There may sometimes be misunderstanding about the meaning of the term ‘bullying’. One-off incidents, whilst potentially very serious and which must always be dealt with, do not fall within the definition of ‘bullying’. We work hard with pupils to clarify the difference between bullying and “friendship friction”.
Types of bullying
There are various types of bullying, but most have three things in common:
• It is deliberately hurtful behaviour.
• It is repeated over time.
• There is an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying can be:
• Physical – e.g. hitting, kicking, taking belongings.
• Verbal – e.g. name calling, insulting, racist, homophobic, sexist remarks, comments about disabilities.
• Indirect – e.g. spreading malicious rumours, excluding individuals from social groups, family feuds brought into school.
• Cyber – e.g. use of email, social networking sites, mobile phone messaging to spread rumours, make malicious comments.
Each case of bullying will be examined and its severity considered when deciding upon the most appropriate response. Ideally, restorative practices should be employed with reconciliation achieved.
Parents/carers of bullies will be informed of an incident by the Pastoral Staff or pupil’s School Achievement Leader.
Procedures for reporting bullying incidents:
There are several ways to report bullying at Netherhall
• Box outside the SALs office
• Direct to a member of staff
• Netherhall Anti-Bullying Committee (NABC) - please contact Mrs Riley directly with regards to any queries on firstname.lastname@example.org
• Report a concern button on the website
Suspected bullying should be reported to the pastoral staff for investigation. Details will be logged to help build a picture of behavioural patterns in school e.g. who, where, when alleged incidents occur. In cases of racist bullying or racist incidents, an additional written record will be completed and submitted to the Local Authority.
All bullying is unacceptable. However, the school recognises that many pupils displaying anti-social behaviour are, themselves, damaged. We will seek to support them to understand the consequences of their actions and to change their behaviour.
Support will always be put in place for victims of bullying. This will be bespoke to the pupil, their age, maturity and circumstances.