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Anti-Bullying & Cyber Bullying Policy

Statement of Intent

StreetVibes Media Academy (SV) are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all learners/students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. 

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. 

SV is a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.

Objectives of this Policy: 

Meet the statutory duty to have an anti-bullying policy in place
Develop preventative strategies, including the provision of a stimulating and personalised curriculum to re-engage our students in learning
Provide a safe, caring environment for the whole school community
Listen to parent/carer’s concerns and to keep them informed of actions taken in response to a complaint
Fully investigate any report of bullying and keep detailed records of these incidents
Take appropriate action against bullies, including exclusion:  students must not be excluded from school for being bullied – Education Act 2002
Work closely with other professional agencies to ensure that children and young people in protected and vulnerable groups are kept safe, including those with disability, SEN, those perceived to be LGBT+, of targeted races and religions, or vulnerable to sexist and sexual bullying
Provide appropriate training and support to ensure a high level of professional expertise
Ensure all members of the senior management team, teaching and non-teaching staff, students and parents/carers have an understanding of what bullying is
Ensure all members of the senior management team, teaching and non-teaching staff know what the school policy is on bullying and will consistently and swiftly follow it when bullying is reported
Ensure all students and parents/carers know what the school policy is on bullying and what they can do if bullying occurs
Reassure students and parents/carers that they will be supported when bullying is reported
Remove barriers to learning by supporting the social and emotional needs of students
Provide a safe, stimulating and supportive learning environment in which educational and personal potential can be realised
Ensure students are given the opportunity to make good progress
Ensure personal integrity, self-esteem and social skills are developed
Promote positive behaviour for learning, in line with the school Behaviour Policy
Work in partnership with mainstream schools
Guarantee equal opportunities for all
Value, respect and encourage understanding of all cultures
Provide a safe, healthy and happy workplace
Promote a thoughtful attitude towards the immediate and wider community
Provide positive role models in order to foster courtesy, kindness and mutual respect
Value and celebrate students’ successes and achievements.  

As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

Bullying will not be tolerated.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is behaviour with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be:

Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)

Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures

Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments

LGBT+ because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality

Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing

Cyber All areas of internet, such as email, social media & internet chat room misuse; mobile phone threats by text messaging & calls; inappropriate use, including sexting, pornography; misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities.

What Is Not Bullying?  

It is important to understand that falling out with friends, one-off name calling, arguments, or the occasional trick or joke are not bullying. It is bullying when it is done Several Times On Purpose (STOP). Children and young people do sometimes fall-out, or say unkind things when they are upset.  Occasional problems of this kind are not classed as bullying.  It is an important part of personal development to learn how to deal with friendship breakdowns, occasional name-calling or childish pranks.  We all have to learn how to deal with these situations and develop social skills to repair relationships. 

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

Signs and Symptoms:

A child or young person may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a student:

is frightened of walking to or from school or doesn't want to go on the bus
begs to be driven to school
changes their usual routine
is unwilling to go to school (school phobic) or begins to truant
 becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
starts stammering
attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
cries themselves to sleep at night, has nightmares and/or bed wetting
feels ill in the morning
begins to do poorly in school work
comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
has possessions which are damaged or "go missing"
asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
has unexplained cuts or bruises
comes home starving (money/lunch has been stolen)
becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
is bullying other children/young people or siblings
stops eating
is frightened to say what's wrong
gives improbable excuses for any of the above
 is afraid to use the internet, social media or mobile phone
 is nervous & jumpy when a cyber/text message is received

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Where Does Bullying Happen?  

Bullying can happen anywhere – in the classroom, in the corridor, in the toilets, in the dining hall, in social spaces and on the way to and from school.  However, schools are only legally responsible for bullying incidents which occur on the school premises. Nevertheless, we are also concerned with our students’ conduct and welfare outside school, and will address any bullying issues that occur outside the school premises.  The following steps may be taken:

 • Talk to our Schools Police Officer about problems on the streets. 
 • Talk to the Headteachers of other schools whose pupils may be involved in bullying outside school premises.  
• Draw-up safe routes to school for children, linking them to the School Travel Plan.  
• Discuss coping strategies with parents/carers..  
• Talk to the students about how to handle, or avoid, bullying outside the school premises.  

N.B. The Education and Inspections Act section 89, 2006:  The law empowers Headteachers to such extent as is reasonable to regulate the behaviour of pupils when they are off school site (which is particularly pertinent to regulating cyber bullying). 

Procedures:

Staff, parents/carers and students work together to create a happy, caring and safe learning environment.  It is everyone’s responsibility to try to prevent occurrences of bullying and to deal with any incidents quickly and effectively: 

1. Listen carefully to all accounts.
2. Do not make assumptions.
3. Report bullying incidents to staff.
4. Take reports of bullying seriously. 
5. Staff will work with the young person who is being bullied to help them feel safe and to find responses to bullying that work. 
6. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff.
7. In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
8. If necessary and appropriate, colleagues from outside agencies, e.g. IAG services, the area Youth Offending Team, Police will be involved in supporting pupils who are experiencing bullying or who are bullying
9. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
10. Staff will work with the young person or people who are bullying to change the bullying behaviour. 
11. Excluding students from school is an absolute last resort.  If particularly serious victimisation, abuse, intimidation, or physical bullying against any other person belonging to the school community is reported, those students who carried out the bullying will have to be suspended from school activities while it is investigated and solutions are sought. If the solutions have no effect, or if the bullying is so severe that it would be harmful to the rest of the school community to allow the suspended student to return to the school, it may be necessary to permanently exclude, in line with statutory guidelines. 
12. Re-enforce StreetVibes Media Academy’s anti-bullying policy at all times.

Outcomes:

1. The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place through a restorative justice process.
2. In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered
3. If possible, the students will be reconciled
4. After the incident(s) have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

Prevention

SV will use several methods for helping to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:

writing a set of school rules or signing a behaviour contract

writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying

reading stories about bullying or exploring the topic through role play or drama

having discussions about bullying and why it matters.

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This policy was last revised September 2019