Co-op Academy North Manchester
Anti-Bullying Policy (in consultation with Parent Focus Group and pupil Anti-bullying Ambassadors)
Governors – Curriculum, Standards & Learning
All policies are available to stakeholders either on the Academy website or upon request from the Academy’s Main office.
- The single most important thing the academy can do to prevent bullying is to have a clear policy to which staff, pupils and parents are committed and they have been given an opportunity to be involved. Developing effective anti-bullying practice is essential because it promotes:
- Individual well-being and mental health
- Increased educational attainment
- Good attendance
- Positive relationships between staff, pupils, parents and the wider community
- Positive behaviour
- Reduction in truancy and disaffection
- A reduction in crime rates
- The school as a caring establishment
- A safe, secure and happy environment
- A consistent approach for all members of the school and wider community
- Early intervention to support a change in patterns of behaviour
- A coherent management strategy
- Active citizenship by increasing participation of pupils, staff and parent/carers
- Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and being transgender, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.
- Many experts say that bullying involves an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim. This could involve perpetrators of bullying having control over the relationship which makes it difficult for those they bully to defend themselves. The imbalance of power can manifest itself in several ways. It may be physical, psychological (knowing what upsets someone), derives from an intellectual imbalance, or by having access to the support of a group, or the capacity to socially isolate. It can result in the intimidation of a person or persons through the threat of violence or by isolating them either physically or online.
- Bullying affects the abilities of pupils to actively engage and participate in daily academy life, it prevents equality and is seen as an unacceptable behaviour and is dealt with by the academy in behaviour Policy.
- The Academy will implement an anti-bullying policy that reflects the aims and policies of the DFE guidelines, ‘Preventing and tackling Bullying’ alongside the NHS Foundation Trust’s, ‘Guidelines for Developing Anti-Bullying Policy & Practice.’
- The purpose of this policy is to ensure a whole academy approach to ensure sensitivity, consistency and clear communication between all parties. The academy aims to reduce the incidence of bullying and create an environment in which everyone feels safe, secure and happy.
- The academy will adopt a positive approach in which staff and key pupils are proactive in gathering information so that any incidents which might develop into bullying can be dealt with early. The ethos and one of the core values of the academy is that all people within it treat one another with respect. Values of respect for staff and other pupils, an understanding of the value of education and a clear understanding of how our actions affect others permeate the whole academy environment and are reinforced by staff and key pupils who set a good example to the rest. The academy promotes the following activities to ensure that pupils feel safe: Democracy, Equality, Respect, Resilience, Tolerance and Understanding. This is either taught through the PSHE and SMSC curriculum, assemblies and forum times, 1:1 sessions (as necessary) and as drop-down days which pupils participate in.
Definition of Terms
- Bully – Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
- Victim - A person or group that is harmed by the behaviour of others and who does not have the resources, status, skill, ability to counteract or stop the harmful behaviour.
Accordingly, the Academy will:
- Ensure that a clear, uniform approach to dealing with all forms of bullying is adopted and regularly monitored.
- Involve/inform parents/carers and pupils to ensure they are clear that the academy will not tolerate bullying and take any reports of bullying seriously.
- Ensure that parents/carers and pupils are aware of the procedures to follow if they believe their child is being bullied.
- Make anti-bullying initiatives an integral part of the Citizenship/ Assembly programme for all years by openly addressing some of the issues that could lead to bullying e.g. religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality and transgender.
- Facilitate Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
- Ensure the anti-bullying message remains high profile via pupil council, assemblies, displays, and noticeboards.
- Provide appropriate and effective in-service training for all staff.
- Provide a physical environment which is closely supervised and where pupils feel safe and secure.
- A ‘safe to tell’ message must be clearly conveyed to all pupils so they can inform adults within the academy.
- Pupils must feel that they will be believed and action will be taken.
- Involve outside agencies or resources for help with particular issues where specific expertise is needed.
- All incidents of bullying are recorded by the academy.
- Staff follow and complete the anti-bullying record - see appendix
What is bullying?
If somebody physically hurts you, or verbally abuses you, that’s bullying.
Bullying can be a one-off or it can go on for a long time. And bullying can happen to anyone.
Bullying can take many forms, but four main types are:
- Physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings
- Verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks e.g. racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic remarks.
- Indirect – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours.
- Cyberbullying- email and internet chat room misuse, mobile threats by text or calls, misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera/video facilities etc.
Cyberbullying is when an individual uses the internet or a mobile phone to bully others. The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyberbullying are similar to those of offline bullying, however this type of bullying can be very distressing for victims as it can take place not just at school but at home as well.
