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Anti-Bullying week is established in England and Wales by the Anit-Bullying Alliance and takes place between the 15th-19th November. This year’s theme is One Kind Word.
What is the point of Anti-Bullying Week?
- Within schools, Anit-Bullying week provides an opportunity to publicise anti-bullying resources, to ensure that teachers and students are aware of what to do if they find out someone is being bullied.
What is the colour for Anti-Bullying Week?
- Charities that support Anti-Bullying Week ask individuals to wear blue clothing on a set day to show their support for the campaign. The colour blue was chosen as it connotes sadness, and it is often considered to be symbolic of depression.
One Kind Word
The last couple of years have been tough due to Covid-19 with isolation and lockdown. However, it has also shown how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the life of the people around us. Even though people were at home there was still a sense of community established. For this reason, the theme of this year’s anti-bullying week is “One Kind Word”.
How will Kindness be embedded into Anti-Bullying Week?
Kindness is all about accepting that everyone has their own individuality and that this should be celebrated and not discriminated against. Teaching this to young children in the classroom may be difficult. However, the Anti-Bullying Association have teamed up with CBBC & CBeebies star Andy Day to promote anti-bullying week with the campaign “Odd Socks Day”. The idea is that anyone wants to get involved is to put on Odd Socks for the day. In addition, Andy and his band the Odd Socks will release a totally rocking tune to celebrate.
- The serious message behind the fun; is that we are showing everyone’s individuality and respecting each other’s uniqueness and differences.
Children need to understand what bullying is and how it can affect others.
- Bullying is any form of unacceptable treatment, or discrimination or behaviour intended to hurt or harm the reputation of another. It is sometimes described as an “abuse of power” but it is a desire in the bully to control or harm another person. The reasons for this desire can be complex.
There are numerous reasons why children decide to bully one another. They may be struggling with personal problems. Bullying may be the only way they are trying to deal with a difficult situation in their personal life, for example, parent’s divorcing, jealously or because they think that they will be seen as bigger and tougher, and it boosts their ego. Sometimes, they also believe that bullying can gain them, friends. This is not the case children need to be reminded that all forms of bullying and anti-social behaviour is unacceptable.
- Use the video down below to explain how bullying can affect one another with the simple activity.
Schools & Bullying
All UK state schools need to have an anti-bullying policy by law.
- The aim of the anti-bullying policy is to ensure that pupils can flourish and be educated in a safe and supported environment without fear of being different.
Key Points to remember:
- Every school in England must have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying, and it is a requirement that every school must have an Anti-Bullying Policy in place.
- Head Teachers have a specific “statutory power” to discipline pupils for poor behaviour outside the school premises.
- Invite pupils and teachers to be a part of the process of reviewing and updating the anti-bullying policy.
Bullying is unacceptable and affects everyone.
When an education provider has a clear and robust anti-bullying policy, it can help children and young people and families to feel assured that the school will take the bullying seriously.
What needs to be in the Policy?
The policy needs to outline the rights and responsibilities of the school’s approach to bullying and what they expect in terms of behaviour from the students. It requires ensuring that consequences are transparent so if a student is proven to be bullying, they understand the sanctions. Some of these sanctions could include warnings, isolation, detentions, exclusion, or police involvement. We would strongly advise that parents are informed and involved at every step.
It is important to ensure that the bullying policy has clear definitions of the different forms of bullying such as name-calling, social bullying or cyberbullying. Ensure that the policy has information on review dates and anti-bullying awareness events.
Staff training is crucial to a positive anti-bullying policy. When all school staff fully understand the purpose of the policy and what steps to take, then they will have confidence in this. They require knowing how to report bullying that is online and, when it becomes serious, to involve the police.
Why does a school need an Anti-Bullying policy?
We already know that bullying can have an impact on a child’s ability to learn effectively and on their mental health. All education providers should provide a secure and happy environment free from threats, harassment, and any type of bullying behaviour.
- Therefore, having a robust policy can help promote a safe space for children to learn and grow positively.
What does the law say?
Every school in England must have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying, and it is a requirement that every school must have an Anti-Bullying Policy as stated in Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
- There are several statutory obligations on schools in regard to behaviour that establish clear responsibilities on how to respond to bullying.
- It is expected that every school must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. These measures should be part of the school’s behaviour policy which, must be communicated to pupils, school staff and parents. It also gives Head Teachers the ability to ensure that pupils behave when they are not on school premises or under the lawful control of school staff.
School as a Whole
Outisde of School
Head Teachers have a specific statutory right and power to discipline pupils for poor behaviour off school grounds. It gives headteachers the power to regulate pupils’ conduct when they are not on school premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of the school’s staff. This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside local shops.
When bullying outside of school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. The headteacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify police or an antisocial coordinator in their local authority of the actions taken against the pupil. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or pose a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.
Invite the students and teachers to be a part of the process of reviewing and updating the anti-bullying policy. When everyone is involved, they are more likely to take the policy seriously and understand it.
Ensure that all staff including midday assistants, play staff and learning assistants are trained on the anti-bullying policy as often they can be the ones who spot the signs of a student experiencing bullying. Other tips include:
Involve parents so they understand the policy transparently. Parents are likely to spot the signs if their child is experiencing bullying and a clear policy can be reassuring and help them know how the school can deal with this
Involve pupils, so they feel confident and are clear about their role in helping to prevent bullying and know how to report it if they see it. Ensure the policy states that you take their privacy seriously and if they wish to not be named in reporting bullying this should be respected as much as possible.