In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, 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.
The Board of Management 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. 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.
b. Effective leadership.
c. A school-wide approach.
d. A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact.
e. 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.
f. Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils.
g. Supports for staff.
h. Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of
established intervention strategies).
i. On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
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.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of 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
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 another public forum where that message, image or
the 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.
WHAT IS CYBER-BULLYING?
There are many types of cyber-bullying. The forms are likely to change over time. The more common types are:
Text messages – can be threatening or cause discomfort. Also included here is
‘Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using bluetooth wireless technology).
Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim
feel threatened or embarrassed.
Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim‛s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible.
Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else‛s
Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when
they are in a web-based chat room.
Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time
conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger), Yahoo Chat or similar tools.
Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (weblogs), personal websites and online
personal ‘own web space’ sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Ask.fm, and Myspace – although there are others.
The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
– The Class Teacher
– The Principal
– The Deputy Principal
The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows.
Staff at all times will endeavour to encourage pupils to show respect for each other.
The Stay Safe and Walk Tall Programme will be fully implemented in the school.
Parents are encouraged to visit the Stay Safe website and a link is provided from the school website.
The SPHE curriculum provides opportunities for role-playing bullying incidents and conflict resolution.
Extra-curricular activities are encouraged to help develop pupils’ self-esteem and experience
the discipline of following rules in sport.
Speakers will speak about bullying issues to staff.
Information relating to bullying will be made available on the school website.
The holding of an Anti-Bullying / Friendship week each year.
Link to Internet Safety Guide on the school website.
The school’s procedures 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:
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 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 regularly and recorded incidents will be dealt with under the school’s code of discipline and recorded by the principal.
Any other incidents will be reported to and recorded by the Principal.
A serious incident will involve parents/guardians 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.
Code of Discipline
- Reasoning with the pupil.
- Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
- Name in yard book.
- Temporary separation from peers, friends and others, removal of privileges.
- Detention during break.
- Referral to Principal.
- Communication with parents.
See section 6.8.9 of Anti-Bullying Procedure for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (DES).
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.
Pupils who have been bullied may need opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem
Pupils will be supported through the S.P.H.E curriculum.
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.
Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, 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.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on February 5th 2014.
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 of Education & Skills 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: Austin Hughes
Ratified by Board of Management on 27th November 2018
Date of next review: November 2019