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Anti-bullying Policy

Updated May 2021

Values and Principles

Park High School is committed to ensuring that all students and all staff are able to learn and work in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. Bullying is an anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Park High School. Bullying causes harm to those who bully, those who are bullied and those who watch. If bullying does occur, all pupils should know who to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. In the event of a bullying incident being unresolved the school will take advice from outside agencies.

Aims and Objectives of the Policy

  • To increase awareness and to encourage students to report concerns regarding bullying
  • To provide protection, support and reassurance for victims
  • To develop the self-confidence and self-esteem of all students
  • To develop an effective range of emotional 'self-defence' skills for all students  To promote an anti-bullying ethos amongst the whole school community.

Designated Anti Bullying Leaders:

  • Mr Gareth Jackson (Deputy Headteacher Behaviour – Deputy DSL)
  • Mrs Cathy Bridges (Assistant Headteacher– Personal Development / DSL )
  • Mrs Amanda Coward (Director of Student Progress and Well-Being Deputy DSL)

Other Staff

  • Head of Year 11- Mrs S Huntington
  • House Dragon – Director of House (Miss Towers)
  • Assistant Director of House (Mr Heath)
  • House Griffin- Director of House (Mrs Cassidy-Heafield)
  • Assistant Director of House (Miss Davey)
  • House Pegasus- Director of House (Mr Spencer)
  • Assistant Director of House (Mr Hope)
  • House Phoenix- Director of House (Mr Curran)
  • Assistant Director of House (Miss Clegg)

What is Bullying?

Park High School accepts the DCFS definition that bullying behaviour is:

"Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally or both"

Such behaviour constitutes bullying if:

  • it is repetitive, wilful or persistent
  • it is intentionally harmful, carried out by an individual or a group
  • there is an imbalance of power leaving the person who is bullied feeling defenceless

The Park High School community recognises that being bullied undermines self-esteem and confidence, sometimes with devastating consequences. It can result in long-term psychological harm and it can undermine the ability to concentrate and learn and as a result it can impact on a young person's chance of achieving their full potential at school and in later life.

Specific types of bullying include:

  • Physically harmful behaviour: Pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, and other forms of physically abusive behaviour
  • Emotionally harmful behaviour: such as taunting, spreading hurtful rumours and excluding people from groups, or cyber bullying and can be further categorised as
  • Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing. This now includes messages by mobile phone and e-mail.
  • Emotional:Excluding (sending to Coventry), tormenting, ridicule, humiliation.
  • Racist: Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual: Unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.
  • Homophobic: Any hostile or offensive action against lesbians, gay males or bisexuals or those perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual
  • Cyberbullying: mobile threats by text messaging and calls; all areas of internet such as email and chat room misuse; misuse of associated technology e.g. camera and video facilities and use thereof to deliberately upset someone else. (PLEASE SEE SEPARATE CYBER BULLYING POLICY)

Signs and Symptoms

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that they are being bullied. All Park High School staff should be aware of these possible signs and if worried they should investigate the situation further.

If a child

  • is frightened of walking to or from school
  • asks to be driven to school
  • changes their usual routine
  • is unwilling to go to school
  • begins to truant
  • becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
  • starts stammering
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • feels ill in the morning
  • begins to do poorly in school work
  • arrives home with clothes torn or books damaged
  • has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
  • has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
  • has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • is frightened to say what's wrong
  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above
  • is afraid to use the Internet or mobile phone
  • is nervous and jumpy when a cyber-message is received

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Reporting: Bullying is in general easy to deal with if the school knows about it. 

  • All reports of Bullying should be made to the pastoral team. This can be done through the students talking to the pastoral team on behalf of themselves or another student.
  • Parents should call the school directly, reporting any problems to the Director of House.
  • Students can message a bullying alert through the website. 

