Key Contact Personnel in School
Nominated Member of Leadership Staff Responsible for the policy:
Jodi Hacker (Headteacher)
Annette Elmes (Assistant Head Teacher)
Nicki Poland (Assistant Headteacher & Mental Health Lead)
Named Governor with lead responsibility:
Simon Curd (Chair of Governors)
Date written: March 2022
Date agreed and ratified by Governing Body: 14.03.22
Date of next review: March 2023
This policy will be reviewed annually, and following any concerns and/or updates to national and local guidance or procedures.
This policy is based on “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” DfE guidance July 2017
School Anti-Bullying Policy
This policy is based on “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” July 2017 and supporting documents. It also takes into account the DfE statutory guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2021. The school has read “Cyberbullying: Understand, Prevent and Respond: Guidance for Schools”.
- This policy outlines what Hawkhurst Church of England Primary School will do to tackle all forms of bullying.
- Hawkhurst Church of England Primary School is committed to developing an anti-bullying culture where the bullying of adults, children or young people is not tolerated in any form.
Links with other school policies and practices:
This policy links with a number of other school policies, practices and action plans including:
- Behaviour and Exclusion Policy
- Complaints Policy
- Safeguarding Policy
- Online Safety and Acceptable use Policies (AUP)
- Curriculum Policies such as PSHE
Links to legislation:
There are a number of pieces of legislation which set out measures and actions for schools in response to bullying, as well as criminal and civil law. These may include (but are not limited to):
- The Education and Inspection Act 2006, 2011
- The Equality Act 2010
- The Children Act 1989
- Protection from Harassment Act 1997
- The Malicious Communications Act 1988
- Public Order Act 1986
It is the responsibility of:
- The Headteacher to communicate this policy to the school community, to ensure that disciplinary measures are applied fairly, consistently and reasonably, and that a member of the senior leadership team has been identified to take overall responsibility.
- School Governors to take a lead role in monitoring and reviewing this policy.
- All staff, including: governors, senior leadership, teaching and non-teaching staff, to support, uphold and implement this policy accordingly.
- Parents/Carers to support their children and work in partnership with the school.
- Parents and Carers to ensure they are good role models and are not arguing with other parents in front of children.
- Pupils to abide by the policy. A child friendly Anti-bullying information sheet has been written for KS1 and KS2 and can be found in Appendix 1 and 2 of this policy.
Definition of bullying:
- Bullying is “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”. (DfE “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, July 2017).
- Bullying can include name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments, kicking, hitting, taking belongings, producing offensive graffiti, gossiping, excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untrue rumours.
- This includes the same unacceptable behaviours expressed online, sometimes called online or cyberbullying. This can include sending offensive, upsetting or inappropriate messages by phone, text, instant messenger, through gaming, websites, social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading photos or videos.
- Bullying can be a form of peer on peer abuse and can be emotionally abusive; it can cause severe and adverse effects on children’s emotional development.
Forms of bullying covered by this policy:
Bullying can happen to anyone. This policy covers all forms of bullying including:
- Bullying relating to race, religion, nationality or culture.
- Bullying related to SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability).
- Bullying related to appearance or physical/mental health conditions.
- Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic bullying).
- Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances.
- Bullying via technology, known as online or cyberbullying.
Hawkhurst Church of England Primary School recognises that bullying, especially if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on individuals. It can create a barrier to learning and have serious implications on mental health and wellbeing. By effectively preventing andf tackling bullying, our school can help create a safe, disciplined environment, where pupils are able to learn and extend their horizons. As a community we:
- Monitor and review our anti-bullying policy regularly.
- Support staff to promote positive relationships to help prevent bullying.
- Recognise that some members of our community may be more vulnerable to bullying and its impact than others; being aware of this will help us to develop effective strategies to prevent bullying from happening and provide appropriate support if needed.
- Will intervene by identifying and tackling bullying behaviour appropriately and promptly.
- Ensure our pupils are aware that bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that everyone should feel safe to learn and abide by the anti-bullying policy.
- Require all members of the community to uphold the anti-bullying policy.
- Report back to parents/carers regarding concerns on bullying, dealing promptly with complaints.
- Seek to learn from good anti-bullying practice elsewhere.
- Utilise support from the Local Authority and other relevant organisations when appropriate.
