Bunscoil Chríost Rí

Anti-Bullying Policy

2014


1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Bunscoil Chríost Rí has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall Code of Behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.


2.  The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

3.  In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:


Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.


However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.  


Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.


4.  The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows

 



The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows.

Bunscoil Chríost Rí will:



3. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows



1   The primary aim for the relevant teacher in investigating and dealing with

bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the

relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame);


2   In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his/her

professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how

best the situation might be resolved;


3   All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and

dealt with by the relevant teacher. In that way pupils will gain confidence in

‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear

to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered

to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly;


4   Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus

escorts, caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of

bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant

teacher;


5   Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist

the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the

relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;


6   It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents)

understand the above approach from the outset;


7   Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when

dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff

or parents;


8    Incidents are generally best investigated outside the classroom situation to

ensure the privacy of all involved;


9   All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the

rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also

provide very useful information in this way;  


10  When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should

seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be

done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict

in a non-aggressive manner;


11  If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first.

Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting,

each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure

that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;


12    Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures

that they may face them from the other members of the group after interview

by the teacher;


13   It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their

account of the incident(s);


14    In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying

behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted

at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being

taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parents an

opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the

actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils;


15    Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in

bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach

of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get

him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;


16    It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that

in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private

matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school;


17   Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged

separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the

pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic

effect;


18    In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has

not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after

he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded

 by the relevant teacher in the recording template


19     In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately

addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement,

take the following factors into account:


20   Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in

accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate,

to the school’s complaints procedures;


21   In the event that a parent has exhausted the school's complaints procedures and

is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a

complaint to the Ombudsman for Children




The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows



6.  Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils


The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.



7.  Prevention of Harassment


The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.



8.  This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 10th March 2014    


9.  This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.


10.  This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.


      

Signed:              Aingil Uí Loinsigh                                                            Signed:   D. Ó Ceallaigh   

             (Chairperson, Board of Management)                                                            (Principal)

    Date:  10th March 2014                                                               Date: 10th March 2014



Date of next review: March 2015