Counter Bullying Policy
To be reviewed:
Our vision for students completing their studies at JCG is shaped by expectations of excellent behaviours and attitudes that underpin our commitment to counter bullying:
- They will have grown as individuals who are well-mannered and able to find fulfilment in their service to others.
- They will be thoughtful, open-minded and able to lead.
- They will be conscious of the advantages they have enjoyed and of the opportunities and obligations such advantages should bring.
- They will want to have a positive impact on their community and the world.
Our College’s most important value is belong: belonging is at the heart of our relational and inclusive approach to building a culture of counter bullying, and to responding to incidents of bullying.
We believe student behaviour and learning is optimised when young people feel safe, listened to and valued. We require all members of our community to act in such a way as to keep themselves, and each other, safe at all times.
In relation to bullying, CYPES adopts the definition of the Anti-Bullying Alliance:
Bullying is a subjective experience and can take many forms. To be classed as a bullying act the perpetrator needs to have a social and premeditated awareness that the act is malicious and will cause physical and or emotional harm.
Bullying, therefore, can be classed as behaviour that is
- Emotionally and/or physically harmful
- Carried out by an individual or a group
- Deliberate and wilful with a premeditated intent to harm
- Occurs more than once
- Involves a sustained imbalance of power, leaving the person being bullied feeling threatened
Children and young people or adults can instigate bullying and each can be bullied, in any combination. Research shows that two-thirds of children who bully others do so because they themselves are being bullied elsewhere. As such, the College will give due consideration to potential bullying in relation to child-child, adult-child, child-adult and adult-adult scenarios, with reference to our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
We recognise that bullying behaviours can occur in any settings, and we do not view activity to counter bullying as an indicator that a setting has a particular problem with bullying. Instead, we take this to be an indicator that the setting takes the responsibility to counter bullying seriously.
Although we facilitate such approaches to friendship disputes, we recognise that conflict resolution and peer mediation does not work for bullying. Bullying is not a conflict between people of equal power who share equal blame. Facing those who have bullied may further upset students who have been bullied.
See CYPES: Counter Bullying Policy (March 2019) and Countering bullying: Guidelines for Jersey Settings (2019).
- To ensure that all members of our community are safe and are supported to feel safe at College
- To respect difference and celebrate diversity in our community, in the hope that all students feel welcomed and valued at College
- To ensure that all members of our community understand they have the right to be respected and not to be bullied, and to work in an environment free from intimidation or fear
- To articulate our belief that bullying in any form is wrong and should not be tolerated
- To encourage students to tell a trusted adult if they, or a peer, are being bullied
- To identify, support and manage incidents of bullying behaviours
- To provide appropriate support to any student who has been bullied, and to provide appropriate support and challenge to any student who bullies others
- To empower students to actively participate in decisions that affect them and to take responsibility for their choices and subsequent actions
Students should be encouraged to take responsibility for:
- Behaving in a way that is safe, kind and respectful at all times
- Challenging unsafe, unkind or disrespectful behaviours in others (‘call it out’)
- Reporting any incidents of suspected bullying directly to a member of College staff, or through the report a concern function of the College website: https://jerseycollegeforgirls.com/pages/report-concern
- Engaging with support and challenge provided to students who have been involved in incidents of bullying (see Appendix 3)
Parents have responsibility for:
- Working in partnership with the College to support its aims to promote safe, kind and respectful behaviour
- Attending the College for any meetings requested regarding their child’s behaviour
- Passing on any concerns about possible incidents of bullying to a member of College staff (e.g. Form Tutor or Head of School)
All staff, including subject teachers, have responsibility for:
- Role modelling safe, kind and respectful behaviours at all times
- Leading, promoting and sustaining a culture of safe, kind, respectful and excellent behaviour for learning in any lesson, activity, event or area of the College for which they are responsible
- Referring any concerns about a student’s safety immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Referring any suspected incident of bullying to the relevant Head of School (see Appendix 4)
- Responding to any signs of possible bullying that constitute a ‘serious incident’ as outlined in Appendix 4
- Understanding the College’s approach to bullying, as outlined in this policy, and the nature of bullying as outlined in Appendices 1 and 2
- Appreciating that warning signs such as an unwillingness to participate, social isolation and apparent oversensitivity to comments and praise can all be possible indicators of bullying (as well as other matters)
Tutors have responsibility for:
- Using morning registration to provide students with the opportunity for a daily well-being check with a member of staff who knows them well
- Knowing their tutees well, and passing on any concerns (occasioned by a change in presentation) to the Head of School
- Contributing to student learning about safe and positive behaviours (including counter bullying) through delivery of the tutor programme
- Monitoring the wellbeing of students who have been involved in incidents of bullying, and contributing to the longer-term provision of support as directed by the Head of School
Heads of School, in partnership with their Assistants, have responsibility for:
- In collaboration with the Assistant Headteacher (Student Progress and Welfare), investigating any alleged incidents of bullying to determine whether the behaviours should be recorded as bullying (all other behaviours to be addressed in accordance with the Supporting Student Behaviour Policy)
