1. 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 Scoil Naomh Pádraig 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.
1. 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 positive school culture and climate which-
o is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
o encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
o promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
• Effective leadership;
• A school-wide approach;
• A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
• Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
o build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
o 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 (including use of established intervention strategies); and On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
1. 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:
• deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
• cyber-bullying and 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 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.
1. The individual class teacher will investigate, report and deal with bullying within their own classrooms and will adhere to the whole-school policy.
The principal shall be informed when an investigation is being carried out and what resulted from the observation/investigation.
1. 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:
Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are ignored.
Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use. Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules. As part of our school’s behaviour policy and mobile phone use, pupils are not permitted to have mobile phones in the school.
Completing the “Stay Safe” programme EVERY year in all classrooms
Addressing bullying, self-esteem and coping strategies within the SPHE curriculum
Through the teaching of other subjects, we 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.
1. 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:
(i) The primary aim for the relevant teacher 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);
(ii) In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
(iii) All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly;
(iv) Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher;
(v) 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;
(vi) It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset;
(vii) Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents;
(viii) Incidents are generally best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
(ix) All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way
(x) When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant 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 in a non-aggressive manner;
(xi) 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 that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
(xii) Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher;
(xiii) It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s);
(xiv) In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents 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 parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils;
(xv) Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;
(xvi) It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school;
(xvii) Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties 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;
(xviii) In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template.
(xix) In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
• Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
• Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
• Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable; and
• Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal;
(xx) Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures;
(xxi) In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows
Support for pupils who have been bullied:
• Events/Activities will be arranged by class teacher to build their self-esteem
• Pupil to be part of a social group to enable him/her to develop social skills, to build friendships and to learn skills of resilience and coping
• Some pupils may need counselling which should be arranged by the principal and/or the parents if deemed necessary
Support for pupils who have been involved in bullying behaviour:
• Opportunities to develop self-esteem should be arranged on an ongoing basis
• Counselling may need to be arranged
Support for pupils who have observed bullying behaviour:
• Will be encouraged to talk to their teachers
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, 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 ________________ .
11. This policy has been made available to school personnel and has been published on the school website. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
12. 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 and will be published on the school website. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed: ____________________________________ Signed: ___________________________
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: ______________ Date: __________________
Date of next review: _______________
Template for recording bullying behaviour
1. Name of person being bullied
1. Name(s) of person(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
1. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
1. Type of Bullying Behaviour – tick box(es)
Physical Aggression Damage to Property
Isolation/Exclusion Name Calling
Malicious Gossip Other (specify below)
1. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:
Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Travelling Community Other (please specify)
1. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact:
1. Details of Actions taken:
1. Signed _________________________________(relevant teacher)
1. Date submitted to Principal: _____________________________¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
Annual Review – Checklist
1. 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?
1. Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
1. Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
1. 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?
1. Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?
1. Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?
1. Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?
1. Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
1. Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
1. Has the Board received and minute the periodic summary reports of the Principal?
1. 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?
1. Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
1. Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
1. Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
1. 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?
1. Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
1. Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?