Responding to bullying:
The following steps may be taken when dealing with all incidents of bullying reported to the school:
- If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached or witnessed the concern.
- The school will provide appropriate support for the person being bullied – making sure they are not at risk of immediate harm and will involve them in any decision making, as appropriate.
- The Headteacher, or another designated Safeguarding lead will interview all parties involved.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will be informed of all bullying issues where there are safeguarding concerns.
- The school will inform other members of staff, parents/carers, as appropriate.
- Sanctions (as identified in the school Behaviour and Exclusions Policy will be implemented, in consultation with all parties involved (this could include an internal exclusion, suspension, regular meetings with the parents and children involved, behavior report card)
- If necessary, other agencies may be consulted or involved, such as: the police (if a criminal offense has been committed) or other local services including Early Help or Children’s Social Care (if a child is thought to be at risk of significant harm).
- Where the bullying takes place off site or outside of normal school hours (including cyberbullying), the school will ensure that concern is fully investigated. Appropriate action will be taken, including providing support and implementing sanctions in school in accordance with the Behaviour and Exclusions Policy.
- A clear and concise account of the incident will be recorded by the school in accordance with existing procedures. This will include recording appropriate details regarding decisions and action taken.
The school accesses Childnet for Cyberbullying guidance
When responding to Cyberbullying concerns, the school will:
- Act as soon as an incident has been reported or identified.
- Provide appropriate support for the person who has been cyberbullied and work with the person who has carried out the cyberbullying to ensure it does not happen again.
- Encourage the person being bullied to keep any evidence (screenshots) of the bullying activity to assist any investigation.
- Take all available steps where possible to identify the person responsible. This may include:
- Looking at the use of school systems
- Identifying and interviewing potential witnesses
- Contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary
- Work with the individuals and online service providers to prevent the incident from spreading and assist in removing offensive and upsetting material from circulation. This may include:
- Support reports to a service provider to remove content if those involved are unable to be identified or if those involved refuse to or are unable to delete content.
- Confiscating and searching pupils’ electronic devices, such as mobile phones, in accordance with the law the school will access the DfE “Searching, screening and confiscation at school” and “Childnet” Cyberbullying guidance to ensure the schools powers are used proportionately and lawfully.
- Requesting the deletion of locally-held content and content posted online if they contravene school behaviour policies.
- Ensure that sanctions are applied to the person responsible for the cyberbullying; the school will take steps to change the attitude and behaviour of the perpetrator as well as ensuring access to any additional help they may need.
- Inform the police if it is clear that a criminal offense has been committed.
- Provide information to staff and pupils regarding steps they can take to protect themselves online. This may include:
- Advising those targeted not to retaliate or reply.
- Providing advice on blocking or removing people from contact lists.
- Helping those involved to think carefully about what private information they may have in the public domain.
Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by:
- Reassuring the pupil and providing continuous support.
- Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with their teacher, the designated safeguarding lead, or a member of staff of their choice.
- Being advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience as appropriate.
- Working towards restoring self-esteem and confidence.
- Providing ongoing support which may include: working and speaking with staff, offering formal counselling, engaging with parents and carers.
- Where necessary, engaging with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist help and guidance. This could include support from Early Help or Specialist Children’s Services, or support through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Pupils who have perpetrated the bullying will be helped by:
- Discussing what happened, establishing the concern and the need to change.
- Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the child.
- Providing appropriate education and support regarding their behaviour or actions.
- If online, requesting that the content be removed and reporting accounts/content to service provider.
- Sanctioning, in line with the school Behaviour and Exclusions Policy. This may include fixed term or permanent exclusion.
- Where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist help and guidance. This may include help from the police ore referrals to Early Help, Specialist Children’s Services, or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Our school takes measures to prevent and tackle bullying among pupils, however, it is equally important to recognise that bullying of staff and parents, whether by pupils, parents or other staff members, is unacceptable.
Adults (staff and parents) who have been bullied or affected will be supported by:
- Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the concern with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Advising them to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience, as appropriate.
- Where the bullying takes place off site or outside normal school hours (including online), the school will still investigate the concern and assure that appropriate action is taken in accordance with the schools behaviour and discipline policy.
- Reporting offensive or upsetting content and/or accounts to the service provider, where the bullying has occurred online.
- Reassuring and offering appropriate support.
- Working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance.
