Anti-Bullying

The Senior Leader responsible for Anti-Bullying Policy is Kim Stephens
The Governor responsible for Anti-bullying Policy at Burton Borough is John Sullivan

Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable. We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils at Burton Borough School so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

Why do we need an Anti-Bullying Policy?

Persistent bullying can severely inhibit a child’s ability to learn effectively. The negative effects of bullying can have an impact on a person for their entire life. This school wishes to promote a secure and happy environment free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behaviour. This policy promotes practices within the school to reinforce our vision, and to remove or discourage practices that negate them.

The Burton Borough School Agreed definition of Bullying

Students and Staff at Burton Borough School have met in PD days, assemblies and Tutor time to agree the BBS definition of bullying. This has been agreed as:

Bullying is the deliberate and repeated attempt by a person (or group of people) to physically or emotionally hurt another person (or group of people).

It is intimidating and it can be illegal. It can happen face-to-face or online

It includes:

  • Peer pressure
  • Body shaming
  • Name-calling and taunting
  • Any kind of behaviour that the victim is frightened to report
  • Gossiping about and deliberately excluding from friendships
  • Bodily contact which is aggressive or hurtful
  • Taking personal belongings
  • Sending offensive or hurtful information on social media
  • Any form of extortion

Burton Borough School has clear strategies for responding to bullying incidents. These may include outcomes from the school sanction system as detailed within the school behaviour policy. The consequences of bullying will reflect the seriousness of the incident.  All sanctions will be applied fairly, consistently, and reasonably – after careful consideration of possible contributing factors such as special educational needs, disabilities or other vulnerabilities of both the victim and perpetrator.

The school will support the victim upon finding out about bullying but will also seek to work with the perpetrator of the bullying in order prevent further incidents in the future.

Reporting Bullying

Flow chart for responding to incidents of bullying can be found at the top of the page on the 'Flowchart' tab.

Students can report bullying of themselves or someone else in the following ways:

  • Speak to your Tutor
  • Speak to you Small School Team
  • Speaking to your Head of School
  • Speaking to the Designated (or Deputy) Safeguarding Lead
  • Speak to a peer Well-Being Mentor
  • Report it on Tootoot.co.uk
  • Email speakout.bbs@taw.org.uk
  • Importantly, students are reminded that they can speak to any member of staff in school they trust
  • Speaking to your parent and asking them to pass on the information to the school.
  • Speak to Mrs Stephens, the Senior Leader responsible for Anti-Bullying at Burton Borough

Parents/Carers can report bullying of their child or someone else’s in the following ways:

  • Contacting their child’s Form Tutor by email, telephone, meeting)
  • Contacting their child’s small school office
  • Contacting the Head of Small School
  • Email speakout.bbs@taw.org.uk
  • Email Kim Stephens, the Senior Leader responsible for Anti-Bullying at Burton Borough on kim.stephens@taw.org.uk
  • Importantly, parents/carers are reminded that they can speak to any member of staff in school regarding this. Staff will pass this on to the Pastoral Team.

Investigation

The investigation into the bullying incident(s) will be conducted by the most appropriate member of staff, depending on the severity of the allegation. This may include the Assistant School Manager, School Manager, Learning Mentor or Head of Small School, or may include external agencies such as the Police.

Any investigation in to alleged bullying will be discreet, sensitive, timely and thorough. The exact timeline of investigations will vary depending on the scenario but will usually include:

  • The victims will be talked to along with other witnesses and statements will be taken
  • The accused will be talked to, to get their version of events
  • Other staff, students and parents will be involved, where needed
  • Parents/carers will be kept fully aware
  • A record will be placed in all the involved students’ files
  • All students will be made aware that such behaviour will not be tolerated

Outcomes

  • The student who has been bullied will be offered support if they feel they need it. This may depend on the nature and severity of the incident and may include peer Well-being Mentors, ELSA support, school counselling or in more extreme cases, referral to external agencies such as CAMHS.
  • Students who have displayed bullying behaviour will be issued sanctions in line with the school behaviour policy. These sanctions range from detentions to fixed and even permanent exclusion where it is deemed bullying has been extreme and particularly damaging.
  • Parents of those bullied and bullying will be notified of the outcomes of the investigation.
  • A restorative meeting will be set up to take place as soon as possible. This is the process where both parties get an opportunity to achieve closure through mediation by trained staff and/or students.
  • Details of the resources provided to students before restorative meetings can be found here

Response to Bullying

Incident Occurs
Incident reported to Small School in person, by email or on Tootoot

Written Statements Taken by Small School Team
Call to parents to inform them of incident and to inform of next steps.