- Where bullying has taken place, engaging with the parents of both students who have been bullied and students who have bullied to enlist their support and provide them with/signpost them to support
- Co-ordinating, monitoring and reviewing support for students who have been bullied and students who have bullied (see Appendix 3)
- Co-ordinating support for other students involved in incidents of bullying (see Appendix 2), including reminding all students of the College’s ethos and values
- Leading the provision of the pastoral curriculum (including counter bullying) within their School
Head of PSHE has responsibility for:
- Ensuring that the PSHE curriculum (Years 7-13) empowers all students to understand the nature of bullying - including online bullying, e-safety and LGBT+ inclusion - and the College’s counter bullying ethos and agenda
Senior Leadership Team has responsibility for:
- Leading, promoting and sustaining a culture of safe, respectful and excellent behaviour for learning across the College
- Leading the College’s response to any serious behaviour incident (see Appendix 4) Contacting the police should their support and intervention be required
Assistant Headteacher (Student Progress and Welfare / DSL) has responsibility for:
- Serving as the College’s designated counter-bullying lead (and, in line with the recommendations of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, combining this with the role of Senior Mental Health Lead)
- Maintaining an ethos and agenda of counter bullying across the College
- Helping all staff to develop and maintain the knowledge and understanding needed to fulfil their responsibilities as outlined in this policy
- Supporting the Heads of School to respond to any incidents of bullying, and ensuring the Principal is kept informed
- Ensuring all confirmed instances of bullying are recorded as such on SIMS, and that parents are aware when their child’s behaviour is designated as bullying
- Co-ordinating the involvement of external agencies in the College’s counter bullying work, for example onward referral to CAMHS
- Reviewing this policy
Vice Principal has responsibility for:
- Leading the College’s commitment to applying student voice to decisions and polices, including those relating to counter bullying
Principal has responsibility for:
- Ensuring the Counter Bullying policy is implemented and that all staff are aware of the policy and know how to deal with incidents of bullying
- Reporting to the Governing body about the effectiveness of the counter bullying policy on request
Governors have responsibility for:
- Supporting the Principal in the oversight of this policy
- Monitoring incidents of bullying as reported to the Wellbeing Sub-Committee by the Assistant Headteacher (Student Progress and Welfare)
Links to other policies
Internal Policy Documents
External Policy Documents
Appendix 1 - Forms and types of bullying
Adapted from Countering bullying: Guidelines for Jersey Settings (2019) pp. 5-6
Although there are different mechanisms by which children can bully others (see below), there are only two forms by which bullying can take place. It can be either ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’.
Direct bullying is classed as the process of carrying out an act of bullying as described above (see Principles). A person can be accused of direct bullying if they proactively engage in acts that deliberately harm another either emotionally and/or physical repeatedly over time. This can take the form of hitting, kicking etc. another person or by intimidation, name calling and posting harmful comments through electronic means.
Indirect bullying is by means of incitement and other forms of actual encouragement of others to harm or bully another person. Examples of this include passing on messages, liking on social media, watching physical acts without action, and any other means of facilitating acts of aggression and harm.
There are many different methods by which a person can bully another person be it through emotionally and/ or physically harmful behaviour. It can include any of the following (although this is not an exhaustive list): name calling, taunting, threats, mocking, making offensive comments, kicking, hitting, pushing, taking and damaging belongings, gossiping, excluding people from groups, and spreading hurtful and untrue rumours. These activities can take place face to face, via third parties or by other means such as social media. The nature of bullying is changing and evolving as technology develops.
Different types of bullying include:
- Physical – hitting, kicking, tripping someone up, stealing/damaging someone’s belongings
- Verbal – name-calling, insulting a person’s family, threats of physical violence, spreading rumours, constantly putting a person down
- Emotional/Psychological – excluding someone from a group, humiliation, encouraging hate, highlighting differences and highlighting weaknesses
- Racist – insulting language / gestures based on a person’s actual or perceived ethnic origin or faith, name calling, graffiti, racially motivated violence, use of racial motived imagery
- Sexual – sexually insulting language / gestures, name-calling, graffiti, unwanted physical contact, encouragement of posting inappropriate photographs and other material
- Homophobic – insulting language / gestures, name-calling based on a person’s actual or perceived sexuality, name-calling, graffiti and homophobic violence
- Electronic/Cyber – bullying by instant message, bullying on the internet (via social media), hate websites, using photographs, posting assaults online, so called ‘trolling’
Appendix 2 - The Roles Students Can Play in a Bullying Situation
For more information about these roles, see Countering bullying: Guidelines for Jersey Settings (2019) pp. 8-10.
Appendix 3 - Support for Students (who are Bullied and who Bully Others)
Adapted from Countering bullying: Guidelines for Jersey Settings (2019) pp. 20-22
All students involved in a bullying situation should be supported. This includes both the student who has been bullied and any student who is doing the bullying. In order to help them stop bullying others, the student is likely to need help and support in addressing some underlying issues that create the need to bully in the first place. They will also need to explore alternative ways of managing their emotional and social difficulties.
Research shows that it in order to effectively address bullying it is necessary to plan for both the child who is bullied and the child who bullied to receive support.