Adults (staff and parents) who have perpetrated the bullying will be helped by:
- Discussing what happened with a senior member of staff and/or the Headteacher to establish the concern.
- Establishing whether a legitimate grievance or concern has been raised and signposting to the school’s official complaints procedure.
- If online, requesting that content be removed.
- Instigating disciplinary, civil or legal action as appropriate or required.
We will access guidance for school leaders regarding dealing with complaints made on social networking sites by parents/carers at www.kelsi.org.uk/child-protection-and-safeguarding/e-safety
Preventing bullying: Environment
The whole school community will:
- Create and support an inclusive environment which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others, which will be upheld by all.
- Recognize that bullying can be perpetrated or experienced by any member of the community, including adults and children.
- Openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as: religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality or appearance related difference. Also children with different family situations, such as looked after children or those with care responsibilities.
- Challenge practice and language which does not uphold the values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others. Be encouraged to use technology, especially mobile phones and social media positively and responsibly.
- Work with staff, the wider community and outside agencies to prevent and tackle concerns including all forms of prejudice-driven bullying.
- Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
- Celebrate success and achievements to promote and build a positive school ethos.
Policy and Support:
The whole school community will:
- Provide a range of approaches for pupils, staff and parents/carers to access support and report concerns.
- Regularly review and update our practice to take into account the developments of technology and provide up to date advice and education to all members of the community regarding positive online behaviour.
- Take appropriate, proportionate and reasonable action, in line with existing school policies, for any bullying brought to the school’s attention which involves or affects pupils, even when they are not on school premises.
- Implement appropriate disciplinary sanctions; the consequences of bullying will reflect the seriousness of the incident, so that other see bullying is not acceptable.
- Use a variety of techniques to resolve the issues between those who bully, and those who have been bullied.
Education and Training:
The school community will:
- Train all staff to identify all forms of bullying and take appropriate action, following the school’s policy and procedures (including recording and reporting incidents).
- Consider a range of opportunities and approaches for addressing bullying throughout the curriculum and other activities, such as: through displays, assemblies, peer support and mediation, the school council.
- Provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including building their resilience and self-esteem.
Involvement of pupils:
- Ensure that children understand the school’s approach and are clear about the part they have to play to prevent bullying.
- Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying.
- Ensure all pupils know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying.
- Ensure all pupils are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying.
- Involve pupils in anti-bullying campaigns in school and embedded messages in the wider school curriculum.
- Publicise the details of internal support, as well as external helplines and websites.
- Offer support to pupils who have been bullied and to those who are bullying in order to address the problems they have,
Involvement and liaison with parents and carers:
- Take steps to ensure parents are aware that the school does not tolerate any form of bullying.
- Make sure key information about bullying (including policies and named points of contact) is available to parents/carers on the school website.
- Ensure all parents/carers know who to contact if they are worried about bullying and where to access independent advice.
- Work with all parents/carers and the local community to address issues beyond the school gates that give rise to bullying.
- Ensure parents/carers work with the school to model positive behaviour for pupils both on and offline.
- Ensure all parents/carers know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively, to raise concerns in an appropriate manner.
- All parents are expected to be positive role models whilst on school premises and should not be engaged in conflicts or unpleasantness with other parents.
Monitoring and Review: putting policy into practice:
- The school will ensure that they regularly monitor and evaluate mechanisms to ensure that the policy is being consistently applied.
- Any issues identified will be incorporated into the school’s action plan.
- The Headteacher will be informed of bullying concerns as appropriate.
- The named Governor for bullying will report on a regular basis to the governing body on incidents of bullying, including outcomes.
