Statement of Intent
At Iqra High School Oldham (Khadijah Centre), our community is based upon respect, good manners and fair play. We are committed to providing a safe and caring environment that is free from disruption, violence and any form of harassment so that every one of our pupils can develop to her full potential. This policy (which applies to all staff and pupils at Khadijah centre) has regards to ‘safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools’ from the DCSF guidelines. We expect our pupils to treat members of staff with courtesy and co-operation so that they can learn in a relaxed but orderly atmosphere. All pupils should care for and support each other.
At Iqra High School Oldham (Khadija Centre), prides itself on its respect and mutual tolerance. Parents and carers (guardians) have an important role in supporting IMGHSO in maintaining high standards of behaviour. It is essential that school and homes have consistent expectations of behaviour and that they cooperate closely together. Acceptance of this policy forms part of our standard terms and conditions.
Bullying, harassment, ostracising, victimisation and discrimination will not be tolerated. We endeavour to treat all our pupils and their parents and carers fairly and with consideration and we expect them to reciprocate towards each other, the staff and the school. Any kind of bullying including physical, emotional, calling names, ostracising children from a group and various forms of cyber-bullying, occurring through text or internet messages or social media network with the intention of causing hurt or harm is unacceptable.
The Aims of our anti-bullying policy are:
- To clarify for pupils and staff that bullying is always unacceptable.
- To take measures to prevent all forms of bullying occurring.
- To encourage pupils and staff identify and report any incidents.
- To support the needs of those identified as having been involved in bullying to prevent it reoccurring.
- To demonstrate that it can be dealt with positively.
- To demonstrate that pupils do not need to ‘suffer in silence’ (using reference to DfES Guidance).
- To dovetail the policy with the school’s behaviour policy.Success CriteriaThe policy will be deemed to be successful if the view that bullying incidents are unacceptable, rare and effectively dealt with is held by staff, parents and carers and pupils as indicated by confidential questionnaires. Verbal – name calling, teasingEmotional – leaving people out, nasty looksPhysical – hurting people or interfering with their belongingsCyber bullying – misuse of wireless, internet and mobile technologies.Ostracising Children – Excluding children from a group of colleagues or peers.Racism – Treating someone differently or unfairly simply because they belong to a different ethnic community or have a different religion or nationality.Homophobia – Prejudiced actions against individuals at work, at schools, at clubs and in many other areas as well.NB. It is vital that young people are aware of the consequences of such misuse. School staff, parents and carers and pupils are constantly vigilant and work together to prevent this form of bullying and tackle it wherever it appears. Any bullying via mobile phone or internet that impact on school life in any way will be dealt with as seriously as any other type of bullying. Mobile phones are not allowed in school (except on very rare occasions and the students must hand their named phone into the office first thing in the morning). Psychological damage
- Signs of Bullying
- Staff awareness is raised through staff training, so that they can reduce the risk of bullying at times and in places where it is most likely. The Anti-Bullying Policy at Khadija centre is reviewed annually and includes training, both in-house and by external providers. Furthermore, there will be daily staff briefings and weekly staff meetings, where possible (as well as potential) bullying issues can be discussed. There is a termly Governors meeting and a weekly School Management Team meeting, all of which are forums for discussion on preventing and tackling bullying.
- All should be aware of the seriousness of bullying in causing psychological damage and even suicide (although bullying is not a specific criminal offence, there are criminal laws which apply to harassment and threatening behaviour).
- Cyber bullying can follow children into their private spaces and outside school hours. Cyber bullies can communicate their messages to a wide audience with remarkable speed and can often remain unseen and unidentified. (DfES guidance ‘Bullying – don’t suffer in silence’).
- It includes:
- At Iqra High School Oldham (Khadija Centre), is committed to preventing all forms of bullying from occurring, including all forms of racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour. Bullying will not be tolerated in our school. Children have the right to feel happy and safe at school.
