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Edmund Rice College, Glengormley


Definition of Bullying

The term “Bullying” is taken to refer to behaviour which involves wilful intent on the part of a person or persons, to threaten, frighten or hurt one or more others.
Aims of the Policy

The aim of this policy is to propose guide-lines/measures, which should help our school

1. Prevent Bullying.
2. Identify victims.
3. Deal effectively with bullying as it arises.

1. Prevention

Our school acknowledges that vigilance must be part of our preventative strategy. This takes the form of

(a) Spot checks in areas of the school during the day.

(b) Presence of teachers during break-time.

(c) Presence of lunchtime supervisors and senior management at lunch-time in the canteen and school yard.

As part of our preventative strategy, the school curriculum will provide opportunities for developing the capacity to empathise. The whole subject of bullying will be studied across a number of subject areas but particularly in the Personal and Social Education class.

Teachers will also encourage pupils to speak out when they are being bullied or when they are aware of bullying incidents involving others.

We foster in our pupils self esteem, self respect and respect for others.

2. To identify victims

(a) We recognise we must be vigilant with regard to the behaviour of pupils, for tell tale signs of bullying especially those who are more obviously vulnerable.

(b) In most cases, our form teachers remain with their form group for 5 years, thus getting to know them well and recognising symptoms of bullying.

(c) Another aspect of our pastoral provision, which should greatly facilitate the identification of victims, is the school’s counselling system. Each form teacher/ counsellor is given one period per week to talk to/counsel each member of his/her form group.

(d) The help of ancillary staff will be enlisted in the task of victim identification. Caretakers, lunchtime supervisors, canteen staff and technicians will be encouraged to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious regarding victims of bullying to teaching staff or Senior Management.

3. Dealing with Bullying

When a bullying incident has occurred and both victim and bully have been identified, the following steps will be taken.

(a) Concern and sympathy will be shown to the victim with a view to reassuring him of our support.

(b) Sanctions will be imposed against the bully and the unacceptable nature of his behaviour will be explained.

(c) Senior Management will be informed of the matter.

(d) Either a member of the Senior Management Team or the involved/investigating teacher will contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) of both victim and bully.

(e) Form teachers of both bully and victims will be encouraged to be vigilant and to keep good lines of communication open between themselves and these pupils.

(f) Bullying incidents will be recorded on incident sheets and placed in the files of both bully(ies) and victim(s).