Anti-Bullying Policy

Full downloadable/printable version :Click below

Anti Bullying Policy Portarlington

Main contents of policy are below .For full version with exact text formatting etc see above version

Anti-Bullying Policy

School Statement on Bullying

Colaiste Iosagain, in accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (2013), and using the school’s Code of Behaviour and the Internet Acceptable Usage Policy as a framework, has adopted the following Anti-Bullying Policy.
The policy is supported by the CEIST school ethos. This is characterised by respect, empowerment, empathy, care, inclusion and support. Every member of the school community is entitled to a safe, healthy and happy experience in our school.

Awareness

Definition of Bullying
Bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour and/or repeated aggression- verbal, psychological, racial, sexual, and relational or physical- conducted by an individual or group against others and which is repeated over time.
Examples of these types of bullying and bullying behaviours are listed below:
Types of Bullying
Physical bullying: Hitting, beating, kicking, pushing, pinching, choking, spitting, stealing, vandalising or damaging property.
Verbal bullying: Name calling, texting, use of internet sites, graffiti, jeering, taunting, slagging, threatening and daring others to do something that is known to be wrong or dangerous.
Psychological bullying: Excluding, demeaning, isolating, ridiculing, malicious gossip, spreading rumours, passing notes, using peer pressure to intimidate, humiliation of students, threatening gestures or looks.
Sexual bullying: Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation, unwelcome sexual comments or contact.
Racist bullying: Prejudice, discrimination, comments about educational needs, colour, nationality or ethnicity.
Relational bullying: Demeaning or dismissive, abusive text messages, emails, comments, phone calls. Manipulation of relationships as a means of bullying i.e. ignoring or excluding from a peer group, spreading rumours, breaking confidences, excluding others, ensuring a victim can hear negative comments about themselves or others.
Identity-based bullying: Homophobic or racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s ethnic origins, disability or educational difficulties.
Cyber-bullying: By means of ICT such as text messages, social network sites, emails, instant messages apps, gaming sites, chat rooms, photo or other online technology to bully a person with inappropriate or hurtful messages any time day or night, in or outside of school. Placing or changing a person’s photograph online without a person’s consent, masquerading as another person to cause hurt or offense to another online.
Name calling: Persistent name calling directed at the same individual(s) which hurt, insults or humiliates.
Damage to property: Damage to clothing, devices, school books, equipment or a pupil’s locker. This includes stealing or hiding these items.
Extortion: Demands from money accompanied by threats that may be carried out in the event that the targeted pupil does not deliver on the demand. Forcing a pupil into theft of property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour
Placing a once off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by others is regarded as bullying behaviour.

An isolated incident of intentional negative behaviour including a once off offensive or hurtful text message or other private message does not fall within this definition of bullying. Such an incident will be dealt with in accordance with Colaiste Iosagain’s Code of Behaviour.
The statement “I was only messing” is not accepted as an excuse for bullying. All students will be made aware through the student journal of what is meant by the term “bullying” and encouraged to reflect on their own behaviour in this regard.
Signs of Bullying

The following can be signs that may suggest a person is being bullied:
- Anxiety travelling to and from school
- School refusal
- Decline in educational performance
- Lack or loss of interest in school
- Pattern of psychical illness, i.e. Headaches, stomach pains.
- Unexplained mood changes
- High levels of anxiety or stress
- Asking for more money/stealing
- Unexplained physical damage
- Unexplained damage to clothes or missing possessions
- Refusal to discuss the problem
- This list is not exhaustive

Effects of Bullying
Pupils who are bullied or witness bullying can experience the following negative effects:
- Changes of mood/behaviour/engagement in school activities
- Feelings of insecurity, anxiety and humiliation.
- Lower confidence/self esteem
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide
- Self-harm
- Guilt or distress

