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Impington Village College

Bullying

Bullying is defined as persistent, deliberate attempts to hurt or humiliate someone. One-off Incidents; whilst they may be very serious and must always be dealt with, do not fall within the definition of bullying. Bullying is repetitive, meaning either that an individual conducts the same pattern of bullying behaviour towards different children or that one or more children are targeted to bear the brunt of repeated bullying behaviour from an individual or a group. Bullying can be carried out physically, verbally, emotionally or through the use of technologies.

Bullying can include persistent, deliberate attempts to hurt or humiliate someone through:

  • Emotional - Excluding and tormenting others
  • Physical - Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  • Racist - Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual - Sexual harassment in any form is bullying e.g. unwanted physical contact  sexually
  • Abusive comments
  • Homophobic - Because of, or focussing on, the issue of sexual orientation
  • Verbal - Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
  • Cyber - All types of communication technologies, such as e-mail, texting, messaging and social networking
  • Prejudice - On the grounds of different interests (or difference/inferior economic status) i.e. students can be bullied for being interested in things considered ‘uncool’ by a group or ‘in-crowd’, including prejudice against students with SEND.

Bullying in any form is unacceptable. It can occur in any school institution, even the most caring and is always unacceptable and will be dealt with. The College is strongly committed to ensuring that bullying does not take place. Where issues of bullying take place out of College and the College is made aware of this and then it would be necessary to act on that information to ensure the positive welfare of students. It may be that parents (or other agencies such as the police) are contacted to pass on information that has been given to the College. It may also, on occasion, be necessary to take some actions in College to ensure good conduct of students in College.

The College e-safety guidance also sets out how students can keep safe when online or using electronic media and how the College may respond in instances involving inappropriate use of such media.

How issues of bullying may be followed up:

If bullying is found to occur, it must always be dealt with. When staff are aware of this they must always follow it up, either directly or through referral to the Assistant Principal - Discipline and Alternative Provision. It is usually the case that issues of bullying or potential bullying would be highlighted to the relevant Head of House or House Manager. Where verbal and/or physical bullying occurs, the sanctions would be in line with the behaviour policy. Appropriate sanctions will be used for any other forms of bullying.

The aims must always be:

1. To stop the bullying

2. To support the victim

3. To change the behaviour of the person bullying

4. To bring some form of reconciliation between the offender and victim

Action to be taken when bullying is suspected:

If bullying is suspected we talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses. If any degree of bullying is identified, the following action will be taken: -

We support the victims in the following ways:

  • By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with the students and an appropriate member of staff
  • Informing the victims' parents
  • By offering continuing support when they feel they need it
  • By taking steps described below to prevent more bullying

We also discipline, yet try to help the person bullying in the following ways:

  • By talking about what happened, to discover why they became involved
  • Informing the parents of the offending behaviour
  • By continuing to work with the offending student in order to correct their bullying activities and attitudes
  • By taking disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying
  • By working with students to achieve restorative justice

Disciplinary steps for a student involved in bullying:

  • They will be warned officially to stop offending and appropriate sanctions will be given, depending on the individual circumstances
  • The parents of the offending student will be informed
  • If they do not stop bullying they may be isolated within the College during break and lunchtime or excluded for a fixed period
  • If they then carry on they will be recommended for a longer fixed period of exclusion
  • As with any persistent poor behaviour, an escalating scale of support and sanctions will be used
  • Issues involving bullying will be logged and these logs will be reviewed to check for patterns and trends

Curriculum Support

The Anti-bullying Policy is supported across the curriculum in a number of subject areas and in cross curricular initiative ways, including:

  • tutor based activities
  • PSHE work
  • assembly programme
  • subject specific schemes of work
  • cross-curricular collaboration
  • citizenship curriculum e.g. student union
  • work with external agencies and theatre companies
  • The College works closely with CREDS (Cambridge Race Equality and Diversity Service
  • The College works with appropriate external agencies, for example, Kite Trust, to support the development of knowledge and to raise awareness about issues with homophobia.  Kite Trust is a local support and education organisation addressing homophobia

Implementation of this policy takes into account the following principles of good practice.

  • the self-esteem of children and young people is promoted
  • projects involve the active commitment of more than one member of staff confidentially is observed by all
  • clear objectives and ground rules are established for all aspects of the project through discussion and agreement
  • criteria are established for selecting peer supporters
  • parents are informed about the project and their children’s participation
  • Sixth Form mentors are available to work with and support students here at Impington