullying includes pushing, hitting, kicking, spitting, tripping, and stealing or damaging possessions
• Social bullying includes deliberately excluding someone from social events, gossiping or spreading rumours about a person, hiding possessions, invading someone’s personal space, making threatening or offensive suggestions or gestures and embarrassing or humiliating someone
• Cyberbullying includes harassment, threats and abuse via a phone, on social media sites, or online, through text or other instant messaging, sending or displaying offensive or degrading
images (including ‘happy slappy’ videos) by phone or via the internet or email, or putting bullying posts on social media sites
• Racist bullying includes racial taunts, graffiti, gestures or treating someone in any way differently because of their race.
• Sexual bullying includes unwanted physical contact, sexually abusive comments, ill-placed innuendo or over-familiarity.
• Homophobic bullying centres on the issue of sexuality, same sex relationships, incorrect usage of words linked with femininity or masculinity (eg ‘butch’ ‘camp’), the pejorative use of the word ‘gay’.
• Special educational needs and disabilities SEN / Disability Bullying can take the form of: name-calling, innuendo, negative stereotyping or excluding from activity based on disability or learning difficulties
Disability - The Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has: ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.
The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The definition of Special Educational Needs includes many, but not necessarily all, disabled children: a disabled child has special educational needs if they have a disability and need special educational provision to be made for them in order to be able to access the education which is available locally. (moved up to here)
The development of electronic means of communication – the internet: social media, electronic chat-rooms and associated websites – has created new avenues for bullying, cruelty, unkindness and intolerance.
The policy stated above applies equally and directly to such electronic communication involving any members of the school community.
The school expects all pupils to adhere to its policy concerning the use of the Internet. Certain sites are blocked by our filtering system and our ICT Department monitors pupils’ use. In particular, all pupils must be aware that:
• Messages or images posted on web-sites must never be teasing or abusive of others – including other members of the school community – nor should they encourage others into teasing or abusive behaviour.
• Messages or images must never include racial, sexist, homophobic, ethnic, religious or other taunts or remarks directed towards others.
• Messages or images must never suggest threats or intimidation towards others.
• Messages or images must never be such as to damage the reputation of the school, nor of
any member of the school community – whether staff or pupil.
As a general principle, no image of the school, or of any member of the school community, should be posted on the internet or communicated electronically to others, without the consent of the individual(s) involved. In the case of the school itself, this will require the consent of the
Head or, as appropriate, the Prep School Head.
Pupils and their parents should note that this policy applies to all media of electronic communication, not simply to the use of the school’s own ICT network.
As with any cases of bullying, cruelty or intolerance, offences against this code will be treated seriously. In order to protect both the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s) it may be that such offences result in a temporary exclusion (suspension) from School for a period of time as judged
appropriate by the Headmaster. Repeat or serious offences may lead to permanent exclusion from the School.
4. Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Rydal Penrhos has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
5. Reasons for Bullying
Children feel insecure or inadequate themselves, and use a weaker person as a way to bolster their own self-image. This can particularly occur with children who have been bullied themselves.
Children who are spoiled, or who have become accustomed to getting their own way, can react in a bullying way when they come up against resistance.
Children who are under pressure to succeed may well find that they can cut corners by bullying. Parents and the school must all accept that anyone could be a bully. Whilst distressing it is
essential that we all have an open mind about who might or might not be a bully.
Individual children, who do not fit a mould, are particularly likely to stand out from the group as a whole, and seem “willing” victims.
6. Symptoms of Bullying
Many bullied children try hard to camouflage the fact that they are being bullied. Often the most strongly felt emotion amongst victims is guilt that this is happening to them at all. Therefore, all adults, and pupils, need to have some view of how they might determine that bullying is a
possibility, even when the victim is not talking about it. Symptoms that may be important indicators are as follows:-
• An adverse change in the quality of a pupil’s work.
• More than usual absence from school.
• Regular loss or damage to books or equipment.
• Unexplained bruises or scratches.
• Refusal to say what is wrong.
While the possibility of listing specific aspects of behaviour of a potential victim seems quite easy, in practice, given that so many victims do not wish to own up to bullying, it is important that staff and parents are ready to consider the best way to assessing whether negative relationships
and bullying are a threat at any time.
7. Management Strategies for the School
The School has a clear anti-bullying code which is actively communicated to all pupils by form staff. It is also displayed on notice boards around the school.
The purpose of this policy is to prevent bullying whenever possible.
A bully will very often see the victim as a stereotype. Thus, the bully must have stereotypical reactions broken down, and see the victim as an individual person with feelings similar to his or her own. In resolving cases of bullying, a good deal of forward momentum can usually be created by breaking down stereotypes.
The School recognises that the physical site has many corridors and out of the way areas. While physically there is little we can do about this, the school ensures that spaces are well lit, that lights work, that windows are clean, and so forth. Of great importance in managing the physical aspect of the site is the publication of carefully constructed duty rotas, full briefing of staff to alert them to dangers, and ensuring that in the Prep school break timetables in particular are always adhered to. Particular areas, such as changing rooms, lavatories, the edge of the school fields, or anywhere else which is not readily in the public gaze, will be particularly patrolled and vigilantly monitored. By its very nature bullying is a covert operation and often happens out of sight or hearing of teachers.
