Bales College Anti Bullying Policy

Legal Status

·      Complies with Part 3, paragraph 10 (2)(a) of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

·      Prepared with reference to DfE Guidance (2012): Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Advice for school leaders and governors.

·      The school recognises that it must comply with the Independent Schools Regulations 2015 by ensuring that this anti-bullying policy is effectively implemented.

·      The school also recognises that it must comply with the 2010 Equality Act, which, in brief, eliminates unlawful discrimination, advances equality of opportunity and fosters good relations between people.

·      The school is committed to safeguarding as outlined by the Children Act 1989 and to reporting any bullying which may lead to a child suffering ‘significant harm’ to the local authority. Equally, the school is aware that certain types of poor behaviour may infringe criminal law and necessitate police assistance.

1.0       Ethos

Bales College is proud of having established a supportive learning environment which plays a vital role in preventing serious episodes of bullying. Its close-knit school community provides a positive, purposeful place of work and learning for both staff and students alike. Bales College does not tolerate bullying of any kind.

Recognising that Bullying is something that adults also experience in the workplace – Bales College makes additional effort to inform, educate and support our pupils in learning how to actively managing conflict and seek to resolve issues in a constructive manner at all times.

2.0       What is bullying?

2.1       The school community understands bullying to be behaviour by a group or individual aimed at persistently and deliberately hurting another group or individual (physically, emotionally or both).

Bullying is often motivated by envy, prejudice and fear of others who are different. Groups or individuals are often bullied because of their:

Sexual Orientation

2.2       Bullying can take various forms. These include:

Physical e.g hitting, kicking, taking belongings
Verbal e.g name calling, insulting, hurtful remarks
Cyber e.g insults on Facebook, malicious emails, hurtful comments in chat rooms
Passive e.g excluding individuals from social groups, spreading malicious rumours
Written e.g spreading rumours, writing or printing unkind or malicious comments on paper
Sexual e.g. name calling, sexting and other uses of social media

3.0           Dealing with bullying

3.1       Students are responsible for their behaviour both on and off school premises. Any incidents that occur outside of school – such as on the bus home, in chat rooms on the internet, via text messages – are subject to the same disciplinary measures as incidents that occur on site.

3.2           The school takes a proactive approach towards bullying. Outside groups and speakers with particular anti-bullying expertise supplement the school’s programme of assemblies and high-staff presence to help students understand one another and anticipate potential areas of conflict.

3.3           All staff are aware that they have key roles to play in supporting and safeguarding students. Form tutors and subject tutors are responsible for managing minor disagreements between students. Any suspicions/allegations of bullying must be reported to the Assistant Principal as soon as possible.

3.4           Where an issue cannot be dealt with informally, the Assistant Principal is responsible for leading investigations through interviews and taking statements from the alleged bully, victims and witnesses. The Assistant Principal will ensure that each side may express their opinion and that the investigation will be undertaken calmly, carefully and compassionately.

Allegations of abuse made against other children

Staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. This type of abuse should not be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. Staff must take all allegations seriously and treat them in the same way as other allegations of bullying or abuse. Peer abuse becomes significant where it is serious and persistent and where it cannot be resolved by the college or where there is significant physical or emotional harm done to students. In these instances it will also become a safeguarding matter.

The school is represented at Senior Management level by both male and female staff.

3.5           Each incident will be dealt with according to its own particular circumstances and the individuals concerned. Serious incidents of bullying will result in parents being involved in achieving resolution.

3.6           Any incidents of bullying are managed through a range of strategies:

a)             Careful monitoring by all staff, with mentoring from the student’s form tutor and the Assistant Principal for both victim and bully.

b)             If possible, finding ways in which victim and bully can find shared and positive meanings together. This may include problem solving meetings, working together on a shared interest, sporting activities and daily catch-ups in which students are asked to reflect on their behaviour and elicit positive steps forward.

c)              Adjustments, where appropriate to temporarily or permanently adjust the timetable to give victim and bully some space and time from each other.

d)             Close co-operation between home and school. The Assistant Principal will outline a clear path forward developed and agreed by parents, school and, most importantly, the students themselves. A strong network of interested parties ensures a quicker, more effective outcome.

e)             Serious or persistent cases of bullying which are not resolved by any of the above may lead to a fixed term / permanent exclusion.  This is very much a last resort but will be completed if necessary.

3.7           Students at Bales College have a responsibility to promote good behaviour. It is imperative that they support one another, and in particular, students who are isolated in school and must inform a member of staff if they suspect that bullying is taking place.

3.8       The form tutor plays a key role in contributing towards the school’s anti-bullying policies and ensuring that all students feel safe and happy in their learning.

3.9       Bales College ensures that it provides a wealth of opportunities for students to work together, have fun together and learn about each other. Day trips, residential trips and teambuilding activities are key to ensuring a positive, harmonious school, thus reducing the likelihood of bullying occuring.

3.10     Informal peer-to-peer mentoring is a notable attribute of the school, with older students keen to pass on their experience to our younger ones. Sixth form students have an important role to play here and work well with younger students.

3.11     The school undertakes to provide effective anti-bullying training for staff and to ensure that all staff understand the purpose and the principles of the school’s policy.  This is revisited annually to ensure everyone remains up to date.

3.12     The school is committed to working with agencies in the wider community such as the police and children’s services, illustrating the issues facing children where a criminal offence may have been committed and reducing the likelihood of such incidents involving our pupils.  This will be done where there is serious and persistent bullying which cannot be resolved by the college or where there is significant physical or emotional harm done to students.

3.13     Bales College recognises that bullying is often the result of long-held insecurities and/or current/previous emotional trauma outside of school. To this end, the school is committed to helping each and every child to develop the confidence, respect and social skills they need to function in society. It is therefore just as important to carefully consider and address the origin of the bully’s motivations through the strategies outlined above in tandem with parental co-operation.  It can be that the person who is causing the bullying actually needs the most support.

4.0       Reporting Bullying

4.01     Parents

Any parent concerned about their child’s welfare may contact their child’s form tutor or the Assistant Principal directly on 0208 960 5899 or ks5@balescollege.co.uk. The school prides itself on responding quickly and effectively to all parental concerns.  This email is accessed only by senior members of staff.

4.02     Students

Students may report bullying in a number of ways, choosing whichever they find most comfortable:

a)             They may talk to any member of staff, whether form tutor, subject teacher, or a member of Senior Management.

b)             Students may ask a parent to present any concerns on their behalf.

c)              Students may report their concerns to older students. These will then be passed on to a member of staff.

The school prides itself on maintaining a safe environment where pupils can discuss bullying without fearing reprisals whether verbal or physical from fellow students.

4.03 Serious instances of bullying will be reported to children’s services and the police

4.2       Recording and Tracking

4.21     All serious allegations and incidents of bullying will be recorded by the Assistant Principal. This will allow patterns to be identified and appropriate action taken

5.0       Celebrating Success

5.1           Students are encouraged to reflect on the positive impact of key anti-bullying speakers and assemblies through follow-up work and discussion.

5.2           The school celebrates its success through activities and reflection during National Anti-Bullying week.

Bales College adopted this amended Anti-Bullying Policy in June 2017

Signed:                        Mark Yearsley     (Assistant Principal)

Signed:                          Bill Moore           (Principal)

Policy Review Date: June 2018


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