Liberton Primary School
Equality, Diversity and
Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedures
2013 – 2017
Our School’s Values and Beliefs
All pupils and staff have the right to feel happy, safe and included.
Our shared values of mutual respect between staff and pupils, high expectations of success within a caring and supportive environment form the basis of our positive school ethos. Within our wider school community, we promote tolerance and understanding of one another and value diversity.
We are committed to advancing equality of opportunity for all and we work actively towards eliminating all forms of bullying and discrimination. We actively foster good relations between diverse groups and individuals.
We recognise that certain individuals and groups in society experience disadvantage, prejudice or discrimination on account of their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender change, looked-after status, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio economic status or any combination of these.
- Bullying is an abuse of power that is defined by its effects. People who are bullied are upset by something someone else has done or said to them or about them. They are likely to fear that this will happen again and feel powerless to stop it. Cyber-bullying is bullying behaviour that takes place via mobile phone or over the internet through emails, instant messaging and social networking websites.
- Bullying can make you feel frightened, threatened, left out and hurt. Something only needs to happen once for you to feel worried or scared to go to school or other places you enjoy going to. Just because someone doesn’t realise how hurtful their behaviour is doesn’t mean its not bullying (RespectMe)
We use the legal definition of ‘equalities’ which gives protection to people who have specific characteristics – for example being gay, lesbian or bisexual or from a minority ethnic group or disabled or old. It also includes boys and girls and anyone undergoing gender change, as well as those of particular faith groups. The Equality Act 2010 defines these as ‘protected groups’. Looked-after children, young carers and children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are also included as equalities groups.
The Head Teacher is responsible for introducing and implementing this policy. However all staff, all pupils and their parents have an active part to play in the development and maintenance of the policy, and in its success.
Pupils are expected to
- Report all incidents of bullying and suspected incidents that other children may be afraid to report
- Support each other and to seek help to ensure that everyone feels safe, and nobody feels excluded or afraid in school.
Teachers are expected to be proactive, to treat all allegations seriously and keep records.
Parents can help by
- Supporting our anti-bullying policy and procedures.
- Encouraging their children to be positive members of the school community.
- Discussing with their child’s teacher any concerns that their child may be experiencing
- Helping to establish an anti-bullying culture outside of school.
- Speaking to the Head Teacher if their concerns are serious and ongoing.
Management Teams are expected to
- Monitor and report annually on the implementation of this policy.
- Supervise the review and updating of this policy at least every four years.
CONCERNS, COMPLAINTS … AND COMPLIMENTS
We recognise that there may be times when parents feel that we have not dealt well with an incident of bullying and we ask that this be brought to the Head Teacher’s notice. If the Head Teacher cannot resolve these concerns informally, parents can raise their concerns more formally through the City of Edinburgh Complaints Procedure. Guidance on this is available from the school and council websites and the school office. If early resolution at this stage is not achieved, then the matter can be referred to the Department’s Advice and Conciliation Service. We are also pleased to receive compliments – feedback from parents when things have gone well.
COMMUNICATING THIS POLICY
- We advertise our anti-bullying, equality and diversity policy on the school web-site
- The policy will be shown on posters which may also tell pupils about other sources of confidential help
- We provide guidance to all our pupils to explain what they should do if they are being bullied, or if they see another pupil being bullied through assemblies, posters and classroom discussions.
EVALUATING AND REVIEWING OUR POLICY
We evaluate this policy using the following measures:
- The number of incidents that are reported to staff over a given period.
- Rates of attendance, exclusions attainment and achievement of pupils in protected groups.
- We investigate patterns of absence to ensure that children are not taking unnecessary days off school due to fear of being bullied.
- The number of complaints and compliments that we receive from parents.
- From the comments made by visitors and other people connected with the school.
- The policy and procedures will be reviewed every 4 years.
A variety of approaches are in place to implement this policy.
- We remind pupils at least twice a year about how our school deals with bullying, including cyberbullying.
- Periodic poster campaigns will be used to remind pupils that bullying and discrimination are not acceptable, and tells them what to do if they are bullied.
- There are public, accessible welcoming messages throughout the school in a range of languages.
- We use evaluation tools which measure ethos, relationships and confidence in schools, such as pupil
- Well-being questionnaires, pupil focus groups and bullying surveys.
- We involve other agencies and partners in supporting the wellbeing of our pupils.
- The school holds diversity and anti-bullying days, weeks and assemblies and publishes its work.
- A pupils’ comments box is in a discreet place where a pupil being bullied feels safe
- Training opportunities are promoted to staff and parents that explore the development of self-esteem confidence, attachment, empathy, resilience and problem solving skills.
- There are buddy systems, especially at points of transition.
- The school supports nurture and friendship groups
- A Seasons for Growth programme supports children experiencing change and loss.
- Children in our school experience Circle Time which is used to share feelings and concerns.
- Bullying and equalities issues are discussed by our Pupil Council..
- Playground supervision is regularly reviewed to be alert to bullying and discrimination.