Prevention Strategies
The educational and prevention strategies that will be used in Colaiste Iosagain are as follows:
- Full implementation of the SPHE, RSE and CSPE programmes to ensure that the school supports a safe, social and personal environment. Training for staff in delivering these programmes will be arranged.
- School wide training on bullying.
- Delivery of lessons on bullying, cyber bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying, diversity at Junior Cycle.
- Guest speakers/lessons at senior cycle on homophobic bullying, gender identity, assertive communication and mental health.
- Diversity and the promotion of positive behaviour through Transition Year and guest speakers as part of their respective programmes.
- LGBT posters on display in the school.
- The involvement of the students’ council in the development of a safe school environment.
- Pastoral care system in place with student support meetings on a weekly basis.
- Training supported by the school for teachers of SPHE regarding bullying, internet safety, cyber bullying, sexual orientation and homophobia.
- Meeting with Chaplain available for all first years.
- The implementation of whole school awareness measures such as mental health week, regular assemblies with Principal/Deputy Principal and year heads.
- Promotion of the Anti-bullying policy at open nights, information nights and throughout the school. All new staff, students and parents will be informed about the policy and procedures.
- Blocking access to social media and or other websites in school.
- All lunch time activities/clubs to be supervised.
- Supervision of resource areas and halls at all break times, before and after school. Classes and extracurricular activities to be supervised and monitored. All staff must report any issues of concern.
- Strict implementation of the IT policy in the school.
- Ensuring that students are aware of whom they can speak with to report incidents of bullying. This includes:
 Approaching a teacher at an appropriate time.
 Handing up a note/report with homework to a teacher.
 Speak with a trusted teacher in school or contact the school via phone call.
 Ask a friend or family member to speak on your behalf.
- Administer a confidential questionnaire once a year.
- The school’s senior students (Meitheal) will have a specific responsibility for recognising bullying behaviour and bringing to the attention of the relevant teachers.
- Continue to promote anti bullying strategies in the school and to try and develop resources to support this.

Colaiste Iosagain’s support programme for affected students

- A student support team.
- Individual counselling with a guidance counsellor.
- SPHE classes to address concerns when required.
- Restorative meetings.
- Receiving support from outside agencies when necessary.

Procedures For Investigating and Dealing with Bullying.

(See appendix 3 for specific roles)
In Colaiste Iosagain the primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame).
The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following approach. Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including students, parent(s)/guardian(s) understand this approach from the outset.
Colaiste Iosagain’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

Reporting and Recording Bullying Behaviour
• Any student or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a report of a bullying incident to any teacher or staff member in the school.
• It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner on the Alleged Bullying Record Form **(is this what we call it?)
• All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant year-head. Written records of details concerning bullying behaviour will be kept by the School management in a manner to be decided by them.
• Parties involved will also be requested to write in their own words details of alleged bullying.
• Teaching and non-teaching staff, such as secretaries, S.N.A’s, caretakers, cleaners etc. must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them or mentioned to them to the relevant year-head.

Investigating and Dealing with Incidents
• In investigating and dealing with bullying, the relevant year-head will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best to resolve the issue(s).
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) and students are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties as quickly as possible.
• Year-heads should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach, showing no bias.
• Where possible incidents should be investigated in an office to ensure the privacy and dignity of all involved.
• All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all students concerned.
• When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant year-head should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
• If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements. Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures they may face from the other members of the group after interview by the year-head.
• In cases where it has been determined by the relevant year-head that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give the parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity to discuss ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by Colaiste Iosagain and the supports provided to the students.
• Where the relevant year-head has determined that a student has engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of Colaiste Iosagain’s anti -bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the student(s) being bullied.
• It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of parent(s)/guardian(s) and students) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the student being disciplined, his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school.

Follow up
• In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the Year-head must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
 Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
 Whether the issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
 Whether the relationship between the parties has been restored as far as is practicable
 Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s) or the principal or Deputy Principal.
• Follow up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately (after 20 days) with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the Student who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
• Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that Colaiste Iosagain has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) may be refer the matter to the Board of Management, as appropriate.
• In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, Colaiste Iosagain must inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Recording of Bullying Behaviour
It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner on the Alleged Bullying Record Form

Procedures for Resolving Bullying Behaviour
The situation will be monitored to ensure the bullying behaviour has stopped. All students involved will be approached by the relevant year-head for a period of time subsequent to the incident(s).
All students involved as either complainants or as perpetrators will be offered support. Such support may be offered from within the school’s Care team or, with the consent of parent(s)/guardian(s), from external agencies such as N.E.P.S etc.
If serious bullying behaviour persists, the student may be sanctioned in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

Support for Students affected by Bullying (In no particular order)
• Pastoral Care System – Monitoring by Tutor, Year Head and Pastoral Care Team
• Student Support Service of Guidance Counsellor and Chaplain
• Individual Counselling
• SPHE classes address issues where appropriate
• Working with outside agencies where necessary
• Encouragement to be involved in extra-curricular activities to build self esteem
• Restorative meeting (where appropriate)

Support for Students involved in Bullying Behaviour (In no particular order)
• Use of appropriate learning strategies to build self-esteem and self-worth.
• Counselling may be provided where necessary from Student Support Services within the school
• SPHE classes to highlight the negative impact of bullying behaviour
• Periodic monitoring by Tutor Year Head and Pastoral Care Team
• Restorative Meeting where appropriate.

