We the staff and Governing Body of Brompton Hall School declare ourselves to be opposed to bullying in any form; this includes racial, cultural, religious, homophobic and cyber bullying. Known instances of bullying will be dealt with using the schools aims and procedures whenever they arise; in a prompt, caring professional manner paying particular attention to the needs of the victim(s).
- We aim to foster good relationships among the pupils themselves and between staff and pupils.
- We aim to guide pupils enabling them to make informed and sensible decisions in all aspects of their lives.
- We aim to develop caring and responsible attitudes throughout the school.
- We aim to prevent bullying from occurring by developing the right atmosphere in school.
Definitions and Affects
We would define bullying as any sort of physical or psychological intimidation by those in a position of power over those who are unable to defend themselves. It implies a wilful, conscious, desire to harm, hurt, threaten or frighten another person with the intention of causing distress.
Bullying is usually done for the bully’s personal gain or gratification, often aimed at impressing others.
- The victims who often already suffer from poor self image.The bully for whom such behaviour may lead to other forms of anti-social activity.
- The bystanders who may be frightened as a result of the bullying activities.
- The staff who may be seen as ineffective in dealing with such behaviour.
This kind of behaviour is not to be tolerated and must be actively discouraged by all staff at Brompton Hall. A whole school approach is necessary in order to maintain an anti-bullying campaign. This should stress to all pupils and all staff that bullying is unacceptable in our school community.
Staff must be aware of the circumstances, times and places where bullying might take place, e.g. unstructured times, playgrounds, toilet areas, cyber bullying etc. They must also be aware of the many ways in which bullies may intimidate others; these may range from the subtlety of a "knowing glance" to direct physical aggression.
There are many definitions of bullying, but most have three things in common:
- It is deliberately hurtful behaviour
- It is repeated often over a period of time
- It is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
Bullying can take many forms but three main types are:
- Physical hitting, kicking, taking belongings
- Verbal name-calling, insulting, racist remarks
- Indirect spreading nasty stories about someone excluding someone from social groups.
- Cyber bullying - bullying a person through the internet, in particular via social media. This can include posting things online or sending unkind and hurtful messages to the victim.
The problem of bullying is owned by everyone concerned. This means that the first step is that we acknowledge that it happens and we must all work towards eradicating it.
We must ensure that there is a good network of communication ( between boys and boys / boys and staff / staff and staff / boys and parents / parents and staff ) so that information is passed on and the problem can be tackled.
Discussing the topic with individuals, unit groups and classes will help to keep a raised awareness and provide the opportunity for the free flow of information. (We have already begun to remove the notion of the grass and replace it with the community spirited individual.)
We must maintain the anti-bullying campaign as a priority and constantly raise it as a whole school discussion topic. Senior Staff should take the lead in stressing how unacceptable bullying is in our school community, how weak bullies really are and how everything must be done to expose and prevent their actions.
Guidelines and Principles
- Act as a role model for the pupils
- Watch for early signs of distress (deterioration of work, spurious illness, isolation, the desire to be close to adults, low self esteem, cuts and bruises etc.)
- Be available and willing to listen.
- Record incidents and be seen to do so.
- Offer the victim immediate support.
- Report the incident to the pupil's tutor & key worker if necessary/complete a serious incident form and complete a Bullying Report Form or a Cyber Bully Report Form with the victim.
- Avoid ‘bullying the bully’ when applying sanctions. Look to conclude the matter in a manner acceptable to both the victim and the bully.
- Ensure that all accessible areas of the school are patrolled at break times and during clubs etc.
- Speak to the child's parents or carers and ask them to review their child's social media use and offer advice to improve security settings etc.
- Stop all observed incidents of bullying immediately. Deal with them there and then or as soon as is possible.
- Use all pupils as a positive resource in collecting information.
- Help the bully to become aware that his actions are considered to be bullying and that these are hurtful to the victim.
- Try and find out why the bully bullies others and try to help him with his problems.
- Work from the principle that bullying is always wrong - so that a victim is not made to feel guilty. (Note: however, the victim must be made aware that some behaviours can easily be used as an excuse for bullying.)
- Use peer pressure against bullying, in a positive un-confrontational manner.
- Help the pupils think about strategies to use.
- Ensure that pupils know what to do when they are bullied.
- Tell pupils from day one that no type of bullying is tolerated in school, including cyber bullying
- Tell pupils that they have a responsibility as a member of our community to speak up and identify incidents of bullying so that we can all work towards eradicating it.
All staff have a responsibility for dealing with an incident of bullying.
Incidents can be referred to the Bullying Committee who will investigate and hand out sanctions and punishments if required.