All components of the curriculum will take the chance to raise the benefits of positive relationships whenever the chance arises. The School should, as a matter of course, support children with low self-esteem and help the less confident to become more assertive. General
school methods of reward, support, inclusion, teaching children to become more assertive.
Particular aspects of the programme, where relationships, including bullying, include the following:
• Personal, Social, Health Education programme.
• Assemblies and chapel services.
• Head of School meetings, whether for all the members of the Lower or Middle School or Sixth form, or for certain age groups.
• Form tutor groups.
Adults, teaching and non-teaching staff alike, play an enormous role in setting a positive example:-
• All adults set a proper example of respect, kindness and good manners, not only to each other, but also to children.
• Standards of discipline will be maintained in a quiet, controlled and caring atmosphere.
• Adults to whom incidents of bullying are reported will deal promptly and effectively with such matters.
• Records of bullying incidents, together with action taken, will be reported to Form Tutors, House Tutors, Deputy Head and the Head. It is essential for long-term successful pastoral care that incidents of any sort are noted carefully to those concerned.
The School’s equal opportunities policy will play its part in ensuring that relationships amongst all those employed by the School are established on a positive basis of mutual respect.
9. Procedures (see also Annex 2)
1. All bullying incidents will be treated seriously. In the senior school they will be reported to the Head of School or the Deputy Head. In the Prep school they will be reported to the Deputy Head or the Head of Pre-prep. The first aim of all action is to end the bullying and support the victim. The second aim is to educate and reform the bully.
2. The bullying incident or report of bullying will be investigated immediately and the bullying
3. All incidents of bullying will be recorded by staff.
4. In the senior school, the Deputy Head monitors all expressions of concern and agrees a course of action with Heads of School, Form Tutors. The pupil’s Housemaster/mistress must also be informed if boarders are involved. In the Prep school the Deputy Head will
agree a course of action with the Head of Pre-prep (as appropriate) and the Form Tutor.
5. In most cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
6. The victim will receive support and advice.
7. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
8. An attempt will be made to help the bully or bullies to change their behaviour, and support
will be provided for them.
1. The bully or bullies will be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place.
2. If possible, the pupils will be reconciled.
3. After the incident or incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
4. In more serious cases, suspension or even permanent exclusion will be considered (reordered)
Pupils have a central role, perhaps the central role, in ensuring that bullying is eradicated as far as possible.
If a child feels he or she is a victim of bullying, they must also feel free to report it to a teacher in the confidence that something needs to be done. Even if an incident ends up being judged as not bullying, the reporting of it equally will not end up as being “sneaking”.
Children who are present when bullying is taking place, even though they are neither victim nor perpetrator, cannot allow themselves to be neutral. Third parties in such cases will be trained to inform adults of any incidents of bullying they have seen or heard of. Again, it is essential that such reports are taken extremely seriously by staff or other adults (see Annex 2 below).
In some cases perhaps a school prefect or other older pupil who has respect and personality will be able to take pro-active steps to stop an incident there and then.
Staff are committed to eradicating bullying not only through their own example, but through undertaking full communication about any bullying incidents or reports of them. In particular, staff commit to the following:-
- To listen carefully and sympathetically to all reports of bullying and to follow these up where appropriate, or relaying such incidents to other appropriate staff.
- Talking to parents about such incidents.
- Having dealt with any incidents themselves, reporting the details to all concerned.
Parents have a major responsibility to assist us all to eradicate bullying, especially as follows:-
- Supporting the School’s policy on bullying, especially in our quest to eradicate it.
- Reporting promptly all bullying incidents to Form Tutors, Deputy Head, or the Head who will guarantee their personal anonymity.
11. Promulgation and Review of Bullying Policy
This policy forms an integral part of the Staff Handbook, is available to parents on request and is published on the school website. It will be discussed during at least one staff meeting every term and will be reviewed every year. It is discussed with the school council, and with the prefects at the start of the new school year.
The pupils’ code of conduct, which is central in promoting anti-bullying attitudes, is placed in every form room and in other public areas. It is also included in the Senior Pupil Planners and Prep School Pupil Planner and Record Book (Year 3 to 6). All sections of this policy will be
promulgated to the pupils.
As and when necessary appropriate training will be given to staff in order that all feel equipped to support and assist in dealing with children who are being bullied.
12. Other Related Policies and Procedures:
- Behaviour, Rewards and Sanction
- Concerns & Complaints Policy
- Equal opportunities
- Social Media Policy
- ICT Acceptable Use Policy
- PSHE as part of SMSC, including Promoting Fundamental British Values
- Pastoral Care (including Referral Procedures for the School Counsellor
- School Rules & Code of Conduct
- Sex and Relationships Education