Supporting the child who is bullied
There are different ways of supporting the child who is a victim of bullying and consideration about which school resources will need to be explored with the child if they are able. However, there are some general guidelines that should be adhered to outlined below:
- Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help.
- Assure the child that bullying is not their fault.
- Know that children who are bullied may struggle with talking about it. Consider referring them to a school counsellor or well-being service.
- Give advice about what to do. This may involve role-playing and thinking through how the child might react if the bullying occurs again. Advice is usually around avoiding places where the bullying occurs if they can and trying not to be alone in these situations if they need to be in those places. If neither is possible then to ensure, if they can, that someone is aware of this and can check on the person later to see if things were okay.
- Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and school or organization may all have valuable input. It may help to:
- Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make them feel safe. Remember that changes to routines need to be minimized. They are not at fault and should not be singled out. For example, consider rearranging classroom or bus seating plans for everyone. If bigger moves are necessary, such as switching classrooms or bus routes, the child who is bullied should not be forced to change.
- Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between pupils, staff, and parents. Discuss the steps that are taken and the limitations around what can be done based on the school policies. Remember, that you should avoid discussing how the bully will be disciplined. This is not helpful as it fosters a culture of retribution. Assure the child that the child who is bullying will be supported to stop.
- Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and consistently support both the bullied child and the child doing the bullying.
Avoid these mistakes:
- Never tell the child to ignore the bullying.
- Do not blame the child for being bullied. Even if he or she provoked the bully, no one deserves to be bullied.
- Do not tell the child to physically fight back against the pupil who is bullying. It could get the child hurt or suspended from school.
- Parents should be encouraged to resist the urge to contact the other parents involved. It may make matters worse. School or other officials can act as mediators between parents.
- Follow-up. Show a commitment to making bullying stop. Because bullying is a behaviour pattern that is often repeated, it takes consistent effort to ensure that it stops.
Supporting children who bully others
Research is clear on this matter: with regards to bullying, punishing the bully reinforces a negative cycle and does not take away the need of the child who bullies to bully in the first place and in some cases creates a greater need to bully. The ethos for dealing with children who bully needs to focus on consequence and support.
It is clear that there needs to be a consequence for the student following an incident of bullying, which should be moderate and in line with the College’s Supporting Student Behaviour policy. What is important in this approach is that one consequence is that the child who has been bullying is given emotional and behavioural support to help address the underlying emotional need that feeds the need to bully in the first place. Support around this can be provided for by school counsellors, pastoral staff and emotional support systems in school.
It is important to show students that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the student that bullying will not be tolerated. Model respectful behaviour when addressing the problem. It is very likely that some students doing the bullying will resist any attempt to support and address their needs.
Work with the student to understand some of the reasons he or she has bullied others. For example:
- Sometimes children bully to fit in. These pupils can benefit from participating in positive activities. Involvement in sports and other social clubs can enable them to take leadership roles and make friends without feeling the need to bully.
- Other times pupils act out because something else - issues at home, abuse, stress - is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied themselves. These students may be in need of additional support, such as ELSA, school counsellors, and, if acute enough, external mental health services.
The use of consequences to teach
Consequences that involve learning or building empathy can help prevent future bullying. For example, the child who bullied can:
- Lead a discussion about how to be a good friend.
- Write a story about the effects of bullying or benefits of teamwork.
- Role-play a scenario or make a presentation about the importance of respecting others, the negative effects of gossip, or how to cooperate.
- Do a project about civil rights and bullying.
- Read a book about bullying.
- Make posters for the school about cyberbullying and being smart online
Appendix 4 - Extracts from the Supporting Student Behaviour Policy
From Graduated Response to Supporting Student Behaviour
- Behaviour that is or risks becoming dangerous should be referred immediately to SLT via the school office
- For behaviours that constitute bullying (and for advice on what such behaviours entail), see the Counter Bullying policy (bullying should always be referred to the Head of School)
From Appendices - Serious Incidents
On rare occasions, teachers may encounter a serious behaviour incident which makes them immediately concerned for the safety and wellbeing of one or more students. Such incidents may lead to suspension (see Appendix 5 of the Supporting Student Behaviour Policy) and include physical assault and verbal abuse.
Such incidents take immediate precedence over other activities and will require the support of other colleagues. Such incidents must be immediately referred to a member of SLT.
When such an incident occurs, the first priority is the safety of any student who may have been harmed or otherwise made to feel unsafe. Any such student should be immediately removed from the context of the incident and taken by a member of staff to receive First Aid (if needed) and then to the office of a senior colleague (SLT or Head of School).
Any students believed to be perpetrators of a serious incident (e.g. responsible for assaulting or verbally abusing another student) should also be taken (separately from any believed victim) by a member of staff to the office of a senior colleague (SLT or Head of School).
All students involved should be asked to provide written accounts (as soon as possible, keeping in mind the possibility of harm and distress) of their involvement in the incident to be passed to the member of SLT leading the response and investigation. The senior member of staff may also seek written accounts from students who witnessed, but were not otherwise involved in, the incident.
The parents of all students involved will be contacted as soon as possible and before the students return to lessons or leave College (as appropriate).