The rapid development of and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside the academy. Cyber bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward content at a click.
The bullying can become more intense as there is no escape, and can make someone feel upset or threatened in their own home. Online bullying can involve a large audience and many of whom may not even realise they are being bullies. Setting up hate groups on social networking sites and making nasty comments on photos and on statuses are forms of cyberbullying. This policy should be read in conjunction with other policies such as the e-safety policy.
Images and text messages can be circulated very quickly and widely on the internet which makes it very hard to combat cyberbullying. The majority of the time, victims do not know who is bullying them as it can be done anonymously.
The Education Act 2011 states that an electronic device, such as a mobile phone that has been seized by a member of staff, who has been formally authorised to do so (e.g. Headteacher) can request files and to be deleted, where there is good reason to do so. This applies to all schools and academies and there is no need to have parental consent.
All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues including consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes images and/or videos can be signs that children are at risk. If staff are made aware of this they should report this immediately to the DSL.
There are specific groups of individuals who are more vulnerable to experiencing bullying that staff in the academy need to be aware of:
Looked after children and Previously Looked after Children
Looked after children (and previously looked after children) can be particularly vulnerable to bullying, and will often not have a stable support network to help them deal with the problem. Schools have a major part to play in ensuring that children in care are healthy, happy, safe and successful. The following findings are based on a report by the Who Cares Trust, in consultation with young people the following issues emerge:
- Whilst children and young people in care do not equate being in care with greater levels of bullying, it is interesting to note that high numbers of them report being either victims or perpetrators of bullying.
- Some children report receiving different treatment from teachers and schools and that they are made scapegoats because they are in care.
- Children in care acknowledge that they do ‘bunk off’ because of the stress of being bullied in school.
- Arriving in a new school mid-term following home placement changes or exclusions increases their vulnerability to incidents of bullying. They may not have the right uniform for example.
- Children recognise that good friends make you feel safe but making new friends in a new school is often problematic.
- Similarly, children feel that return to any school following a break (fixed term exclusion/home placement change), particularly if it is a part time place, serves to emphasise their ‘difference’ from the majority increasing the potential of bullying incidents.
Issues that relate to bullying and traveller children are:
- Traveller children are usually the new pupils in a school so they are always vulnerable to bullying.
- Traveller children are White so they are not viewed as a target for racist bullying despite the fact that both Roma and Irish travellers are covered by the Race Relations Acts.
- Travellers encounter widespread discrimination in the community. As a result, they tend to overreact to situations or take pre-emptive action which then results in them being classed as the bully/troublemaker.
- Traveller children are frequently unskilled in making a complaint within school, so careful investigation and a willingness to believe that they are telling the truth can help to resolve incidents.
- Traveller children experience exclusion from the group either by peers or staff.
Children with SEND
- Children with disabilities or special educational needs may be more vulnerable.
- Children with special educational needs are 2 or 3 times more at risk of being bullied
- They are also more at risk of taking part in bullying others
- Particular characteristics may make them an obvious ‘target’
- In some mainstream settings children may be less well integrated socially and lack the protection against bullying which friendship give
Homophobia and Transphobia
The School Report published by Stonewall in 2017 found that homophobic bullying since the 2007 School Report, the number of lesbian, gay and bi pupils bullied because of their sexual orientation has fallen by almost a third. The number of schools who say this bullying is wrong has nearly trebled, and homophobic remarks are far less likely to be heard.
Nearly half of LGBT young people are still bullied for being LGBT at school, and only one in five have learnt about safe sex in relation to same-sex relationships at school. LGBT young people continue to experience unacceptably high levels of poor mental health. Online, nearly all LGBT pupils are exposed to offensive content about LGBT people, and just one in three think that online companies will do something about it if reported.
Examples of abuse
- Verbal abuse - the regular use, consciously or unconsciously, of offensive and discriminatory language, particularly the widespread use of the term ‘gay’ in a negative context. Also spreading rumours that cause an individual’s perceived sexual orientation to be ridiculed, questioned or insulted.
- Physical abuse – including hitting, punching, kicking, sexual assault and threatening behaviour.
- Cyber-bullying – using on-line spaces to spread rumours about someone or exclude them. Can also include text messaging, including video and picture messaging.
The academy has an LGBTQ group who have had ambassador training by Proud Trust. They will become another channel for young people to report any concerns that they might have.