- Bullying may involve actions or comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, religiously or culturally prejudiced, or which focus on disabilities, Special Educational Needs, or other physical attributes (such as hair colour or body shape). Bullying can happen at any time. We always treat it very seriously knowing that it can cause psychological damage. It conflicts sharply with the school’s Behaviour Policy and Equality Policy, as well as with its social and moral principles.
- Bullying may be defined as the persistent, intentional hurting, harming or humiliating of another person by physical (including sexual), verbal (including cyber bullying), and/or emotional means (by excluding, tormenting or spreading malicious rumours). It can involve manipulating a third party to tease or torment someone. It can involve complicity that falls short of direct participation. Bullying is often hidden and subtle. It can also be overt and intimidating.
- Definition of Bullying
- Changes in behaviour that may indicate that a pupil is being bullied include:
- Unwillingness to return to school
- Displays of excessive anxiety, becoming withdrawn or unusually quiet
- Failure to produce work, or producing unusually bad work, or work that appears to have been copied, interfered with or spoilt by others
- Books, bags and other belongings suddenly go missing, or are damaged
- Change to established habits (e.g. giving up sports, change to accent or vocabulary)
- Diminished levels of self confidence
- Frequent visits to the school office/ medical room with symptoms such as stomach pains, headaches
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- Frequent absence, erratic attendance, late arrival to class
- Choosing the company of adults
- Displaying repressed body language and poor eye contact
- Difficulty in sleeping, experiences nightmares
- Talking of suicide or running away Although there may be other causes for some of the above symptoms, a repetition of, or a combination of these possible signs of bullying should be investigated by parents and carers and teachers. At Iqra High School Oldham (Khadijah Centre), we plan to prevent bullying by using educational elements such as Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education, assemblies, projects, drama, stories, literature, historical events, current affairs etc. Other lessons, particularly Quran and Hadith, Religious Studies, English and other languages highlight the issue of bullying and reinforce this message by teaching moral and spiritual values that show bullying to be unacceptable, and by developing social skills. All reported incidents are recorded and investigated at once; we always monitor reported incidents. We have a strong and experienced network of professionals, comprising:
- All our pupils are encouraged to tell a member of staff at once if they know that bullying is taking place.
- We use appropriate assemblies to explain the school policy on bullying.
- We take the following preventative measures:
- Preventative Measures
- Head Teacher
- Deputy Head
- Form Teachers All of whom support the Head Teacher and are trained in handling any incidents as an immediate priority, and are alert to possible signs of bullying.
- Staff are always on duty at times when pupils are not in class and patrol the school site, particularly areas where bullying might occur. They are trained to be alert to inappropriate language or behaviour.
- Our school displays advice on where pupils can seek help, including details of confidential help lines and websites connecting to external specialists, such as Childline, and Kidscape.
- We provide leadership training to our Head Girl and their team of Monitors, which specifically covers the importance of offering support and assistance to younger and to vulnerable pupils. We do this through regular meetings and ‘Buddy Reading’ sessions.
- We reserve the right to investigate incidents that take place outside school hours, on school visits and trips, and that occur in the vicinity of the school involving our pupils.
- We welcome feedback from parents and carers and guardians on the effectiveness of our preventative measures. Cyber bullying Definition
- The web site: http://www.cyberbullying.org/ defined this unpleasant phenomenon in the following terms:
- Cyber bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.
- Cyber bullying can involve social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, MySpace, e-mails and mobile phones, used for SMS messages and as cameras. Preventative MeasuresIn addition to the preventative measures described above, Khadijah centre:
- Expects all pupils to adhere to its policy for the safe use of the internet.
- Certain sites are blocked by our filtering system and our ICT Department monitors pupils’ usage.
- May impose sanctions for the misuse, or attempted misuse of the internet.
- Adheres to the guidelines regarding e-teaching and the internet.
- Offers guidance on the safe use of social networking sites and cyber bullying in PSHE lessons, which covers blocking and removing contacts from “buddy lists”.