Statements taken from all parties including:

Alleged victim
Alleged perpetrator
All Witnesses

These must be taken in writing and followed up by a formal conversation with each student to clarify points on statement.

Outcome

Outcome/ Sanction agreed

All parents informed of outcome

Incident recorded fully on Bromcom

Victim Support

Restorative conversation

Referral to peer mentor/ ELSA as necessary

Make teachers aware and amend seating plans / timetable as necessary

Follow Up

Check in with victim and perpetrator to ensure all has resolved

 

Anti-Bullying Policy 

The Senior Leader responsible for Anti-Bullying policy at Burton Borough School is Kim Stephens.
The Governor responsible for Anti-bullying policy at Burton Borough School is John Sullivan.

Statement of Intent

Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable. We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils at Burton Borough School so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.

Why do we need an Anti-Bullying Policy?

Persistent bullying can severely inhibit a child’s ability to learn effectively. The negative effects of bullying can have an impact on a person for their entire life. This school wishes to promote a secure and happy environment free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behaviour. This policy promotes practices within the school to reinforce our vision, and to remove or discourage practices that negate them.

The Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 states that maintained schools must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. Although bullying is not a specific criminal offence in the UK, some types of harassing or threatening behaviour – or communications – could be a criminal offence.  For example, under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, any person who sends an electronic communication which conveys a message which is indecent or grossly offensive, a threat, or information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender, is guilty of an offence if their purpose in sending it was to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.

Definition of Bullying (as defined by Anti-bullying Alliance)

  • The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
  • Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.  
  • It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace
  • It can happen in school or whilst travelling to or from school

Students and Staff at Burton Borough School have met in PD days, assemblies and Tutor time to agree the BBS definition of bullying. This has been agreed as:
Bullying is the deliberate and repeated attempt by a person (or group of people) to physically or emotionally hurt another person (or group of people).

It is intimidating and it can be illegal. It can happen face-to-face or online

It includes:

  • Peer pressure
  • Body shaming
  • Name-calling and taunting
  • Any kind of behaviour that the victim is frightened to report
  • Gossiping about and deliberately excluding from friendships
  • Bodily contact which is aggressive or hurtful
  • Taking personal belongings
  • Sending offensive or hurtful information on social media
  • Any form of extortion

Specific Types of Bullying

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds of any of these characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion/belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation. These are often referred to as protected characteristics. Staff at BBS act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school of these protected groups.

Bullying related to special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities

Children and young people with SEN and disabilities are more at risk of bullying than their peers. Public bodies have new responsibilities to actively promote equality of opportunity for all disabled people and eliminate disability-related harassment. Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, whether in mainstream or special schools, do not always have the levels of social confidence and competence and the robust friendship bonds that can protect against bullying. Burton Borough recognises this and provides Hubs and Engage for use in social time as well as a Buddy Club for KS3 students. The ELSA also works with students who are struggling to develop robust friendship bonds. 

Bullying related to appearance or health conditions

Those with health or visible medical conditions, such as eczema, may be more likely than their peers to become targets for bullying behaviour. Perceived physical limitations, such as size and weight and other body image issues can result in bullying. Staff are trained to challenge all body-shaming. We also provide information and education to students about health conditions such as allergies, so that students are better informed. 

Bullying related to sexual orientation

Evidence of homophobic bullying suggests that children and young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (trans) person (or perceived to be) face a higher risk of victimisation than their peers. Homophobic bullying is perhaps the form of bullying least likely to be self-reported, since disclosure carries risks not associated with other forms of bullying.  People do not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans to suffer homophobic bullying. This bullying not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same group. It may be based on gender stereotyping.  At Burton Borough we provide a safe space in the Rainbow Room for LGBTQi+ students to feel part of a supportive community. We actively encourage students to anonymously report all bullying or discrimination on Tootoot if they do not feel they can do so in person.

Bullying of young carers or looked-after children, or otherwise linked to home circumstances

Children may be made vulnerable to bullying by the fact that they provide care to someone in their family with an illness, disability, mental health or substance misuse problem. Young carers may be taking on practical and emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. Research has highlighted the difficulties young carers face, including risks of ill-health, stress and tiredness, especially when they care through the night. Many feel bullied or isolated. Children in care may also be vulnerable to bullying for a variety of reasons, such as not living with their birth parents or because they have fallen behind in their studies.  Some students are heavily influenced by their communities or homes where bullying and abuse may be common. Some bullying at school may arise from trauma or instability at home related to issues of domestic violence or bereavement or from the experience of being part of a refugee family. Siblings of vulnerable children may themselves be the subject of bullying by association. BBS works closely with Telford Young Carers to support these students. 

Sexist or Sexual bullying

Sexist and sexual bullying affects both genders. Boys may be victims as well as girls, and both sexes may be victims of their own sex. Sexual bullying may be characterised by name calling, comments and overt “looks” about appearance, attractiveness and emerging puberty. In addition, uninvited touching, innuendos and propositions, pornographic imagery or graffiti may be used.

Bullying Related to Race, Religion or Culture

Some surveys across the UK have found that a high proportion of bullied students have experienced racist or faith-based bullying. Recent political and social issues also appear to have been a factor in bullying and harassment. There is research to support the suggestion that where black and minority ethnic (BME) children experience bullying, it is more likely to be severe bullying. BBS works with TAARC (Telford African and Afro-Carribean Centre) to provide a monthly support club for students of African Heritage. We develop the education of all students by providing a Religious Studies education to all students to Y11. We also improve education through assemblies, such as ensuring all students are aware of Ramadan and how that will affect their peers. 

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a “method” of bullying, rather than a “type” of bullying. It includes bullying via text message; via instant messenger services and social network sites; via email; and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread via mobile phone. It can take the form of any of the previously discussed types of bullying – i.e. technology can be used to bully for reasons of race, religion, sexuality, disability etc. Though the evidence base is narrow, UK studies indicate that around 20% of children and young people have suffered cyberbullying. Unlike other forms of bullying, cyberbullying can affect a child for 24 hours a day and invade their personal space and even enter the ‘safe’ home environment. Every year, BBS students take part in Safer Internet Day. The safe use of the internet is also a part of the Y7 computer studies curriculum. 

Recognising Bullying

It is often hard to tell if a student is being bullied. However, some signs that a student is being bullied may be:

  • Changes in academic performance
  • Appears anxious
  • Regularly feeling sick or unwell. Wanting to visit first aid regularly. 
  • Reluctance to come to school. 
  • Clothes/bags torn or damaged. 
  • Money/possessions going missing. 
  • Unexplained cuts and bruises. 
  • Unexplained behaviour changes, e.g. moody, bad-tempered, tearful, unhappiness. 
  • Loss of appetite, not sleeping, loss of weight 
  • Seen alone a lot 
  • Not very talkative

Preventing and Responding to Bullying

At Burton Borough School, we want to create a whole school culture where bullying is not tolerated and any incidents will be dealt with quickly and robustly. We believe that eliminating bullying requires all stakeholders to challenge discriminatory language and to model acceptable behaviour. This will only be achieved if we work hard to prevent bullying alongside taking action when bullying is disclosed. We will achieve this by:

  1. Prevention and Education
    1. Having a highly effective and unique small school system. All students are part of one of 3 small schools with each small school providing 4 non-teaching pastoral staff (School Manager, Assistant School Manager, PP Mentor and SEND Mentor) and a Head of Small School (at Assistant Principal, senior leadership team level). This means that students are supported as one of only 400 students in a small school and within that system some students will receive more personalised support from a specific mentor. The small school staff work closely with students and parents to address all academic and pastoral issues. This system of personalised support creates established relationships of trust between families and pastoral teams and means that incidents of bullying are reported in a clear and timely manner. 

      All students are part of a vertical tutor group where a sense of community is fostered and relationships are developed between students from different year groups. This further extends the support network around the school for students.

      We also have established systems of student support, including our Gold Carnegie Award recognised Mental Health provision, which supports victims of bullying. 
    2. Code of conduct developed by the Student Council showing clear expectations of behaviour at Burton Borough School
    3. Bullying Prevention Work Group with representatives of students, staff, governors and parents established to ensure transparency and relevance of anti-bullying actions
    4. Member of the Anti-bullying Alliance – this includes taking part in Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day as well as United Against Bullying Programme. 
    5. Audit of students and questionnaire of students’ views as part of United Against Bullying Programme
    6. Part of PSHE/RSE curriculum each half-term.

      In these sessions’ students are taught about the topic of bullying and how to take a stance against it. Bullying is covered in the PSHE scheme for learning as follows:

      Year 7
      Uniqueness - Autumn 1
      Friendships / Breakdown of friendships- Autumn 1
      Peer Pressure- Spring 2
      Prejudice / Diversity / Unacceptable Language - Summer 2

      Year 8
      Friendships / Breakdown – Autumn 1
      Peer Pressure – Spring ½
      Cyber Bullying – EEL Day Spring 1
      Gangs – Summer 2

      Year 9
      Peer Pressure – Autumn 2
      Prejudice / Unacceptable language – Summer 2
      Mental Health – PSHE EEL day

      Year 10
      Mental Health – Spring 1
      Positive/ Negative relationships/ Harassment – Spring 2
      Peer Pressure – Summer 2
      Domestic abuse – PSHE EEL day (Autumn 2)

      Year 11
      Peer Pressure – Spring 1
      Mental Health – Spring 2

       
    7. Assemblies- Students receive regular bullying assemblies from the Senior Leadership Team and the local police. These are calendared into the school year and focus specifically on matters such as Homophobic bullying, sexting, and matters that arise during the school year.
    8. Information about bullying is prominently displayed in the PSD, on classroom walls, around the school, and in the school’s outward face through its website, twitter feed, and newsletters
    9. Training Lunchtime Supervisors so that they are familiar with ways of managing student behaviour and are valued by staff and students. 
    10. Unacceptable language – we have agreed a list of words that are not tolerated at Burton Borough and which will be challenged and sanctioned by staff. 
    11. Role of the bystander – through assemblies, tutor time and PSHE we reinforce the need to ‘call it out’. We inform students that if they do not say anything then they are complicit in the bullying.
       
  2. Spaces and Places
    1. Working with students to identify any areas within school or the community where students feel scared, threatened or anxious. Work with the police to raise awareness of these areas with the community.
    2. Responding to all reported bullying on buses or whilst walking to and from school.
    3. Running lunchtime clubs and having a ‘Quiet Room’ and using the Learning Support department, using the Library at Breaks and Lunchtimes, and using the Music Block all of which supports vulnerable students in informally supervised areas.
       
  3. Restorative Action
    1. In addition to a sanction for bullying, students will be given restorative education. 
    2. Pastoral Staff receive restorative action training
       
  4. Reactive strategies 
    We encourage students to report all incidents of bullying and unacceptable language either through the Pastoral Offices, through their tutors, through a Peer Wellbeing Mentor or via speakout.bbs@taw.org.uk. We have also provided www.Tootoot.co.uk as an app for students to report incidents of bullying. All students have a unique login for this website. 

    When there is an incident of bullying reported we:
    1. Respond quickly
    2. clearly explain next steps to parents and students
    3. Recorded all incidents of perceived bullying onto Bromcom
    4. Put in place risk assessments and anti-bullying contracts, where applicable, that clearly outline an individual student’s expectations
    5. Address wider issue with social group/year group
    6. Put in place mental health support for the victim
    7. Provide Respite provision on school site where a bullied student is at risk of becoming a school refuser

We use direct sanctions because it sends a clear message that bullying is not tolerated. It is effective in stopping and preventing bullying.

There is a need to be flexible in adapting sanctions to fit the age, incident, severity and frequency of incidents and that also takes into account the type of bullying.
Direct Sanctions can include the following:

  • Verbal reprimands
  • Being placed on a report with a behaviour focus
  • Meetings with parents
  • Temporary removal from class
  • Withdrawal of privileges
  • School Community Service
  • Detentions
  • Internal exclusion
  • Fixed Term exclusion
  • Managed move to another school
  • Permanent Exclusion