St. Macartan’s College Anti-Bullying Policy

 

St. Macartan’s College Anti-Bullying Policy

(Appendix III to the Code of Behaviour)

 

St. Macartan’s College Anti – Bullying Statement.

 

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 St. Macartan’s College  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:

·         A positive school culture and climate which-

o   is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;

o   encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and

o   promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

·         Effective leadership;

·         A school-wide approach;

·         A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;

·         Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-

o   build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and

o   explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.

·         Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

·         Supports for staff;

·         Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

·         On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.


 

  1. 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:

·         deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,

·         cyber-bullying and

·         identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

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.

Mission

 

In Saint Macartan’s College, we seek to create a safe working environment by:

Creating a school community where all individuals are treated with equal dignity.

Promoting respect, tolerance and understanding for each other.

Promoting an awareness of bullying.

 

Scope

 

The policy pertains to the relationships which exist between College staff, students, management, parents and visitors to the College.

 

 

Objective of the Anti Bullying Policy

 

The Board of Management, staff, pupils and parents have a responsibility to understand what bullying is. As a school we take bullying seriously; all staff, pupils and parents should know what the school policy on bullying is and what they should do if bullying arises. Bullying in St. Macartan’s College will not be tolerated.

This Anti Bullying Policy (Appendix  III) forms part of the School’s Code of Behaviour and as such must be signed by all students and their parents.

 

Statement of rights and responsibilities,

 

It is the right of every member of the St. Macartan’s College community to work free from any form of fear and intimidation. It is the responsibility of each and every member of the St. Macartan’s College community to ensure that bullying of any form is not tolerated and when observed is reported to an appropriate person (see agreed procedures for telling, investigating, recording and responding to bullying below).

 

List of Preventative Measures

 

All members of the St. Macartan’s College school community know that bullying in any form will not be tolerated.  The whole school agreement about policy & procedures to be followed at all times when bullying is reported. Each member of staff will be issued with the Board of Management’s Dignity in the Workplace policy. New students and their parents will be asked to read and sign the St. Macartan’s College Anti-Bullying policy before their enrolment in the school. The Anti-Bullying policy will be included in the School Journal and will be read and signed by parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year.

 

All new members of staff will be informed about the Anti-Bullying policy.  A regular and confidential questionnaire will be organised and followed up as soon as possible after completion of the questionnaire. An age appropriate anti-bullying curriculum will be taught to every year group in the school to:

         Help students identify different types of bullying,

         Help students distinguish between bullying and non-bullying behaviours,

         Teach students to know what to do when bullying occurs

         Members of the school community will know the importance of reporting

incidents of bullying and will know how to tell,

         Members of the school community who witness bullying will know how to act

safely when bullying occurs.

         Members of the College community who report incidents of bullying will be

protected by the College authorities.

         The College will organise Anti-Bullying awareness programmes during  the

school year.

         A student comment box is available to all students so that they can report on

incidents of bullying in the school

         The College will set up a Personnel Safety Committee

         On-going training in the management of bullying behaviour will be organised by

management.

 

Agreed Procedures for telling, investigating, recording and responding to bullying.

 

All members of the school community have an obligation to report incidents of bullying.

Members of the school community are assured that all incidents of bullying will be dealt with confidentially. Only those who need to know will be informed & every effort will be made to ensure the safety of an individual reporting bullying.

Individuals may report bullying to whom ever they feel comfortable with, by direct approach at an appropriate time, by handing up a note with homework, by phoning the school office, via the reporting facility on the school website www.stmacartanscollege.ie, or by getting a friend/ parent/guardian to tell on their behalf.

 

A regular confidential questionnaire will be given to students to allow them to tell safely.

 

Student - Student

 

Students reporting bullying and students alleged to be bullying will be interviewed separately by two of the following where possible, the Principal, Deputy Principal, the appropriate Year Head, the appropriate Tutor, the College Chaplain, a Teacher. 

Witnesses may also be interviewed and may be asked to write an account.

A restorative approach will be used when investigating incidents. No student will be subjected to public humiliation. The emphasis will be on seeking a change in behaviour. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue amicably between the two parties. 

The agreed sanction system from the St. Macartan’s College Code of Behaviour will apply where a student has been found to have used bullying behaviour.

A record will be kept of the proceedings. Everyone involved in bullying will be offered support.

 

Teacher – Student

A student and or a parent/guardian should first meet with the teacher in question

with the aim of resolving the issue/concern. 

If the issue remains unresolved the Principal or a representative of the Board of

Management will endeavour to resolve the issue amicably between the two

parties. Students must report bullying incidents by teachers to the Principal or Deputy

Principal.  Parents/ Guardians may report on their behalf. For the safety of all concerned, the student will be interviewed by two staff members (The Principal & another member of the teaching staff ) and may be asked to give a written account. Witnesses may be interviewed. The teacher concerned will be interviewed by the Principal. He/she may be asked for a written account of the incident.