Sexist or sexual bullying
Sexist and sexual bullying affects both genders. Boys may be victims as well as girls, and both sexes may be victims of their own sex. Sexual bullying may be characterised by name calling, comments and overt “looks” about appearance, attractiveness and emerging puberty. In addition, uninvited touching, up-skirting, innuendos and propositions, pornographic imagery or graffiti may be used. Children and young people identifying as transgender or experiencing gender dysphoria (feeling that they belong to another gender or do not conform with the gender role prescribed to them) can also be targeted by bullies.
The academy as part of the cooperative academies trust has a dedicated member of staff responsible for LBGTQ and as such is responsible for training and raising awareness of homophobic bullying. Any form of Homophobic, transphobic or sexist bullying must be reported.
The academy works closely with any pupil who has made a homophobic comment through one to one sessions. The academy has a separate SVSH policy which should be referred to in all cases.
All staff should be able to reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A victim should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor should a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
Child on Child Abuse/Bullying
Keeping Children safe in Schools has stated that;
All staff in the academy should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as child on child abuse). There are aspects of bullying involved in Child on Child abuse and that it can happen both inside and outside of school or and online. It is important that all staff recognise the indicators and signs of child on child abuse and know how to identify it and respond to reports. All staff should understand, that even if there are no reports in their school it does not mean it is not happening, it may be the case that it is just not being reported. As such it is important if staff have any concerns regarding child on child abuse they should speak to their designated safeguarding lead (or deputy). It is essential that all staff understand the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours between peers, many of which are listed below, that are actually abusive in nature. Downplaying certain behaviours, for example dismissing sexual harassment as “just banter”, “just having a laugh”, “part of growing up” or “boys being boys” can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours, an unsafe environment for children and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it.
Child on child abuse is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
- bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying);
- abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers;
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse);
- sexual violence such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault; (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence) causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party;
- consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi nudes images and or videos (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery)
- upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm
- initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element).
- All staff should be clear as to the academy's policy and procedures with regards to child on child abuse and the important role they have to play in preventing it and responding where they believe a child may be at risk from it.
For the purpose of this policy, staff at the academy need to consider:
When is name-calling racist/bullying?
When is violent and threatening behaviour racist or bullying?
Having English as an additional language prevents accurate information being gathered unless active steps are taken to get statements from ‘both sides’
Children who do not speak any English can be isolated and vulnerable
There are prejudices amongst children towards refugees and asylum seekers
There are territories/groupings that do not encourage integrated play
There may be name calling which can trigger out of proportion responses from ethnic minority children who have had painful experiences, including refugees and asylum seekers
Use of Islamophobic language towards others which is the fear of, hatred of, or prejudice against the religion of Islam or Muslims in general, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or a source of terrorism.
All incidents of racism and/or bullying must be reported and recorded.
The academy works closely with any pupil who has made a homophobic comments through one to one sessions.
Raising Parents’ and Carers’ Awareness.
Parents/carers are advised to:
- Watch for signs of distress in your children, e.g. an unwillingness to attend school, a regular pattern of headaches or stomach aches, becoming withdrawn, loss of weight, difficulty sleeping, bed wetting, threatening self-harm.
- If your child arrives home with unexpected bruises or cuts and cannot explain them.
- Take an active interest in your child’s social life. Discuss friendships, how lunchtime is spent and journey to and from school.
- If you think your child is being bullied, encourage her/him to talk about the problem calmly and inform school immediately.
- Keep a written record of cyberbullying, including examples of texts or emails received if bullying persists, providing supportive evidence regarding WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN. Please note that it may be necessary for you to contact the police. The Academy will follow the e-safety support and childnet guidance on safe internet use and ensure all pupils are taught how to protect themselves when using the internet.
- Seek support from staff in the academy to help support your child.
- Do not encourage your children to hit back or to reply to bullying emails or text messages. It only makes matters worse. Impress upon them the need to inform an adult immediately if bullying occurs.
- Encourage your child to be friendly with others. Children with friends are less likely to be the victims of bullying.
- If your child is found to have been bullying others, please ensure that you co-operate fully within the academy, in order that the situation can be resolved as quickly as possible.
- Attend any additional sessions or request information on key areas if you require further support or guidance
Possible Signs of Bullying
Both teachers and parents/carers are in a position to observe changes in the behaviour of a child, which may indicate that they are being subjected to bullying.
What to look out for:
- Damage to or loss of items of clothing, property, school work; if this occurs frequently then ask questions.
- Are there signs of physical injuries e.g. cuts, bruises, etc.
- Academic achievement is perceived to change in a negative way.
