Colne Valley High School takes bullying seriously and does not tolerate bullying behaviour of any kind. We aim to prevent bullying by developing a safe and supportive environment in which all pupils can feel secure. We encourage all pupils to tell an adult if they are being bullied. Students, parents and carers should understand that reporting bullying is essential and be assured that the school will support them fully when bullying is reported.
Bullying includes being teased about race, religion, culture, disability, social class, gender, sexuality, personal differences, performance at school or any other matter.
On this page you will find helpful advice on how to avoid being the subject or bullies and what to do if you find yourself the target of them.
What is bullying?
Bullying is defined as the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying is, therefore: deliberately hurtful; repeated, often over a period of time; difficult to defend against. The term bullying is therefore not appropriate when describing one off incidents, accidents, incidents without intent or friendship fallouts.
‘Bullying is the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone else’
There are different types of bullying:
- Psychological(being excluded from groups and rumours etc.)
- Cyber(abusive text messages, internet messages etc.)
- Verbal(threats, name calling, racism, homophobia etc.)
- Physical(punching, kicking, scratching, pushing, throwing objects at someone etc.)
Bullying invariably undermines self-confidence and initiative and can create a cycle of poor performance and further criticism, potentially causing depression, stress, mental or physical ill-health, with consequent absence from school or work.
Some forms of bullying may break the law and may be reported to the police by the school:
- Violence or assault
- Repeated harassment or intimidation, e.g. name calling, threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages, sexual harassment and peer on peer abuse
- Hate crimes – any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
What should you do if you are aware of bullying occurring?
- TELL someone you can trust! A problem becomes smaller if it is shared.
- WALK away if you can. It’s still hard to bully someone who won’t stand still.
- STAY with a crowd. Try not to be on your own at the times you don’t feel safe.
- KNOW and AVOID the “danger” areas.
- KEEP a record of what is happening.
- DON’T be embarrassed to ask for help. We all need it sometimes.
- TRY to support other victims.
Guide for parents/carers
- TALK to your child on a regular basis, so any problem is easier to share.
- LISTEN to what they say – and believe it.
- ENCOURAGE your child to feel good about themselves realising that we are all different and equally important.
- THINK back to your own childhood. How did YOU feel?
- IF you believe your child is being bullied or is a bully, talk to other adults at home or school and explore the options. Don’t stay silent.
- IF your child is a victim assure them that it’s not their fault, and that you ARE going to do something to help.
- BE realistic in your expectation if the school have agreed to sort it out. Ongoing problems may take time to resolve.
- TRY to be assertive with the school, not aggressive. Without a good working relationship between parents and the school the situation could deteriorate, which won’t help you or them.
- ALWAYS remember that children can’t solve bullying alone. They NEED support.
Response to bullying
All staff will:
- Be aware that students of any age and gender are capable of abusing their peers.
- Be aware that abuse can occur inside and outside of school settings.
- Be aware of the scale of harassment or abuse, and that just because it is not being reported does not mean it is not happening.
- Take all instances of child-on-child abuse equally seriously regardless of the characteristics of the perpetrators or victims.
- Never tolerate abuse as “banter” or “part of growing up”, and will never justify sexual harassment, e.g. as “boys being boys”, as this can foster a culture of unacceptable behaviours and one that risks normalising abuse.
- Be aware that child-on-child abuse can be manifested in many ways, including sexting, sexual harassment and assault, and hazing or initiation-type violence.
- Always challenge any harmful physical behaviour that is sexual in nature, such as inappropriate touching. Dismissing or tolerating such behaviours risks normalising them.
Students and parents should make school aware of any concerns surrounding bullying by contacting the child’s pastoral team (Form Tutor, Personal Development Co-ordinator and Achievement Co-ordinator).
Concerns can also be raised by contacting the school well-being team on: email@example.com
Helpful links for support
The websites listed below offer direct links to other sources of information for parents and young people.
Advisory Centre for Education: www.ace-ed.org.uk
Registered charity independent of central or local government giving free advice and support to parents of children in state schools.
BBC Schools: www.bbc.co.uk/schools
Includes information about bullying.
Bullying Online: www.bullying.co.uk
Useful information and links on bullying and related issues for parents, children and teachers.
Primarily a helpline for children but has useful information and links on bullying. Chips (Childline in Partnership with Schools) encourages schools to support students in setting up anti-bullying projects.
The Children’s Society: www.childrenssociety.org.uk/
‘Bullying! Information for parents on how to help your child’ – leaflet giving information and practical guidance.
Advice for children, parents and teachers as well as training and sample policies.
Schools Out!: www.schools-out.org.uk
Campaigns for better support networks for gay and lesbian students and clearer guidance for teachers on issues of sexuality.
Aims to provide easy access to the best educational websites including information on bullying for teachers, parents and young people.