DOMINICAN PRIMARY SCHOOL ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
- 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 Dominican 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 Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and it is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
- A positive school culture 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; and
- promotes respectful relationships among the staff and across the community;
- fosters in our pupils self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others
- 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 –
- build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils;
- 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.
- 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 which is conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) which is repeated over time.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in this non-exhaustive definition of bullying:
- deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying.(eg. physical aggression, intimidation, name-calling, damage to property and extortion).
- cyber-bullying and
- 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.
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 mentioned above is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
- The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
- Class Teacher(s) of children involved.
- Principal/Deputy Principal
- The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used in the school are as follows:
- Dominican Primary School Anti-Bullying Week
- Code of Behaviour
- Stay Safe Programme
- Walk Tall Programme
- Relationships and Sexuality Programme
- Religious Education Programme
- Positive Staff Interaction
- Positive Pupil-Teacher Relationships
- After-school Activities
- Drama Games
- Circle Time
- Positive Relationships with Parents and Learning Community
- HSCL Teacher
- Learning Support Teachers (eg Social Stories)
` PROCEDURE FOR INVESTIGATION OF BULLYING
- The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:
- Relevant teacher(s) inform Principal/Deputy Principal of report.
- Relevant teacher(s) observe and record inappropriate behaviours as reported by parents/guardians and/or pupils involved.
- Parents/guardians of children involved to be invited to meet relevant teacher(s) and Principal/Deputy Principal.
- Behaviour Action Plan specific to the incident and/or children will be drawn up to resolve any issues and restore as far as is practicable, the relationship of the parties involved. This plan may also involve the learning support team.
The procedures above are consistent with the following approach:
All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with according to the policy.
Non-teaching staff will be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them or mentioned to them to the relevant teachers.
Parents/Guardians 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.
Incidents will be investigated outside of the classroom and will be conducted with sensitivity and due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned.
If a group of children are involved, each member should be interviewed individually 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 statement.
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.
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.
It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents/guardians) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents/guardians and the school.
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.
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 be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template.
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;
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;
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.
- The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
- SPHE Programme
- Religious Education Programme
- Learning Support Team work with pupils who have been bullied and those involved in bullying behaviour. Eg. discussion, social stories, provision of further reading materials for children.
- Procedure for Recording of Bullying
While all reports of bullying behaviour must be investigated by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher will use his/her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding the same.
If it is established that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 1 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
- a) in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and
- b) where the occurrence of bullying was reported to the Principal/Deputy Principal.
In each of the above circumstances at (a) and (b), the recording template must be completed in full, retained by the teacher and a copy given to the Principal/Deputy Principal. Principal and/or Deputy Principal can be consulted at any stage before it is decided that bullying has occurred.
- Procedure for Prevention of Bullying among Staff
- All staff should be respected equally and issues should be professionally addressed.
- If a staff member feels bullied by another, they should approach the person to discuss the issue. This should be in a private, calm environment where both parties can speak openly.
- If a member of staff feels unable to approach the individual(s), they should seek advice from the Principal.
- If the Principal feels unable to approach the individual(s), he/she should seek advice from the Chairperson of the Board. This should be separate from the Board as a group.
- If a member of staff feels unable to approach the Principal, they should seek advice from the Deputy Principal, INTO or Board member.
- If any member of staff feels that the matter has not been sufficiently addressed they should follow the Catholic Primary School Management Association’s Procedures for Bullying/Harassment Appendix 21 Section C.
10. Procedure for aggressive behaviour towards staff from adults in the school community.
All children and staff are entitled to work in a safe, secure environment. The promotion of a positive learning environment for all is encouraged and valued in Dominican Primary School. Positive and respectful behaviour is expected from all within the school. Any aggressive, threatening or disrespectful behaviour towards members of staff or visitors to our school will be reported to the Board of Management. The Board of Management may decide to restrict access to the premises for a period of time.
- 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 18/11/2014.
This policy has been made available to school personnel, and provided to the Parents’ Association. All parents were made aware of its availability through the school office. 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, school community 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: Caoimhe Frain Signed: Peter Mooney (Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: 18/11/14 Date: 18/11/14
Dominican Primary School
Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Phone: 2809011 Fax: 2806914
- Name of pupil being bullied and class group
- Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))*
|4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*|
- Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
- Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
|Damage to Property||Intimidation|
|Name Calling||Other (specify)|
- Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:
|Homophobic||Disability/SEN related||Racist||Membership of Traveller community||Other (specify)
- Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact
- Details of actions taken
Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher) Date _____________
Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________