ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

St. Conleth’s College Anti-Bullying policy

Our Ethos and Vision

Every student in St Conleth’s College is entitled to participate in an environment free from fear and intimidation. Bullying is not tolerated in St Conleth’s. It undermines our mission to create a happy, healthy and safe environment. We aim to foster dignity in the workplace and respect among, and between, teachers, staff and pupils.

Code of Behaviour

Good manners, courtesy, co-operation and respect for others and their property are paramount. Every student has the right to enjoy both learning and leisure time in school and to regard it as a place where they can relate in a positive manner towards their teachers and to each other based on tolerance and respect.

We all have a responsibility to watch our own behaviour , to be sensitive to the well- being of everybody, to be vigilant and watch out for each other.
In the first instance prevention is better than cure.

Bullying

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or a group against another person(or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying
  • cyber-bullying
  • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the St Conleth’s Code of Behaviour.

However in the context of this policy, by placing a once off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message or image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Prevention

St Conleth’s recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour.:

  • A positive school culture and climate which-
    • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity
    • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment
    • promotes respectful relationships across the school community
  • Effective leadership
  • A school-wide approach
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures)
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Supports for staff
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti bullying policy

Measures to achieve aims

  • Through the school’s pastoral care team. Headed by our form teachers who have daily contact with pupils and close relationship with parents.
  • All classes to participate in the Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying Programme
  • SPHE programme
  • Guest speakers and talks and/or workshops
  • Re-enforcement of School Policy by Form Teachers
  • Vigilance of St Conleth’s community with an emphasis on the ‘Bystander Effect’
  • The provision of a Guidance Counsellor
  • The introduction of mentoring/Buddy system between 5th and 1st Year
  • The provision of a report from the Principal to the Manager each term on the overall number of bullying cases recorded and confirmation that all cases have been, or are being, dealt with in accordance with the School’s Anti-Bullying Policy and the 2013 DES procedures.

Measures to be taken in the Event of a Bullying Incident

  • The first point of contact for students/parents/guardians is the Form Teacher
  • The Deputy Principal will be informed
  • Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint informally. If this is not possible a formal process will begin.
  • If a complaint is proven to be genuine, disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion will be taken.

The school will go about dealing with any and every incident with seriousness, care, sensitivity, and respect for all involved. It will put in place a system to investigate and resolve each complaint.

Formal Process

  1. Those involved will be spoken to separately. The school takes very seriously any attempt of intimidation during the course of an investigation.
  2. The facts will be established straight away (see template for recording bullying behaviour) i.e time, date, place and details of incidents.
  3. If a group is involved they will be interviewed one by one.
  4. A written account of all discussions and investigations will be made.
  5. If it turns out that the accused has been bullying they have broken the rules of the school and appropriate action will be taken.
  6. Sanctions may include
    • A contract of good behaviour
    • School community service
    • Detention
    • Withdrawal of privileges
    • Suspension
    • Expulsion

Parents will be kept informed of steps being taken.

Policy Review

As is recommended in DES guidelines of 2013 this Anti Bullying Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are  practical tips for immediate actions that are taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.
  • Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for bullying in the school.
  • Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.
  • Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils.