Raising awareness through the curriculum
- Bullying is a major element of the Be Smart programme so that students are aware that bullying behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
- Form tutors and the pastoral staff are encouraged to discuss bullying as and when appropriate.
- Assemblies are periodically used as a vehicle for raising awareness, using relevant examples.
Dealing with incidents
- All incidents are treated seriously by staff and referred to the pastoral staff/senior member of staff as soon as possible.
- Written statements are taken from all students involved.
- Both the ‘victim’ and the ‘bully’ are made aware that the school views any instance of bullying very seriously.
- It is imperative that the victim is supported and is given help.
- Every effort must be made to resolve the situation immediately. Where appropriate, ‘victim’ and ‘bully’ should be brought together to discuss the incident.
- Follow up procedures should check that the bullying has not resumed.
- The lead member of staff will judge the seriousness of the incident. In the case of a minor ‘one off’ incident, in which no physical harm is done, a reprimand may be sufficient. More serious or persistent cases will necessitate the involvement of the Principal. In these cases, parents must be informed and invited into school.
What to do if you think your child is being bullied?
It is really important that you talk to your child about the issues and try to gather as much information as possible, particularly the names of the bullies. It is also helpful to find out when and where the incident happened and the names of any witnesses. You should try to encourage your child to speak to a member of staff they feel comfortable with at school. With the permission of your child the bullying can then be investigated and dealt with.
What action will be taken by John Smeaton Academy if I report bullying?
At John Smeaton Academy we have a zero tolerance bullying policy. We do recognise, however, that confronting the bullies could make the situation worse. As long as the safety of your child or any other is not at risk we are happy to deal with the problem as your child wishes. This may mean simply monitoring the situation or we can do a full investigation. This will involve collecting statements from the all students concerned, including witnesses. On receiving these, we will do an investigation to establish the facts and from this sanctions will be given if necessary.
What support will my child receive if they are being bullied?
- Your child will receive daily support from their Pastoral Team.
- The offer of mentoring sessions will be given, either 1-1 or in a small group of students working on building resilience and confidence.
- We can also offer time out in our Personalised Support Centre which is a safe environment for our vulnerable students.
Once the incident has been dealt with, it is important that there are no further problems. The victim must be able to alert the Form Tutor/Behaviour Team of any repercussions and strategies should be put into place to allow this to happen. Similarly, the bully must be monitored so that no further incidents occur.
To ensure all students at John Smeaton Academy feel supported and their opinion valued. To support this, we have launched ‘Tell Us’: a new way for students to report any concerns, worries, or anxieties. Located in the top right-hand corner of the John Smeaton Academy website is an option labelled ‘Tell Us.’’
As part of our Anti-Bullying Policy, we have introduced this method of communication to ensure that students are instilled with the confidence to report things which they feel are not right. Reports can be made confidentially, but it is important that details of an incident or concern are made clearly. Examples of when to use this feature could be:
- Have you seen something or heard something that makes you feel uncomfortable?
- Do you know something that just doesn’t feel right?
- Do you want to tell us about an incident of bullying?
- Are you worried for a friend?
All contact made through this function is sent to a member of the Senior Leadership Team, who then liaise with our Year Group Teams to ensure that things are put in to place to support the student and resolve any issues.