- Offers guidance on keeping names, addresses, passwords, mobile phone numbers and other personal details safe. Mobile phones (and their associated cameras) are not permitted in classrooms or public areas of the school, and must be handed into the School Office upon arrival at school.MethodologyAll members of the school have a responsibility to help eliminate bullying behaviour from the school. Each Form has a minimum of twice-daily contact with their Form Teacher (as well as weekly Form and School Assemblies), during which preventative, as well as investigative and remedial activities take place. Many curriculum subjects also deal with information that supports the above aims. As well as in Form Time, this policy is regularly promoted during assemblies and School Management Team meetings. Our senior pupils receive peer mentoring training, helping them to become aware of how to help other pupils.To pupilsIf you think you are being bullied or you know someone else who is, please tell a member of staff straight away and it can be dealt with. Not telling means that the victim will continue to suffer and the bully may carry on, probably with others too. If you receive any uninvited mobile phone/internet communication, try to save it for evidence.If parents and carers hear about any supposed incidents of bullying they are asked to inform their child’s Form Teacher. Sleeplessness, sudden bed-wetting, loss of appetite and difficult behaviour can all be indications of unhappiness that could be caused by bullying. If a child receives any uninvited mobile phone/internet communication, the messages should be saved as evidence.Teachers are vigilant for pupils with recurrent aches, pains, visits to the nurse, reluctance to go to the playground, desire to remain with adults, changes in behaviour and deterioration of work.
Stimulus for action – Bullying will either be reported or suspected.
The form tutor should be informed immediately.
It is possible that a child will identify a teacher other than their form tutor to confide in. Flexibility in this matter should be allowed but only after consultation.
Inform the deputy head that bullying is suspected.
The form tutor should talk to the ‘victim’ and take notes. First of all you should reassure the child that they have done the responsible thing by telling. Reassurance is vital at this point as many children will be worried about retribution. Some children will find it easier to write down what is worrying them. Establish if bullying is taking place by using the school’s definition. Establish if it is verbal or physical or both. Try to record exact dates and times of incidents if possible. Give the victim a short term goal (i.e. how to get to the end of the day) and tell them that you are going to do to help. Tell them what will happen next. If you have had to withdraw the child from class for interview it would be helpful to arm them with a reason which won’t attract attention when they return.
Talk to the child suspected of bullying without making any accusations. Try to establish if there has been intent. Starting with ‘do you think/accept that we have a problem?’ encourages dialogue. Try not to ask closed questions; give the child the opportunity to talk through open questions. Do not allow words like ‘only’ and ‘just’ as an excuse for their behaviour. Jokes are only funny if everyone laughs; beware of the non accidental accidents. Let them know that the suspected victim (usually the child bullying knows who it is anyway) is unhappy at school. The child should be told not to discuss this matter with friends and not to seek retribution with the alleged victim. This will need a clear and age appropriate explanation. Give them plenty of opportunity to show honesty. Praise honesty at all times.
Investigate and interview ‘bystanders’ or any third parties. It is likely that other children within the peer group will know what has been happening. These children should be encouraged to tell as part of a problem solving conversation. However, be wary of the temptation to brief the whole class.
It is school policy to inform parents and carers of any incidents involving their children. Both sets of parents and carers should be informed before the children go home on the day in which you have talked to them. The quality of this communication is vitally important in resolving the problem. Parents and carers must hear from staff before hearing from their child. It is important that parents and carers know that we treat this seriously. Beware, however, of using the word bullying when proof has not been established. Clear proof and/or admission must exist if the word bullying is to be used. Parents and carers of children involved in bullying as bully or victim will be extremely anxious and will need careful, sympathetic handling. If in doubt, consult the deputy head.
Resolutions should be sought. In many cases there is no short term miracle cure and all parties should be made aware that patience will be important as behaviour patterns and habits are altered. Possible resolutions may involve;
Bringing the bullying child, and the victim together to discuss a way forward. Constructing an action plan can help develop a feeling of working together and give each child a focus.
The bullying child needs to develop some empathy with the victim through counselling. Bullying children also need to know that they own their own behaviour and make their own decisions. Certain types of bullies find social interactions very difficult and find making and holding down friendships difficult. Sometimes these children need help in forming friendships.
- The victim may need counselling in how to be more assertive.