Making the Policy available
This policy will be made known to the school community as follows:
1. Parents (on school website)
2. Parents’ Association
3. BOM (via Principal)
4. Students (designated tutor time/school website/student journal)
5. Teachers and non-teaching staff
6. Students’ Council(when in place)
7. Meitheal
8. Display of aspects of the policy in classrooms
APPENDIX 1
Report of an alleged Bullying Incident

APPENDIX 2
INVESTIGATION OF AN ALLEGED BULLYING INCIDENT FORM

Appendix 3: ROLES
The entire school community of Colaiste Iosagain is responsible for:
• Being vigilant
• Reporting bullying behaviour to key personnel
• Taking a report of bullying (this is non-judgemental and not for the person to investigate)

Key Personnel
Students Council? Student Representative body
The Student Council will:
1. Assist school management in identifying bullying behaviour. For example, highlighting bullying hotspots and times
2. Promote positive school behaviour
Tutor
Tutor has a key role in identifying, monitoring and preventing bullying behaviour. This occurs through:
• Promoting a positive and inclusive class spirit
• Listening to student concerns regarding the behaviour of others
• Informing Year Head of bullying concerns
• Noting students who appear isolated or excluded
Year Head
• Will investigate report of bullying
• May liaise with Principal/Deputy Principal
• Will inform Tutors
• Will alert Pastoral Care Team
• Student Support Services within the school
• Has a role in promoting positive behaviour through addresses at Assemblies
• Regularly reminding students of the schools Ant bullying Policy
• Keeping records of concerns and or cases of bullying
In the case where a Year Head has a concern about bullying
• Bring that concern to the attention of the Deputy Principal/Principal
• Reassure students who may have reported/highlighted a bullying situation
• Take steps to ensure students receive timely support
• Monitor situation to determine if situation is resolved or whether further action is required

Deputy Principal
The Deputy Principal has a key role in investigating and addressing bullying behaviour. In cases where a report of bullying is made the Deputy Principal will:
• Advise Year Head (if not already aware) and Principal
• Ensure parents of students involved are contacted
• Invite parents to attend meeting with their child and Deputy Principal and/or Principal to discuss bullying report
• Interview students with parent(s)/guardian(s) present
• Keep records of the report(s) of bullying and interview(s) using the standardised form
• Following consultation with Principal, inform parents of steps to be taken including possible disciplinary measures through the school’s Code of Behaviour
Principal
The Principal has a key role in investigating and addressing bullying behaviour. This occurs through:
• Monitoring reports of bullying received from Deputy Principal or Year Head
• Liaising with Deputy Principal in relation to investigation of bullying reports
• Making decisions in relation to disciplinary action for bullying behaviour
• Ensuring that bullying cases are dealt with in accordance with Colaiste Iosagain’s Anti Bullying Policy 2016 and Code of Behaviour
• At least once a term the Principal will provide a report to the Board of Management on:
1. Number of bullying cases reported to the Principal? Deputy Principal since the last report
2. Confirmation that all such cases have been dealt with in accordance with both the school’s Anti Bullying Policy and Code of Behaviour

Board of Management
The Board of Management will:
1. Undertake an annual review of the Anti- Bullying Policy and its implementation
2. Use the standardised checklist for the review as contained in the Appendix
3. Ensure that the school puts in place an Action Plan to address any areas for improvement identified through the review
4. Use the Agreed report to notify school personnel that the review has been completed. Notify Parents Council and Students Council
Role of External Agencies/ Wider Community
Colaiste Iosagain recognises the role of the wider community in tackling bullying behaviours. Liaising with outside agencies and/or community groups is a normal part of the schools’ approach to prevent and tackle bullying
In cases of serious concern, it may be necessary to seek assistance of formal agencies such as An Garda Siochana, NEPS, HSE, TUSLA etc.
Child Protection procedures will be implemented at all times in this regard.

_____ Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation
The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.
Yes /No
Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?

Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?

Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?

Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?

Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Principal

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy

To: _____________________________________

The Board of Management of ____________________ wishes to inform you that:

o The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of _______________ [date].

o This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Principal