What is bullying?
Bullying is a form of harassment which sets out to intimidate, coerce, humiliate or undermine the individual to whom it is directed. Bullying is a deliberately hurtful behaviour, which when repeated over time, causes distress, and can lead to a range of unpleasant psychological or physical outcomes.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional – excluding, tormenting, being unfriendly
- Physical – threats of or the direct use of violence
- Sexual – sexually abusive comments or unwanted physical contact
- Homophobic – taunts or comments about an individual’s sexual orientation
- Racist – racial remarks or gestures
- Verbal – name-calling, spreading rumours, sarcasm, to individuals or groups
- Electronic – threatening mobile phone messages/calls/texts or emails/internet chat rooms
How to recognise whether a student is being bullied
Signs and symptoms may include:
- becoming withdrawn and lacking in confidence
- not wanting to go to college
- becoming anxious or withdrawn
- feeling ill
- becoming aggressive or unreasonable
- unexplained cuts or bruises
- poor performance at college
- declining attendance at college.
College Policy and Procedure
- The College policy is that bullying will not be tolerated and that all reported instances of bullying will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
- Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken under the College disciplinary procedures, where bullying is identified.
- All staff, students and parents will be informed of the policy and the procedures to follow if bullying arises.
- The anti-bullying policy applies to all students, whilst on the college roll, irrespective of whether the bullying takes place on or off College premises.
- All members of College staff have a responsibility to ensure that suspected bullying or harassment is dealt with and that procedures are applied consistently. It is expected that all staff will make timely interventions wherever bullying is identified or suspected.
- The personal tutor and classroom teacher have key roles to play in the identification of students who have been bullied or who are bullying others. In all cases of bullying, the relevant personal tutor should be informed and a member of SLT involved, where appropriate.
Action to take if bullying is suspected
- In all cases where bullying is suspected, the incident should be investigated further and appropriate action taken.
- Immediate action should involve:
- Encouragement and the support of the recipient by taking the allegation seriously and investigating further.
- Respond quickly to the allegation.
- Making it clear to the alleged bully that their behaviour is unacceptable and that it must stop.
- Recording the details of the incident: Document fully the detail of the discussion with the student e.g. when and where the alleged incident happened and what happened to make the student feel threatened. Discuss with the student the action you intend to take with their agreement and explain that you will give them feedback as soon as possible. Record this on MONITOR under ‘bullying’, if you feel an SLT or welfare appointment is required. If you deal with this yourself, please pass details to ZSR, so it can be logged on the central spreadsheet and added to the student’s file, as a bullying incident.
- In some minor cases of bullying, challenging the bully may be sufficient for the behaviour to stop, as they may be unaware that their behaviour is offensive.
- In serious cases of bullying, the College’s disciplinary procedures should be followed.
- Students who have been bullied should be supported by being given an opportunity to discuss their experiences with a member of staff of their choice as well as being offered ongoing support.
Monitoring: The policy and its application will be monitored as appropriate to respond to changes in legislation and College practice.