Useful links and supporting organisations:
- Anti-bullying Alliance: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
- Childline: www.childline.org.uk
- Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk
- Kidscape: www.kidscape.org.uk
- MindEd: www.minded.org.uk
- NSPCC: www.nspcc.org.uk
- The Big Award: www.bullyinginterventiongroup.co.uk/index.php
- PSHE Association: www.pshe-association.org.uk
- Restorative Justice Council: www.resorativejustice.org.uk
- The Diana Award: www.diana-award.org.uk
- Victim Support: www.victimsupport.org.uk
- Young Minds: www.youngminds.org.uk
- Young Carers: www.youngcarers.net
- The Restorative Justice Council: www.restorativejustice.org.uk/restorative-practice-schools
- Changing Faces: www.changingfaces.org.uk
- Mencap: www.mencap.org.uk
- Anti-bullying Alliance Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities: www.cafamily.ork.uk/media/750755/cyberbullying
- DfE SEND code of practice: www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
- Childnet International: www.childnet.com
- Digizen: www.digizen.org
- Internet Watch Foundation: www.iwf.org.uk
- Think U Know: www.thinkuknow.co.uk
- OK Safer Internet Centre: www.saferinternet.org.uk
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection: www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
Race, religion and nationality:
- Anne Frank Trust: www.annefrank.org.uk
- Kick it Out: www.kickitout.org
- Report it: www.report-it.org.uk
- Stop hate: www.stophateuk.org
- Tell mama: www.tellmama.org
- Educate against Hate: www.educateagainsthate.com
- Show Racism the red Card: www.srtrc.org/educational
- Barnardos LGBT Hub: www.barnardos.org.uk
- Metro Charity: www.metrocentreonline.org
- EACH: www.eachaction.org.uk
- Proud Trust: www.theproudtrust.org
- Schools Out: www.schools-out.org.uk
- Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk
We want all of our children to be happy and feel safe in school. We know that sometimes children fall out with their friends or have an argument. This is normal and staff can help you to deal with this and to sort out any problems and help make friends again.
Sometimes children upset each other and when it happens often this could be seen as bullying. We therefore have some rules that you should remember in school.
- We should remember to be kind to each other on the playground and in the classroom.
- We shouldn’t hurt anyone else with our hands or our feet.
- We shouldn’t call each other names.
- We need to remember that we are all different and we shouldn’t make fun of anything that is different.
- If someone is being left out of a game it is kind to ask them to play with us and let them join in.
If you have been unkind to another child, this is what may happen:
- Your parents will be told and will be asked to come into school for a meeting.
- You will be spoken to by either Mrs Hacker, Mrs Poland, or Mrs Elmes.
- Mrs Hacker will check after each lesson, playtime and lunch time that you have been good.
- You may not be allowed to go out on the playground.
If someone has been unkind to you, you should go and tell an adult and they will listen to you and do their best to help sort it out.
If you are upset on the playground because you have no-one to play with, tell an adult and ask if they can help you find one of your friends.
We expect all children to be kind and well-behaved in school and to remember our school values of compassion, hope and community.
If you are feeling unhappy in school, we have staff who can help you. They are: Mrs Poland, Mrs Hacker, Mrs Simmonds, Mrs Hamer and Mrs Paton. Charlotte is in The Nest on a Monday and you can talk to her too.
We want all of our pupils to be happy and feel safe in school. We know that sometimes children fall out with friends, have arguments and need some time away from each other. This is normal and we don’t have an issue with this, however, when things happen on a more regular basis, this could be classed as bullying. For example:
- Repeatedly calling someone names.
- Hurting someone physically.
- Constantly looking at someone in a threatening way.
- Making someone do something they do not want to do.
- Laughing at someone because they may be different.
- Doing or saying things that make another pupil feel afraid or upset about coming into school.
We will not tolerate bullying in school and if somebody has accused you of bullying them we will investigate that and also involve your parents. If we consider you have bullied somebody in school this is what may happen:
- Your parents will be informed and will be asked to come into school for a meeting.
- You will be spoken to by either Mrs Hacker, Mrs Poland, or Mrs Elmes.
- You could be put on a report card where you have to report back to Mrs Hacker after each lesson and each playtime.
- You may have an internal exclusion where you will have to work outside the classroom for a while and will not be able to go onto the playground.
- You may be suspended from school.
- A note of the incident will be kept on your school record.
If you believe that someone has bullied you, you should not try and retaliate, you should tell an adult in school. This could be your teacher, a Teaching Assistant, or any other member of staff. We will listen to you and we will speak to the other children involved. Everyone will have a fair chance to give their side of what has happened.
We expect all children in school to take responsibility for their own behaviour and to follow our school values of compassion, hope, community.
There is never an excuse for constantly upsetting another pupil in school. If you are finding it difficult with friendship groups then we can do lots of things to help and you should talk to somebody on the Well-being Team: Mrs Poland, Mrs Hacker, Mrs Simmonds, Mrs Hamer, or Mrs Paton. Charlotte from Place 2Be is in The Nest on a Monday and she can also provide time to listen to you if you need someone to talk to.