We believe that bullying is serious for both the bully and the victim and it will be treated seriously. We believe that learning can only take place effectively in a safe and caring environment. We also recognise that bullying is a complex problem without any easy solutions. It is the responsibility of all staff to deal with bullying.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a physical and /or mental abuse of power. It can be one-off or continual. It can be:

  •  putting pressure on someone to do something they don’t want to do
  •  trying to get someone into trouble
  •  shoving or pushing someone
  •  unwanted physical touching on any part of someone else’s body
  •  insulting someone or their family
  •  calling names about people’s physique, race, religion, culture, colour, sex or sexuality
  •  taking or demanding money/belongings from someone
  •  demanding people’s belongings like equipment, bags, clothes, work and books
  •  ganging up on someone
  •  refusing to play or work with someone or talk to them
  •  talking behind someone’s back and spreading nasty stories
  •  teasing or nagging someone
  •  taking or breaking someone’s things
  •  making mean or rude gestures
  •  excluding someone from a group on purpose
  •  cyber bullying
  •  attacking someone physically or verbally

Effects and signs

There is no fool proof way of telling if someone is being bullied. Physical signs are rare, especially when the main kind of bullying that happens in school is name-calling. Any signs could of course be signs or effects of something else.

Some signs and effects include:

  • unexplained illness
  • reluctance to go to school
  • desire to be with adults
  • missing equipment
  • requests for more pocket money
  • damaged clothing
  • ‘lost/forgotten’ dinner money
  • fear of going out alone
  • isolation, depression, being withdrawn and having fewer friends
  • lower self-esteem and self confidence
  • school absenteeism and deterioration in school work
  • less willing to participate socially or in the classroom
  • offending/criminal behaviour
  • loneliness, depression and difficulties in forming relationships.
  • changes in eating habits
  • sleeping badly
  • complaining of headaches or stomach aches

Signs for the bully could be:

  • having more money
  • acquiring new equipment
  • having a new circle of friends
  • blaming others for their problems
  • refusing to accept responsibilities for their actions
  • being uncooperative and worrying about their reputation or popularity

What to do

When an instance of bullying is reported, it must be acted upon. While students are encouraged to ‘tell’ immediately, it cannot mean that there will be instant action. On the strength of one reported incident no teacher can drop everything and rush into action. Looking into bullying incidents takes time.

These are the principles on which we work:

  1. Take it seriously
  2. Listen to the victim
  3. Ask the victim to write a full statement. This can be done in school or at home.
  4. Inform parents of victim/bully that an incident is being looked into.
  5. Consider the information you have and make a decision about:
  • action to be taken towards the bully (detention, exclusion, support, monitoring, meeting with the victim)
  • action to be taken towards the victim (reassurance, meeting with the bully, support, advise on strategies)
  1. Inform parents of outcome
  2. Follow up to check there is no repeat of the incident.

What pupils should do if they are bullied or know that someone else is

  • Talk to someone your own age
  • Tell a teacher
  • Tell your parents
  • Write all incidents down
  • Listen and act on advice given
  • Act on the advice you have been given
  • Say ‘no’ if you can

What parents should do

  • Discuss the matter with your child
  • Tell the school about your worries
  • Do not keep your child at home
  • Take an interest in his/her friends
  • Don’t give money or expensive things to your child to take to school
  • Listen to your child
  • Be kind and don’t blame your child
  • Look out for signs
  • Ask your child to write a statement
  • Maintain contact with school