However, the school will continue to help both victim and bully through counselling ; as, not only must we support and help the victim but also help the bully to be aware that his actions are hurtful to the victim and that he, too, may have a problem which requires the help of a person to talk with. It is in this area where a pupil's class tutor and key worker have a crucial part to play.
- Stay with a group, avoid being on your own.
- Get your friends together and say no to a bully.
- Only go into places where bullying happens with a friend or an adult.
- Tell a member of staff when something happens.
- Tell them again if the bullying does not stop.
- Try not to show the bully you are upset.... this may be difficult.
- Remember that to fight back may make it worse. Talk to an adult before you try to fight back.
- Just walk away from or ignore people who call you names.
- Try to crack a joke when someone bullies you with words.
- If you are in danger get away and find an adult.
- If you are different in some way be proud of it! It is good to be an individual.
- Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied.
- Never keep it to yourself.... there really are people (other boys and the staff) who want to help you.
- Ask a parent, carer, teacher or other responsible adult to help you with the security settings on social media.
- Keep a copy of any messages or posts that have been sent or shared with you and show them to an adult.
- Watch for signs (not wanting to return to school, coming home with bruises or torn clothing, possessions disappearing, etc.)
- Listen to what your child says, try to establish that the problem really is bullying and not something else.
- Discuss with your child what you can do.
- Contact school and explain what you have found out.
- Help your child to deal with the problem. Be tactful and encourage non-conflict.
- If you are concerned about his journeys home consider escorting / collecting him.
- Try not to be over-anxious or over-protective.
- Remember that, despite being against school rules, name-calling is common.
- However, if your child is upset then let school know about it.
- If a name is used which refers to your child’s physical characteristics, then let him know that you love him for the way he is, including these particular characteristics which make him an individual.
- Monitor your child's use of social media and social networking sites and encourage them to report any incidents of cyber bullying to you.
It is important that staff continue to emphasise one of the objectives of the school which is to encourage pupils to accept the consequences and responsibilities for their own behaviour and provide pupils with opportunities to be involved in a wide range of social activities which require sharing, waiting and appreciating the roles of others.
Staff may also use some areas of the twenty-four hour curriculum which bond themselves to the subject of bullying, i.e. Tutor time, Unit Forum meetings, PSHE / RE lessons and school assemblies.
It is our aim that Brompton Hall should be an ordered community where everyone is safe and recognises the worth of each individual. As such bullying, in whatever form, will therefore have no part in our daily working and recreational life.
Making the Policy Work
The following is our attempt to translate the policy into a plan of action involving the whole school.
The School Bullying Committee
A committee has been set up consisting of 4 boys - one from each unit - and a member of the Senior Management Team, in most instances this will be the Head of Child Care
The Policy asks that ALL complaints of bullying are taken seriously and written down on the Bullying Proforma. It should be countersigned by the adult dealing with the incident.
Incidents should then be reported to the Head of Child Care for investigation to establish if an incident of bullying has taken place. This will be measured against the definition of bullying within this policy.
Incidents that are clarified as bullying will then be taken to the Bullying Committee.
The committee will then investigate the alleged incident and interview both the alleged victim and bully. The supporting adult will also have the opportunity to address the committee to explain the incident in greater detail.
Once a decision has been made regarding the incident the committee has the opportunity to give sanctions and punishments if they feel that it is appropriate.
The minutes of the meeting will be made available to all involved.
If sanctions have been put into place, these will also be made available.
Parents and carers of the pupils concerned will also be made aware of the issues and of any sanctions.
It is to be remembered that all staff must take immediate action as they see fit and not wait for the committee to meet. Those actions will be taken into consideration at the meeting of the committee.
Any boy who appears before the committee will have to answer for his actions and will have a letter sent home to his parents informing them of his bullying and the decision of the committee. Should any boy not respond to the sanctions and continue to offend, then parents will be given the opportunity to attend school to discuss the matter.
The Governing Body
Governing Body involvement occurs when a pupil fails to respond to opportunities provided. The Governors have a Disciplinary Committee and a pupil may be asked to appear before it. Thus, information as to the frequency of bullying by an individual will be known by both parents and Governors as well as those people involved in the day to day work of the school. All parties will be aware that all that could have been done will have been tried so that any decision made by the Governors will be a well informed decision.
It is imperative that all staff strive to make this scheme part of their working practice and give the scheme a chance to work effectively against bullying. Any scheme will never drive out bullying but it should reduce the instances considerably. Therefore, its effectiveness should be reviewed from time to time, refined and adjusted. Any comments or suggestions for improving the scheme will be considered. Our job is to be familiar with the routines so that, when asked, all staff will be able to answer questions about bullying, bullies, bullied and what actions this school takes to deal with the problem.