Bullying is taken very seriously in primary schools. No child should have to come to school feeling scared or frightened. Every school has a duty of care to ensure your child feels safe and happy.
Bullying can happen in all sorts of forms, mental, physical, emotional, verbal and online. Schools should all have a zero tolerance on bullying as part of their Behaviour Policy and Safeguarding Policy.
Bullying is a very sensitive and serious subject and if you assume/know that your child is being subject to this then you must take the right precautions. Make the school aware of the issue; they will be able to provoke an investigation. They will have a system on how they deal with similar issues.
It is vitally important to listen to your child and make sure they have the right support, schools must have a Learning Mentor or Safeguarding Managers/Deputies who are available to speak to children if they need to.
Your child may be unaware that it is bullying, as children are vulnerable.
Statement taken from Ash Croft Primary Safeguarding Policy:
Abuse is abuse and such behaviour will not be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. It can manifest itself in a number of ways including:
· bullying (including cyber bullying),
· physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm
· sexual violence and sexual harassment
· sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery)
· initiation / hazing type violence and rituals
There may be gender-specific issues which can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse.
This could, for example, include girls experiencing violence from boys or boys being subjected to initiation / hazing-type violence.
Our academies minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse through the curriculum, including PSHE, SMSC, SRE and e-safety and via existing policies such as behaviour, anti-bullying, esafety and acceptable use policies.
Any allegations of peer on peer abuse will be taken seriously, fully investigated and victims supported. The needs of alleged perpetrators will also be considered and relevant support put in place.
Allegations of peer on peer abuse are handled in the same way as any other allegation of abuse: the DSL takes a lead and referrals are made to the correct authorities if required. All allegations and subsequent action will be recorded by using the academy’s safeguarding recording mechanisms.
Parents will be involved in the investigation (unless, in extreme cases the police have deemed it not to be in the child’s best interests) and measures put in place to ensure the abuse stops. Bullying, including Cyber Bullying
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, 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, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities.
It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences. Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case.
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), derive 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.
Under the Children Act 1989 a bullying incident (including cyber bullying) should be addressed as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’.
Where this is the case, the school staff should report their concerns to their Local Authority children’s social care.
Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue, schools may need to draw on a range of external services to support the pupil who is experiencing bullying, or to tackle any underlying issue which has contributed to a child engaging in bullying.
ChildLine : What to do if you or someone you know is being bullied. What is bullying? Can I talk to the Police?
Taking care of your mental health. Helping someone else who is being bullied?
Bullying UK informs parents/carers on how to deal with if your child is being bullied at school.
Find advice on taking time off school, moving school, contacting the school, making a complaint to the school, how to take it further, teacher bullying, losing friends, what to do as a parent.
Government guidelines about the law on how schools should treat bullying, reporting the incident and bullying outside of the school environment.
Young Minds offers parents advice on where to get extra help if your child is being bullied, find resources on spotting bullying, stopping it and supporting your child.
Barnado's help families and children no matter the background through traumatising events such as sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, mental health problems, immigration and much more. Click on the link here for a download on helping your child when they could be bullied.
At the National Online Safety, there mission is to make the internet a safer place for children. They achieve this through equipping school staff, parents and children with the knowledge they need to understand online dangers and how best to react should an incident arise. Every Wednesday a new platform guide is uploaded for parents. Sign up for free.