- Our staff are supported in accessing professional development opportunities that increase their awareness and understanding of bullying, prejudice and discrimination.
The Curriculum for Excellence is used to:
- Increase knowledge of children’s rights and responsibilities as responsible citizens
- Provide age-appropriate reading materials and resources that provide a balanced diversity, e.g. family structures that include single parents, ethnic minorities, disabled people and same-sex parents.
- Monitor and improve where needed the attainment and achievement of pupils in protected groups to develop successful learners
- Ensure that children and young people in protected groups are appropriately included in developing pupil participation as effective contributors.
- Build resilience and empathy in young people as confident individuals
- Raise awareness about bullying and our Equality, Diversity and Anti-Bullying Policy across a range of school subjects.
WHAT WE DO WHEN BULLYING OCCURS
A child may not be engaging consciously in bullying behaviour, but its impact is still felt and this is taken seriously. Pupils who experience bullying or discrimination will be listened to and supported.
Pupils who engage in bullying behaviour or discrimination will be treated fairly and consistently using a range of measures.
Some examples of our strategies are:-
- Restorative practices, including acknowledging grievances
- Involvement of parent/carer where appropriate
- Involvement of other agencies and partners in health, police and voluntary sector
- De-escalation strategies
- Physical separation of person/people bullying, where necessary and possible
- Alternative safe area where possible
- Sanctions, including loss of privileges in line with Liberton Primary School Discipline for Learning Policy
- Assessment of additional support needs for person being bullied or person bullying.
- Referral to specific support service, such as Educational Psychologist, Education Welfare Service, Social Work service or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Exclusion from school is not itself a sanction or punishment for bullying behaviour and will only be used as a last resort
Our support to pupils who are bullied or discriminated against
- They are reassured that they do not deserve this and it is not their fault.
- We assure them that it was right to report the incident.
- We encourage them to talk about how they feel and try to ascertain the extent of the problem.
- We engage them in making choices about how the matter may be resolved
- We discuss strategies for being safe and staying safe
- We ask them to report immediately any further incidents to us
- We affirm that it can be stopped and that we will persist with intervention until it does
Our work with pupils who bully others
- We interview the pupil (or pupils) involved in bullying separately.
- We follow up after incidents to check that the bullying has not started again. We do this within two weeks, and again during the following half term.
- We work with pupils who have been involved in bullying others to ascertain the sort of support that they need.
- We listen to their version of events and talk to anyone who may have witnessed the bullying.
- We reinforce the message that bullying is not acceptable, and that we expect it to stop.
- We seek a commitment to this end.
- We affirm that it is right for pupils to let us know when they are being bullied.
- We consider sanctions under Liberton Primary’s Discipline for Learning Policy.
- We advise pupils responsible for bullying that we check to ensure that bullying stops.
- We ensure that those involved know that we have done so.
- When bullying occurs, we contact the parents of the pupils involved at an early stage.
Reporting and Recording Incidents
- Pupils who have been bullied, or pupils who see others being bullied, should report this to any member of staff who will report this to a member of the Senior Management Team.
- Members of staff who receive reports that a pupil has been bullied should report this to a member of the Senior Management Team.
- Reports of bullying are logged by the Headteacher.
- Records are kept by the Headteacher.
All incidents are recorded and acts of bullying or discrimination on ground of race, disability, gender, faith and sexual orientation are of equal concern and are all clearly distinguishable
We send annual reports of incidents to our departmental equalities colleagues on request.
CYBERBULLYING AND BULLYING OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL PREMISES
We know that bullying can occur outside the school gates and via mobile phones and social network internet sites. The bullying may be done by pupils from our own school, by pupils from other schools or by people who are not at school at all. Where a pupil or parent tells us of bullying off the school premises we will:
- Talk to pupils about how to avoid or handle bullying outside of school.
- Talk to the Headteacher of another school whose pupils are allegedly bullying.
- Consider additional support, police involvement and Child Protection procedures
We examine and use all available information to ensure that the promotion of equality and anti-bullying issues are contained within our development plans.
EQUALITY IMPACTS ANALYSIS
When reviewing or creating any new policies or services within our school, we give due regard to all protected groups and consider whether any individual or group might experience a particularly positive or negative impact. We keep a record of this and where necessary we take steps to reduce any negative impact.
We actively encourage all our young people to participate in school and extra-curricular activities and we take positive action to make sure that the diverse school population is represented in activities, surveys and our student council.
GATHERING AND MONITORING INFORMATION
- Our school routinely monitors attainment of pupils by ethnicity and gender. We are also committed to developing measures for monitoring the achievements of our looked-after and disabled pupils.
- We also monitor attendance and exclusion of pupils by ethnicity, disability and gender.
- We examine our annual records of incidents and survey information
- We use information from surveys of pupils’ views and opinions
- We take active steps to ensure that all data held on pupils’ disabilities, ethnicity, caring and looked-after status is accurate and regularly reviewed.
You may wish, finally, to refer to other relevant school policies. For example:
This policy links with a number of other policies:
- Discipline for Learning Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Complaints Policy
These policies are available from the school office.