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Anti Bullying Policy

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Anti-Bullying Policy of St Colman's NS Cappagh.

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 St Colman's National School ,Cappagh 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.

2. 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 -
  • 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 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-
  • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including 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.

3. 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
  • 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.

4. The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as

The relevant class teacher and the Principal or Deputy Principal in the absence of the Principal

5. The education and prevention strategies that will be used by the school are as follows ;

The creation of a positive school climate which encourages respect trust care consideration and support for all the school community

The SPHE and RSE curriculum as prescribed for each class grouping.

The STAY SAFE programme to be studied by each class grouping on a bi-annual basis

The promotion of positive home/school/community links

An annual Anti -Bullying week encompassing a range of activities.

6. 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

All reports ,including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.

Where possible incidents will be investigated outside the classroom.

The relevant class teacher and Principal will speak separately to both parties and record their findings in writing .Both victim/s and bully/ies may be requested to write an account of the incident

Where a group is involved members will be first interviewed separately and then as a group.

All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity with due regard for the rights of all concerned.

The answers to the key questions of What?Where? When? Who? and Why? will be sought.

Pupils not directly involved in the incident may be interviewed .

When it is established that bullying has occurred Parents/Guardians of both victim and bully will be informed and invited to discuss the matter with relevant teacher and Principal.They will be informed of what action will be taken in line with the school's Code of Behaviour and requested to support the action

Where a parent/ guardian contacts the relevant class teacher or Principal making an allegation of bullying they are requested to ,as far as possible, to state their allegation in writing

In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after it was determined that the bullying behaviour occurred it must be recorded in the recording template ( Appendix 3 of Anti Bulling Procedures) having consulted section 8;9 xix of guidelines

Where matters are unresolved at school level the matter will be referred to the school's Board Of Management. Where a parent/Guardian is dissatisfied with the school response the complaint should be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Board.
In the event of a parent/Guardian not satisfied by the school's response they have a right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

Note; It is not school policy to discuss individual cases of bullying in a public forum .

7. The school's programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows

  • Support will be provided for anyone who is bullied, offering them an opportunity to talk about their trauma .
  • Monitoring procedures will be put in place to prevent a re-occurance and a followl-up meeting may be arranged with both parties together with Parents/guardians
  • Having consulted and informed parents/guardians of the measures being put in place, their co-operation will be sought.They will also be encouraged to report any further incidents should they occur.
  • Help will be forthcoming for the bully . This will include speaking and listening in order to help the bully realise the consequences of his/her behaviour for the victim and the school community.
  • An Individual Behaviour Plan may be put in place with the co-operation with parents/guardians.
  • In extreme cases it may be necessary to consult or seek advice from the HSE, Gardaí and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response such as a management plan.This is in accordance with The Child Protection Procedures

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. These are outlined in the school's Code Of Behaviour

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 25 th November 2013. . The school principal will be obliged to report at least once every term the number ,if any, of bulling cases and how they are being dealt with.

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents' Association. 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, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents' Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

Signed: Mary O'Donoghue
(Chairperson of Board of Management)

Signed: Frank Brennan

Date: 25/11/13 Date: 25/11/13

Date of next review: November 2014

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