Anti-Bullying Policy 2017-2018

CCDA takes a no-tolerance approach to bullying Students and parents should be assured that known incidents of bullying will be responded to. The ethos of CCDA fosters high expectations of outstanding behaviour and we will consistently challenge any behaviour that falls below this.

Objectives of this Policy

  • To increase the understanding of what constitutes bullying to all teaching and non-teaching staff, students and parents.
  • To ensure all teaching and non-teaching staff understand the CCDA policy on bullying, and procedure to be followed in an incident of reported bullying.
  • All students and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying and what they should do if bullying arises. All of us have encountered bullying at some point in our lives, but we all deal with it differently. The aim of this policy is to work together to ensure that our school is a safe place for children and adults to be; whether the school community is directly or indirectly affected by bullying or not.

CCDA Teachers & Helpers duties with respect to policy.

CCDA must be certain it has occurred within class time and at the school for us to take action. Any initial offence will be dealt with immediately be a member of staff and logged in the Behaviour Log, as well as the Principal being notified; further action may be required depending on the nature of the bullying and seriousness of the offence. Should the action be deemed serious enough, discussion with the child(ren) and their parent/guardian and an official warning will be given – any repeat bullying caught by a member of staff will result in the child(ren) being asked to leave the school with immediate effect.

During and after the incident(s) have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be recorded in the Behaviour Log and monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

CCDA Teachers will be vigilant regarding groups of friends together. Friendship groups may bring about the imbalance of power and must be led towards welcoming others to join them and not excluding others from their group. Staff must reinforce a general message that children do not have to be friends with everyone else, but they must be respectful of everyone else’s feelings and be kind to each other.

Recording of Bullying Incidents

General incidences of bullying will be recorded in the Behaviour Log by the teacher or helper who witnessed it. This would include incidents where staff has had to become involved and speak with children, and/or where parents have raised concerns regarding bullying. Confirmed cases of bullying will be recorded. All incidents of bullying will be discussed with all relevant staff and parents of the children involved, in order that everyone can be vigilant and that further incidents by the same child(ren) may be prevented from happening in the future.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is unacceptable behaviour used by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, which intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. In other words, bullying at TKFDA is considered to be, “unacceptable behaviour that occurs ‘lots of times and on purpose’.”

Bullying can be defined in many ways:

  • Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, biting, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  • Racial – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
  • Homophobic – because of, or focus on the issue of sexuality direct or indirect
  • Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
  • Cyberbullying – all areas of the internet such as email and internet chat Twitter, Facebook misuse, mobile threats by text messaging and calls
  • Misuse of associated technology – i.e. phones, games consoles, iPads etc…

Bullying may be related to:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • SEN or disability
  • Appearance or health condition
  • Home circumstances, including young carers and poverty
  • Sexual orientation, sexism, or sexual bullying, homophobia

Bullying could take place in the dance studio, changing rooms, toilets, on the journey to and from dance school and online.

Perpetrators and Victims

Bullying takes place where there is an imbalance of power of one person or persons over another. This can be achieved by:

  • The size of the individual
  • The strength of the individual
  • The numbers or group size involved
  • Anonymity – through the use of cyberbullying or using email, social networking sites, texts etc…

CCDA teachers and helpers must remain vigilant about bullying behaviours and approach this in the same way as any other category of child abuse; that is, do not wait to be told before you raise concerns or deal directly with the matter, as children may not be aware.

CCDA teachers and helpers will subject to data protection permission  be aware of those children who may be vulnerable students; those coming from troubled families, or those responding to emotional problems or mental health issues which may bring about a propensity to be unkind to others, or may make them more likely to fall victim to the behaviour of others.

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

  • Bullying hurts.
  • No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
  • Bullying has the potential to damage the mental health of a victim.
  • Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
  • Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

Signs and Symptoms

A child 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 child:

  • Is frightened of walking to or from dance school
  • Begs to be driven to dance school
  • Changes their usual routine
  • Is unwilling to go to classes
  • 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 or has nightmares
  • Feels ill in the morning
  • Begins to make less effort with school work than previously
  • Comes home with uniform torn or damaged
  • Has possessions which are damaged or ” go missing”
  • Asks for money or starts stealing money
  • Has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Comes home hungry or thirsty (money/drink/lunch has been stolen)
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Is bullying other children 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 or mobile phone
  • Is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Becoming short tempered
  • Change in attitude to people at home

These signs and behaviours could indicate other social, emotional and/or mental health problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Outcomes & Sanctions

  • All known/reported incidences of bullying will be investigated by the class teacher or by a Principal.
  • Parents of the perpetrator may also be questioned about the incident or about any concerns that they may be having.
  • The child displaying unacceptable behaviour may be asked to genuinely apologise (as appropriate to the child’s age and level of understanding)
  • Other consequences may take place i.e. a parent being informed about their child’s behaviour and a request that the parents support the school with any sanctions that it takes. Wherever possible, the students will be reconciled.

If a child feels that they are being bullied then there are several procedures that they are encouraged to follow: (not hierarchical)

  • Tell a friend
  • Tell your teacher
  • Tell a member of staff or adult whom you feel you can trust
  • Tell a parent or adult at home whom you feel you can trust
  • Ring Childline and follow the advice given

Advice to Parents

As the parent of a child whom you suspect is being bullied- Report bullying incidents to the class teacher; the incidents will be recorded by staff and the Principal notified. In serious cases, parents should be informed and will be asked to come into a meeting to discuss the problem.  If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly. An attempt will be made to help the child using unacceptable behaviour towards others, to change their behaviour.

Do Not:

  1. Attempt to sort the problem out yourself by speaking to the child whom you think may be behaving inappropriately towards your child or by speaking to their parents.
  2. Encourage your child to be ‘a bully’ back.

Both of these will only make the problem much harder to solve.