Anti-Bullying Policy 2023/24
St Vincent’s Primary School, Glasnevin
In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB (National Education Welfare Board), the Board of Management of St. Vincent’s Primary School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013, the School’s Code of Behaviour, the Complaints Procedure for Parents and Grievance Procedure for Staff and Teaching Council’s Professional Code of Conduct for Teachers.
These procedures recognise that a cornerstone in the prevention of bullying is a positive school culture and climate that is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity and respect. DES Procedures 2013 1.4
2. Key Principles of Best Practice: Preventing and Tackling Bullying (Appendix 1)
- A positive school culture and climate which-
- Is welcoming of difference and diversity and 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 whole-school approach
- A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact.
- Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
- Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
- Explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying
- Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils.
- Supports for staff.
- Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour
I. On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
The Department of Education and Skills Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools are based on the principle that a welcoming and positive school climate the optimum environment not just to prevent bullying but also to encourage respectful relationships across the whole school.(Respect:PDST)
3. Definition of Bullying
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:
Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. These procedures make clear that this definition includes cyberbullying and identity based bullying such as homophobic bullying and racist bullying. DES Procedures 2013 1.4
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:
- Deliberate exclusion
- Malicious gossip
- Physical aggression
- Verbal Abuse
- Cyber Bullying
- Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Travelling Community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs
- Damage to property
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 should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
However, in the context of this policy, 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 other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.
Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour. Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools.
When differences between pupils, particularly those related to identity are treated with respect and dignity the confidence of all pupils to feel safe, supported and welcomed in school will flourish. Respect : PDST
4. Relevant Teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
- Class Teacher
- The Principal
- The Deputy Principal
A school-wide approach (involving school management, staff, parents and pupils) to dealing with the problem of bullying behaviour is a key element of effective practice. Bullying behaviour affects not only those immediately involved. It can affect everyone in the classroom, in the school and, ultimately, in the wider community.
DES : Procedures 2013 6.3
A consistent and clear approach to dealing with bullying when it occurs is essential to effective practice . DES :Procedures 2013 6.8.
5. Education and Prevention Strategies
The education and prevention strategies that the school will implement must be documented in the Anti-Bullying policy and must explicitly deal with the issue of cyber -bullying and identity based bullying.
- Anti -Bullying Procedures 2013: Department of Education
- Anti-Bullying Procedures 2013: Department of Education Circular 045/2013
- The Stay Safe Programme
- The Walk Tall Programme
- RSE Programme
- Webwise Materials: HTML Heroes, MySelfie and the Wider World
- All Together Now Resources
- PDST Materials: A Better Internet, Respect
- Cyber Safe Ireland Website
- School Awareness Day-Safer Internet day
- Posters / Visual Arts /Display of students’ creative contributions in classrooms.
- Use of Poetry/Story
- SPHE Curriculum: Myself, Myself and Others, Myself and the Wider World
- Speakers invited to speak to students/parents /staff
- Friendship Week
- Circle Time
- Co-operative and playground games
- Realt na Seachtaine
There is space within the teaching of all subjects to foster an attitude of respect for all: to promote the value of diversity; to address prejudice and stereotyping and to highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.
The SPHE curriculum makes specific provision for exploring bullying as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication,
conflict, friendship, personal safety and relationships. DES : Procedures 2013 6.5
6. The School’s Procedure
For Investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows :
Individual teachers must take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy.
Parents and pupils 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 involved as quickly as possible .
It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset.
When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the teacher 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 .
DES:Procedures 2013 6.8
- Our school staff have a responsibility to model the school’s standard of behaviour.
- Create a school ethos that is positive friendly and fosters a culture of respect.
- Each teacher will record any serious incident of negative behaviour within the classroom. If a pattern of bullying emerges then this will be dealt with by the class teacher with the help of the principal if necessary and reported to the principal.
- The teacher supervising the yard will record any incident of intentional negative behaviour and these will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of discipline.
- The yard books will be examined and recorded incidents will be dealt with under the school’s code of discipline.
- Our Code of Discipline: class/yard and school rules are displayed in classrooms .
- Incidents are to be reported to Mr. Reilly. A serious incident will involve guardians/s coming in to speak with the principal.
- If matters aren’t resolved at this stage it may be necessary to consider suspension.
- At all stages records will be kept of any intervention used to resolve the difficulties.
- Any serious once off incidents of bullying including cyberbullying ,physical aggression and identity based bullying will be dealt with under our Code of Discipline and Anti Bullying Policy and could result in suspension.
- Non-teaching staff such as the secretary and special needs assistants must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them to the teacher ,Deputy (Ms Mitchell) or Principal (Mr Reilly).
- Follow-up meetings with the relevant pupils involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect.
- Records are to be kept of all investigations, interviews, follow -up meetings and action taken by members of school community.
- Homophobic insults should be treated in exactly the same way as racist or other insults-the teacher can calmly explain that such insults are hurtful and not acceptable.
- Cases of Bullying are to be reported to the Board of Management including records of investigations, follow ups and action taken.
- Template (Appendix 2) is to be filled in by relevant teacher and given to Principal. This will be then presented to Board of Management.
- The Board of Management must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti- bullying policy and its implementation. Appendix 3 : Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation.
- At least once in every school term, the Principal must provide a report to the Board of Management setting out: (i) the overall number of bullying cases reported (by means of the bullying recording template at Appendix 2) since the previous report to the Board and (ii) confirmation that all cases referred to at (i) above have been or are being, dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy and the Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools. The minutes of the Board of Management meeting must record the above but in doing so must not include any identifying details of the pupils involved.
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows :
- All staff dealing with a bullying incident will, as well as reasoning with the pupil perpetrating the negative behaviour, also offer support and comfort to the victim, but also recognises the need to uphold the dignity of all pupils involved.
- Pupils who have been bullied may need opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem.
- All pupils will receive the support and help they need.
- Follow-up meetings will be arranged for pupils, separately and together.
- Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour should be encouraged to discuss them with teachers.
- Relevant SPHE programmes will be taught and referred to during lessons.
- Pupils involved in bullying behaviour need assistance on an ongoing basis
8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils :
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
9. Prevention of Harassment:
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation (Equality Act), take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on:
- This policy has been made available to school personnel and published on the school website and is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
- This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed Chairperson of Board of Management:
Signed School Principal:
Date of next review: September/October 2024