Although in a small school there is less opportunity for bullying to occur and go undetected, no school can afford to be complacent and all members of staff at SES are committed to providing a caring, friendly and secure environment for pupils.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at SES. Parents can be assured that any report or allegation of bullying will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by senior management so that appropriate action can be taken to stop the bullying and prevent recurrence. The action taken may vary according to the particular circumstances of each case, but may include any or all of the following:
- the involvement of parents;
- a programme of activities aimed at effecting understanding and reconciliation;
- appropriate sanctions e.g. detention, removal of privileges;
- in some cases, exclusion from school;
- intensive monitoring of perpetrators.
The person being bullied will be well supported and informed throughout. Effective arrangements for dealing with bullying at the point of occurrence must be part of a wider strategy for developing a positive school ethos based on praise, encouragement and mutual respect, which helps to discourage bullying and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
PSE lessons and whole school assemblies are a key resource in this regard, while the practice of senior staff maintaining a strong profile around the school at morning intervals and lunch breaks is particularly valuable.
The full version of our recently revised and update anti-bullying policy is available on the school website.
Cyberbullying – bullying by means of electronic media such as social networking websites and mobile phones – is a growing problem among young people. Although patterns of behaviour at SES do not usually follow national trends, misuse of electronic media (particularly mobile phones and Facebook) seems to be an exception to the rule and there have been incidents where offensive, threatening or abusive text messages have either been the root cause of a problem or a major contributory factor.
The private and secretive nature of text messaging and internet activity means that most parents will find it very difficult to monitor such activity, even when there is good reason to suspect there may be a problem. Nevertheless it is important that parents promote the responsible use of electronic media and act promptly if problems do arise.
To ensure that effective action can be taken, it is critically important that malicious, offensive or threatening messages are retained as evidence and not deleted.
Within school, focused input is provided through PSE classes, with support from the local police, in order to raise awareness among pupils of the possible consequences of misusing mobile phones. For most pupils, it is likely that this will be sufficient deterrent, but please note that where problems persist it may be necessary to refer matters to the police.
Cyberbullying is covered in class as part of the Primary health & wellbeing programme, along with other types of bullying. Local police support the delivery of the school’s anti-bullying message, and it is supplemented with resources such as ‘Getting the Lowdown’.