 

Where bullying has occurred, the teacher will be given a verbal warning by the

Principal. Further offences will be dealt with by the Board of Management.

Where there is disagreement about whether or not bullying occurred, the Principal

may engage the services of a trained mediator to mediate between the student & parent/s and the teacher. This will only happen with the permission of both parties. Records may be kept for 7 years after the student has left the school. They may then be shredded

In the case of a complaint against the Principal, a  parent/guardian/ student should

discuss the complaint in the first instance. If they are unable to resolve the issue the complaint may then be processed by writing to the Board of Management under agreed procedures.

 

 

Student - Teacher.

The teacher and student should first meet with the aim of resolving the issue/concern.

Teachers will report incidents of bullying by students to the Principal or Deputy                   

Principal.

 

In the interests of safety and the protection of all concerned, the student  will be

interviewed by two staff members    (The Principal & another member of the teaching staff ) and may be asked to give a written account. Witnesses may be interviewed.

The teacher concerned will be interviewed by the Principal or the Chairperson of

the Board of Management. He/she may be asked for a written account of the incident.

The Principal or a representative of the Board of Management will endeavor to

resolve the issue amicably between the two parties.  Where there is disagreement about whether or not bullying occurred, the Principal may engage the services of a trained mediator to mediate between the student and the teacher. This will only happen with the permission of both parties. Records may be kept for 7 years after the student has left the school. They may then be shredded. Where bullying has occurred, the offences will be dealt with by the Board of Management under agreed procedures.

 

Parent - Teacher.

Teachers will report incidents of bullying by parents to the Principal or Deputy                

Principal. For the safety of all concerned, the parent will be interviewed by two staff

members   (The Principal & another member of the teaching staff ) and may be asked to give a  written account. Witnesses may be interviewed. The teacher concerned will be interviewed by the Principal or the Chairperson of the Board of Management. He/she may be asked for a written account of the incident. The Principal or a representative of the Board of Management will endeavour to resolve the issue amicably between the two parties. Where there is disagreement about whether or not bullying occurred, the Principal may engage the services of a trained mediator to mediate between the parent/s and the teacher. This will only happen with the permission of both parties. Records will be kept for 7 years after the student has left the school. They may then be shredded.

Where bullying has occurred, the offences will be dealt with by the Board of

Management.

 

Teacher to Parent

The parent/ guardian should report incidents by a teacher to the Principal or     

Deputy Principal.

For the safety of all concerned, the parents will be interviewed by two staff

members (The Principal & another member of the teaching staff ) and may be asked to give a written account. Witnesses may be interviewed. The teacher concerned will be interviewed by the Principal or the Chairperson of the Board of Management. He/she may be asked for a written account of the incident. The Principal or a representative of the Board of Management  will endeavour to resolve the issue amicably between the two parties. Where there is disagreement about whether bullying or not occurred, the Principal may engage the services of a trained mediator to mediate between the teacher and the parent/s. This will only happen with the permission of both parties. Records will be kept for 7 years. They may then be shredded. Where bullying has occurred, the offences will be dealt with by the Board of Management under agreed procedures.

 

Staff to Staff

Issues of concern regarding staff to staff bullying will be dealt with under the Board of Management’s Dignity in the Workplace Policy.

 

Recording

A record of all reports of bullying will be kept. Those involved may be asked to write an account of the incident. When an investigation is complete and a person has been found to be bullying, he may be asked to sign an agreement that the behaviour will not recur.

Class Observation Strategies & Sociograms may be used by teachers to ascertain the extent & nature of bullying in a class. These records will be kept on file in the school office. Records of bullying may be kept in this school for 7 years after all students concerned in the incident have left the school. The records may then be shredded. In other cases the records may be shredded after 7 years.

 

Agreed Sanction System

Bullying is a serious breach of the St. Macartan’s College Code of Behaviour. The College community endeavours to resolve the issue through a restorative approach. The instigator and the victim will be encouraged to resolve their differences in an amicable manner.

 

Persistent bullying behaviour will be referred to the Board of Management.

 

Deliberately accusing a person of bullying in the wrong will be regarded as a very serious offence.

 

How incidents will be monitored

Incidents will be monitored by those involved in reporting and investigating the incident.

 

How Parents, Students and New Staff are made aware of Policy and Procedures

This document will be made available to all parents and students on entering the school and will be available for download on the College website www.stmacartanscollege.ie. The Policy will be presented in full in the School Journal.

 

How & when this policy will be evaluated.

 

This policy will be evaluated regularly in consultation with the staff, students and parents.

 

BULLYING IS UNACCEPTABLE AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN THIS SCHOOL