Prevention

Prevention is clearly the strategy of choice. This will be addressed in a variety of ways:

  • At whole school level Progress Leaders and SLT through assemblies will inform children of the school's zero-tolerance policy and the actions that will be taken to prevent bullying taking place. Assembly time will also be used to challenge the notion that there can be innocent, neutral bystanders with regards to the issue of bullying
  • Anti-Bullying Week in November will be used as an opportunity to raise the profile of this issue.
  • At classroom level - especially through Personal Development lessons - the focus will be on developing strong anti-bullying messages. ICT lessons will have a focus on E Safety
  • Park High School recognises that there are particular times when students may be more vulnerable to bullying such as 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. G4 will be particularly used to provide support for vulnerable students.
  • Students will have the opportunity to contribute to the school's Anti-Bullying Policy through Student Voice and the School Senate.
  • Peer Mentors will be available for those students requiring extra support and will be encouraged to organise anti-bullying campaigns in school and discourage the "bystander culture".
  • Stereotypical views must be challenged and pupils encouraged to appreciate and view positively the differences in others - whether arising from race, culture, gender, sexuality, ability or disability. Homophobic language will be challenged by staff.
  • Parents will be informed of procedures and issues such as E safety and cyber bullying through the school Website, newsletters and evening events such as new year 7 evenings and consultation evenings.

Parental Involvement

Park High School 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. The school recognises the important influence which parents/carers have on their children and would wish to enlist their support when their child is involved in bullying - either as victim or a perpetrator. Parents who believe their children are the victim of bullying should share their concerns with school at the earliest opportunity and be prepared to work with school to keep their children safe in future. All expressions of concern will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Where parents have concerns about bullying they should contact the appropriate form tutor or progress leader.

Implementation of the Policy

All staff involved in the teaching and/or supervision of children will take responsibility for addressing incidents which fall within the school's definition of bullying and ensure that the victim receives the support required; the bully is informed of the unacceptability of their 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

The school will take firm and decisive action to deal with any incident of bullying which is witnessed by or reported to any member of staff. Bullying can be reported by a pupil to a trusted adult, via the bullying link on the VLE, by text message to the Attendance Coordinator or by E mail. When a member of staff receives information, either directly or indirectly, that a child or member of staff may have been the victim of a bullying incident, this report will be taken seriously and investigated. The incident will be recorded in T&L which in turn will be used to record all following necessary actions.

Logging Incidents on Bromcom

The incident is logged under the name of the aggressor as a Bromcom behaviour concern.

  • Type: Bullying
  • Type of Bullying: Bullying Sexual Orientation, Cyberbullying, Name Calling, Teasing, Bullying Intimidation, Bullying Race Religion and Cultural, Bullying Appearance or Health, Bullying SEN Discrimination, Bullying Young Carer or Looked After Children,Bullying Physical, Emotional or Threatened Written Derogatory Comments.
  • Location, Time, Comment describing incident.
  • Parent Carers Informed

The Bullying incident must also be recorded on the victims under students involved.

  • Date, Intervention Type: Victim of Bullying
  • Comment: Please describe the incident and record parent contact here.

The school will offer a proactive, sympathetic and supportive response to 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
  • assertiveness training
  • extra supervision/monitoring
  • creation of a support group
  • peer mentoring
  • informing/involving parents
  • adult mediation between the perpetrator and the victim
  • arrangements to review progress
  • This will be followed up regularly to ensure that bullying has not resumed.

For Pupils or Staff Involved in Bullying Incidents

Park High School takes bullying behaviour very seriously and will adopt a supportive, pragmatic, problem-solving approach to enable bullies to behave in a more acceptable way. Steps will be taken to change the attitude and behaviour of the bully, as well as ensuring access to any help that they may need. We 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. These sanctions may include: detention, a period of time in Turning Point or fixed-term exclusion. In case of persistent bullying, the perpetrator risks losing their place at the school.

Monitoring Arrangements

This policy will be evaluated every 2 years and updated by the designated SLT Anti Bullying leader (DBP) where necessary. The views of pupils, staff, governors, parents and outside agencies (eg school nurses, police, YPS) will be used to make changes and improvements to the policy on an ongoing basis. Categorised incident records of bullying along with other supportive data (LPAQ) will be kept by Progress Leaders and passed to the DBP who will check and analyse them to monitor the effectiveness of the policy.