- Playing truant or a reluctance to attend the Academy. Be aware of children who register but fail to go to lessons.
- A loss of weight may mean dinner money has been given away.
- An unhappy child who may not wish to go out at breaks or lunchtimes.
- A child who threatens to self-harm.
- Consider other behaviour patterns demonstrated by the victim. E.g., is the pupil conspicuously loud/quiet, is their behaviour appropriate when engaged in normal classroom interaction?
- Refusal to attend school
Effects of bullying
Young people who are being bullied are being denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Effects may be long term and include:
- Absenteeism – unknown or prolonged periods of time out of school
- Fall in academic performance
- Poor self-esteem
- Health problems
- Isolation and failure to develop socially
- Depression and suicide
- Relationship difficulties
- Anxiety about certain situations or people
The academy has a staff charter which states that:
Staff will not misuse a position of power to dominate the pupils in this school.
They will avoid:
- Sarcastic comments or ‘banter’
- Derogatory nicknames
- Dominating and humiliating behaviour
- They will listen to pupils when they are willing to talk about bullying.
- They will be sensitive to a pupil’s need for privacy and respect, encouraging the ethos of ‘it is safe to tell.’
- Staff will support the ‘Behaviour for Learning’ policy’.
- Have anti bullying training as part of the safeguarding induction
The pupil charter states the obligations that children have to each other. Pupils will recognise each other’s rights to:
- be physically safe;
- keep own possessions and money;
- be free of insult, derogatory terms and teasing;
- be able to associate with other young people for companionship and friendship.
The culture of the Academy will encourage pupils to ensure the:
- physical safety of others;
- security of everyone’s personal possessions and money;
- freedom from hurt by name calling, teasing and inclusion of all pupils in play and learning activities.
- Show you care email and reporting issues
We aim to make anti-bullying initiatives an integral part of the curriculum for all years.
Where appropriate, subject teachers should encourage discussion, group work, and co-operative learning including circle time to demonstrate the importance of bullying issues.
There are also SMSC days where pupils are encouraged to explore diversity, tolerance and understanding so that they are able to understand the importance of bullying and the issues it presents.
The academy, through offering a range of extra-curricular activities at lunchtime and after school, aims to minimise potential behavioural and bullying issues and encourages pupils to build relationships with those from other year groups.
Peer support includes:
- Pupils who have been trained as Anti-bullying Ambassadors across all year groups
- Primary Link Ambassadors who have been trained to work with Year 7 pupils
- Pupil Council leading assemblies on Anti-Bullying.
- Peer Mentoring Year 7 and 8.
- LGBTQ Group
- Mental health Ambassadors
- Manchester United Foundation Leaders
- Sports Leaders
Procedures for dealing with bullying incidents
Bullying is unacceptable behaviour and pupils who bully will be clearly shown that their behaviour is wrong. It happens in all schools and academies and many young people are involved at some time. This Academy is committed to creating a safe environment where young people can learn and thrive, can talk about their worries, confident that an adult will listen and will offer help.
We will make it clear to pupils, staff, parents/carers and governors that when bullying happens we will work as a community in accordance with the policy set out in this document to help both the people who are harmed and the perpetrators. We will ensure the safety of the victim and do our best to support improved behaviour from the bully.
Parents/Carers of both victim and perpetrator will be kept informed of our actions and follow-up procedures. The Academy will record all incidents of bullying.
When dealing with bullying incidents the following core principles have been identified as essential:
The child/young person is involved in the discussion of the incident
- Records are completed for all incidents – see appendix for Bullying Form
- Records are shared and signed by child/young person
- Regular communication takes place with parent/carers
- Interventions will include the opportunity for follow up to evaluate support and if necessary provide a further course of action
- Regular monitoring of incidents
There will be a range of sanctions imposed which will depend on the severity of the incidents including detentions, parental/carer meetings, a period in isolation, a fixed term exclusion and the ultimate sanction of a permanent exclusion.
Dealing with Serious and Persistent Bullying
If the preventative measures and peer support strategies do not succeed, persistent bullying will be dealt with under the school’s behaviour policy and sanctions imposed. This may include the perpetrator being excluded for a fixed period.
In the most serious cases, permanent exclusion will be the most likely sanction if the bullying:
i) Involves serious violence against another pupil
ii) Amounts to persistent and defiant misbehaviour.
The chart below shows some of the options available:
Consequences of Bullying
In accordance with the academy Behaviour Policy the following sanctions may be given for those pupil/s involved in any form of bullying activities.