- The victim may need to be given strategies in how to deal with being bullied i.e. ignore, be assertive, avoid, hang around with friends. Rehearsing ways of coping can give the child a strategy that they did not have before.
- Victims can be encouraged to keep a diary which helps them to express feeling as well as recording dates of incidents.
- The teacher responsible should arrange regular meetings with the victim and bully to assess progress.Working with the rest of the peer group to reduce the power of the bully takes time but by praising and rewarding behaviour that contradicts the bully’s behaviour the dynamics can be changed.Complete the ‘bullying record sheet’, giving one copy to the deputy head and keep one for your own filing. Attach any notes or statements.Meet regularly with both victim and bully to monitor the situation. This is important for both children.Keep parents and carers informed. Take opportunities to contact parents and carers if their child does something positive as well.If the bullying returns the child bullying will need to repeat the above process with the Deputy Head looking at ways of revising the action plan and making improvements. If the bullying persists the Deputy Head, after consultation with the Head Teacher, may issue an informal warning to the pupil. The parents and carers will be required to attend a meeting with the deputy head and form tutor and a more specific action plan will be drawn up. Detention and ‘time out’ during hotspot times i.e. breaks may be used if deemed appropriate by the staff.If the bullying continues the Head Teacher may consider a formal warning, suspension or expulsion.
- It is important to realise that this is directly linked to the Disciplinary Procedure Policy within the school. Depending on the severity of the incident, a variety of disciplinary procedures can be employed by staff on to the perpetrator. Owing to the fact that there are a great many different scenarios, there must be an allowance of ‘common sense’ on the part of the staff when issuing a disciplinary procedure:
- Possible Disciplinary Procedures
- Written warning.
- A verbal apology to the victim, within the presence of the Form Teacher.
- A handwritten letter of apology, done during a morning or lunch break period.
- Community service requirement or tidying a key area of the school.
- Head Teacher’s Detention – this takes place on a Thursday, between 1:30 – 2:00, supervised by the Head Teacher or the Deputy Head. It takes precedence over all other school activities, matches or outings.
- Behavioural report card (to be signed by staff after each lesson, break, games session and to be shown to the Form Teacher and parents and carers each day). This will be for a short period only, and after consultation with the Deputy Head or Head Teacher.
- A ‘consideration day’ at home, whereby the offender has an opportunity to think through their actions away from the school environment and the possible influence of their peer group. This is decided upon by the Deputy Head Teacher, after consultation with the relevant staff and following a discussion with the victim’s parents and carers.
- Suspension – the perpetrator is sent home for several days.
- Expulsion – the Head Teacher may choose to permanently exclude an individual for a very serious incident, usually after consultation with all parties involved as well as some members of the school’s governing body. Monitoring and EvaluationThe Deputy Head is responsible for this:
- By liaising with Teachers and by recording and dealing with incidents.
- Reviewing and revising the school’s PSHE programme.
- Collating relevant information from questionnaires.
ANTI-BULLYING POLICY SYNOPSIS
Suspected bullying is reported to the class teacher
The class teacher informs the deputy head teacher that bullying is suspected
Class teacher talks to the victim and take notes
Class teacher talks to the child suspected of bullying
The class teacher investigates and interviews ‘bystanders’ or any third parties
The class teacher informs the parents and carers
The class teacher seeks resolution
The class teacher meets regularly with both victim and bully to monitor the situation and
Discuss the matter with the deputy head teacher after submitting their findings for recording/filing
If the bullying returns, refer to the Deputy Head Teacher (stage three)
(Review action plans, counselling, disciplinary measures, informal warning)
If the bullying continues the Deputy Head teacher takes further action; leading to stage four (Formal warning, suspension, expulsion
BULLYING RECORD SHEET
Names of pupils
|WHO REPORTED IT?|
|WHO WAS IT REPORTED TO?|
|WHAT ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN?(see staff procedures)|
|FOLLOW UP ACTION NECESSARY?
|HAVE OTHER STAFF BEEN INFORMED?WHO?|
|This form should be completed and passed to the Deputy Head.|