STATEMENT OF INTENT
Netherwood is committed to working with students and parents to provide a learning environment that is secure and supportive so that all individuals can develop academically and socially free from fear of ridicule, harassment or physical threat. We aim to create an environment where all members of the school community feel safe, respected and valued. All children have an absolute right to be protected from others who may wish to harm, degrade or abuse them. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. Bullying may be verbal, physical or psychological. In fact any action which makes a child feel uncomfortable, insecure or threatened may be defined as bullying. The school disapproves of bullying in all its forms and considers it a most serious offence. If bullying does occur, all students 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. The staff take the lead in creating a climate in which students will report immediately any bullying incident in the expectation that it will be dealt with urgently and firmly. Parents have an essential role to play in counteracting bullying. Where bullying is clearly established, parents of both victim and perpetrator will always be contacted and the school will seek to involve them in securing solutions.
This policy applies only to incidents of bullying which take place on school premises. However, the school has an enduring interest in the welfare and conduct of its students and will respond positively to any information it receives about bullying outside school thus:
If it emerges that if a student is responsible for bullying other children outside school then this matter will be addressed and (if appropriate) the bully’s parents/carers 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/carers 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 or parent/carer outside school this will initially be discussed with the parents. If concerns persist then the matter will be referred to social care to safeguard the student (see Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy).
If children are being bullied by pupils of another school then pastoral staff of that school will be informed and invited to deal with the matter.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
There are five recognised features of bullying:
- It is deliberate, hurtful behaviour;
- It is repeated over a period of time;
- It is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves;
- It is difficult for those who bully to learn new social behaviours;
- Those who bully have and exercise power inappropriately over others.
All forms of bullying can be damaging to the development of both the person being bullied and the person bullying. Bullying can take many forms, but the main types are:
Physical Pushing, hitting, kicking, punching, taking belongings or an act of violence with intent to harm;
Verbal Name calling, insulting, threats/intimidation or making offensive remarks;
Indirect Spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups or being made the subject of malicious rumours;
Cyber Tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted using text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging or any other type of digital technology e.g. social networking sites (BEBO, Facebook, MySpace, BBM, Twitter). Misuse of associated digital technology such as camera and video aids – refer to Safeguarding policy.
Bullying is not one off fall outs between friends.