The profile of bullying and anti-bullying work locally and nationally has never been higher. Evidence from national and local research indicates that bullying is widespread and consultations with children and young people (CYP) repeatedly identify bullying as a key concern for them.
Bullying damages children’s and young people’s physical and mental health, including their self- confidence and ability to build and sustain relationships. It can also destroy self-esteem sometimes with devastating consequences and with the effects lasting into adult life. Bullying undermines the ability to concentrate and learn and can impact on children’s and young people’s chances of achieving their full potential at school and later in life.
This school believes that all children and young people have the right to learn and work in an environment where they feel safe and that is free from harassment and bullying.
A Definition of Bullying
Various national and international definitions of bullying exist and most of these definitions have three things in common which reflect CYP’s experience of bullying and evidence gained from extensive research in this area. The three common aspects in most definitions of bullying are that:
- It is deliberately hurtful behaviour
- It is usually repeated over time
- There is an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.
These factors are reflected in the DfE and Cambridgeshire Children’s Families’ and Adults’ Services definitions of bullying:
behaviour by an individual or group, often repeated over time, that intentionally harms another individual or group either physically or emotionally. It involves an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves. Cambs CFA 2016
At our school we follow this definition.
Reporting Incidents of Bullying
The school encourages and equips the whole school community to report all incidents of bullying, including CYP who have experienced being bullied and bystanders who have witnessed an incident. The school endeavours to provide clear, accessible and confidential incident reporting systems.
The school’s incident reporting systems and guidance on defining bullying and recognising the signs and symptoms of bullying in CYP are recorded and communicated to the whole school community via:
- The school’s child-friendly anti-bullying leaflet created by our School Council
- The local authorities anti-bullying leaflet for parents/carers
- The school’s prospectus/booklet
- Display materials and posters around school
- The school’s website
- The school’s information evenings for parents/carers.
Responding to Incidents of Bullying
The school has an agreed procedure for responding consistently to incidents or allegations of bullying. Direct action to respond to incidents of bullying occurs within a context, which reminds all CYP that bullying behaviour is unacceptable to the school and will not be tolerated. At our school, all CYP are encouraged to report incidents of bullying whether they have been bullied or have witnessed bullying. The class teacher, KS Leader and SMT (Senior Management Team) are all responsible for responding to incidents of bullying. The school will investigate the incident and decide on an appropriate course of action.
(The above information is taken directly from our Anti-Bullying Policy. For more information, for example on types of bullying and recognising signs and symptoms, please read our Anti-Bullying Policy, available to download on this website: Our School/Polices and Guidance Documents, in more detail.)