- Restorative Justice Meeting
- Behaviour Mentoring
- Behaviour Contract
Reinforcement of the policy
- Anti-Bullying information is to be displayed around the academy which includes an anti-bullying charter.
- Assemblies to promote academy values of Trust, Respect Commitment that re-enforce the way the academy operates.
- Anti-bullying ambassadors to support pupils in the academy and also act as role models for pupils.
- Anti-bullying week to support pupils in the academy in particular Year 7.
- Further support for any pupils who are identified at risk such as SEND and EAL to ensure that they have the confidence and understanding of academy procedures.
- Peer Mentors to support pupils in Year 7 and 8.
- Staff training to ensure expectations of behaviour are modelled and staff have a consistent approach to tackling behavioural issues. This included training by an external coach on how to be kind and supportive and how to be ‘the best version of me’. The local authority provided training on attachment disorder and what kinds of behaviours result from this. Staff training on de-escalation which has involved early identification of children’s stress responses, both verbal and non-verbal as well as how best to diffuse potential situations.
- An anti-bullying pledge signed by all pupils in the first week of the first term. The pledge outlines what pupils can expect as a member of the school and also pupils’ responsibilities to report bullying if they see it occurring, or experience it in any form.
Anti-Bullying Flow Chart
Co-op Academy North Manchester Bullying Investigation Form
All forms and investigation material must be passed to S Fiddler and discussed with her in addition, it must be uploaded to CPOMs.
Child(s)/adult(s) name alleged to be experiencing bullying behaviour:
Child(s) name alleged to be engaging bullying behaviour:
Focus of Bullying behaviour:
Details of Investigation:
(Please include statements form alleged victim, perpetrator, witnesses, photographs, screenshots etc.)
Actions taken (bold, underlined are essential and not optional):
Manifestation of Bullying:
Details of support given:
Follow up Actions/Monitoring Notes:
(Are there any further concerns/was further action required etc.)
Further sources of information
Other departmental advice and guidance that might be useful:
Schools’ duty to promote good behaviour: Section 89 Education and Inspections Act 2006 and Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010
Power to tackle poor behaviour outside school
The Equality Act 2010 - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance
The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA): Founded in 2002 by NSPCC and National Children's Bureau, the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) brings together over 100 organisations into one network to develop and share good practice across the whole range of bullying issues.
BeatBullying: A bullying prevention charity with an emphasis on working directly with child and young people. In addition to lesson plans and resources for parents.
‘BeatBullying’ have developed a peer support programme for young people affected by bullying.
Kidscape: Charity established to prevent bullying and promote child protection providing advice for young people, professionals and parents about different types of bullying and how to tackle it. They also offer specialist training and support for school staff, and assertiveness training for young people.
The Diana Award: Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme to empower young people to take responsibility for changing the attitudes and behaviour of their peers towards bullying. It w achieve this by identifying, training and supporting school anti-bullying ambassadors.
The BIG Award: The Bullying Intervention Group (BIG) offer a national scheme and award schools to tackle bullying effectively.
Restorative Justice Council: Includes best practice guidance for practitioners 2011.
Stonewall is a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of national organisations committed to progress on age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation issues.
Schools Out is an organisation which sets out to make our schools and educational institutions safe spaces for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) communities as teachers, lecturers and trainers; as pupils and pupils; as parents; as teaching and learning support staff; as site-officers, catering and cleaning staff; and as headteachers, managers and governors
The Proud trust is a life saving and life enhancing organisation that helps young people empower themselves to make a positive change for themselves and their communities.
ChildNet International: Specialist resources for young people to raise awareness of online safety and how to protect themselves
Think U Know: resources provided by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) for children and young people, parents, carers and teachers.
Digizen: provides online safety information for educators, parents, carers and young people
Advice on Child Internet Safety 1.0: The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) ha produced universal guidelines for providers on keeping children safe online.
CEOP – Child Exploitation Online Protection Agency
Mencap: Represents people with learning disabilities, with specific advice and information people who work with children and young people.
Changing Faces: Provide online resources and training to schools on bullying because of physical difference.
Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities: Advice provided by the Anti-Bullying Alliance on developing effective anti-bullying practice.
Show Racism the Red Card: Provide resources and workshops for schools to educate young people, often using the high profile of football, about racism.
Kick it Out: Uses the appeal of football to educate young people about racism and provide education packs for schools.
Anne Frank Trust: Runs a schools project to teach young people about Anne Frank and the Holocaust, the consequences of unchecked prejudice and discrimination, and cultural diversity.