I N F O R M AT I O N F O R PA R E N T S together we can STOP B U L LY I N G ! Introduction Falkirk Council • Ensuring everyone in schools takes expects all schools responsibility for preventing, reporting and and the central challenging bullying behaviour services to provide quality learning • Ensuring staff are alert and respond to experiences that behaviours which amount to bullying in will enable all circumstances where the victim is unlikely children and young to report it people to achieve • Ensuring ongoing communication with their potential and everyone participate in a fair and caring society. All children and young • Ensuring that bullying incidents are people are entitled to an education free from handled appropriately intimidation and bullying in any of its forms. • Identifying a named member of staff to Our new Anti-Bullying Policy is underpinned record and monitor bullying incidents by a range of government legislation and • Ensuring that logged incidents are What is bullying? documentation. This will provide a framework forwarded to central services for schools and early years providers to Bullying is someone being Sending abusive or bullying text promote positive relationships and reduce • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Anti- deliberately hurtful to others over messages and e-mails are new the number of bullying incidents. Education Bullying Policy on a regular basis Services will support schools and early years a period of time either physically, versions of bullying. They can providers in taking the Policy forward. We • Identifying training needs of all staff verbally or indirectly such as replace or simply add to other forms will work in partnership with all appropriate ignoring them. It is an abuse of of bullying such as scribbled notes, • Ensuring that all parties including victims services and agencies. power or strength and can happen graffiti on walls, abusive telephone and perpetrators receive appropriate Headteachers of schools and early years support from relevant services and anywhere, to anyone regardless of calls, name calling, physical establishments have a specific responsibility agencies age or gender. violence, ignoring, stealing or for ensuring the implementation and damaging belongings, demanding • Working with other services and agencies Bullying works through fear and monitoring of anti-bullying procedures within money or possessions. to address incidents of bullying and manipulation. A child or young their school/establishment. This includes: intimidation that originate in the wider person can be intimidated or ALL parents want to protect their • Developing a school based Anti-Bullying community. Policy in consultation with young people, threatened to keep quiet about children from bullying no matter I am confident that the new Anti-Bullying what is happening. It is important whether their child is the victim their parents/carers, staff and other Policy will enhance existing practice and help services/agencies therefore that all parents and staff in or the person displaying bullying ensure children and young people can learn in safe and supportive environments. schools be on the lookout for signs behaviour. • Continuously promoting a culture of inclusion and mutual respect to ensure of bullying. Children and young that bullying is seen as unacceptable by all people who are being bullied should be encouraged to report these • Developing positive and proactive anti- bullying strategies to reduce incidents of incidents. bullying Racist violence Things to Children and and harassment look out for young people This type of bullying can range from • Obvious physical signs of most vulnerable ill considered remarks to deliberate being hurt to bullying physical attacks causing injury. • Damage to personal belongings Victims can be singled out because The most vulnerable children and of their skin colour, ethnic group, • Unwillingness to go to school/ young people include those who are religious or cultural practices, the absence from school unlikely to retaliate, are perceived way they talk or the clothes they as being different, those who go • Changes in behaviour, mood or wear. through a change in their family attitude towards learning circumstances, have disabilities or • Child or young person being more obvious physical differences. “clingy” or emotional than normal How does bullying • Changes in eating or sleeping Bullies justify their actions by saying that there are differences about affect people? patterns their victims which means they are “deserving” targets. • Signs of stress, anxiety, Bullying affects the victim, their nervousness However, children and young people family, friends, organisations and with obvious differences are not the wider community. Bullying • Pretending to be ill or becoming ill the only ones to suffer. There are can cause a range of social and • Bed wetting many others who are bullied for no emotional problems and have apparent reason. verbal, physical and psychological • Self harm effects. • Change in normal behaviour to fit in with others Is bullying a crime? What can we do Everyone has the right to contact the about bullying? police regarding any incident they The School’s role – All schools must consider to be illegal. This includes develop their own Anti-Bullying incidents such as assault (even if Policy which conforms with Council this happens within the school), Policy. Bullying is a problem faced serious threats or harassment. by all schools and they are serious The Police will then decide if further about tackling it. action is needed and if there is Falkirk Council’s Anti-Bullying Policy enough evidence, charges can be provides an effective framework made or the case can be referred to for schools to promote positive the Children’s Reporter. However, relationships and to reduce the in many cases, police involvement number of bullying incidents. or other legal action would not be the best or most appropriate way of Schools take the FRESH approach to What are Staff in Schools expected to do? deal with bullying: resolving issues for all concerned. All incidents of bullying will be • General Behaviour Policies - thoroughly investigated and staff these can include anti-bullying Fairness will try to deal promptly, effectively statements as an expectation of listen to all sides of the story and sensitively with every incident behavioural standards. of bullying and it is their goal to • A child centred approach Respect resolve incidents for the benefit of all where schools have buddying treat all pupils involved with respect parties involved. Schools also make and mentoring systems. This and dignity every effort to reduce the opportunity encourages older pupils to of bullying. Ways of doing this can develop different ways of Engagement include: supporting the younger ones. of pupils and parents in solving the • Staff playing their part in the Buddies can hold clubs during problem whole school approach to tackling breaks/lunch or offer friendship bullying. This involves listening and support. Mentors may Safety to pupils, taking action at various support in different ways such of all pupils whilst at school levels, developing a positive school as reading or helping with atmosphere, regularly reviewing homework. anti-bullying policies/strategies, Honesty curriculum development, ensuring • Pupil Councils often develop their discuss openly and honestly any own anti-bullying activities in the that pupils feel safe in all parts bullying or other problems with school. of the building and working in parents of the pupils involved. partnership with parents. Advice for Parents Learning that your child or young • Work with the school to find a person is being bullied, you will resolution. immediately want to protect them • Let your child know what is and then confront the bully. Feelings happening. Any outcome should of embarrassment, helplessness involve their agreement. or wanting your child or young person to be tougher and fight back • If a child or young person is in are also common. Whilst none of serious danger, then you have a these responses will really help the responsibility to act even if they situation, there are several steps do not want you to. you can take. • Make sure you do something • Avoid blaming anyone, be patient, as bullying can cause serious make time to listen. damage to a child or young person’s educational and personal • Ask questions sensitively without development if allowed to interrogating. continue for a long period. Supporting Advice for Your Child • Show your child that you care but avoid making them feel more • Let your child or young person know that they have done the anxious or isolated. • Do not be afraid to report • Ask the adult what actions they right thing by talking about what incidents of bullying. Talk to propose to take. Tell them if you • Do not make promises that has happened and that bullying is someone you trust such as a think these suggestions will make you cannot keep, for example wrong. teacher or other adult. the situation worse. Offer your promising confidentiality. own suggestions. • Remember you have a legal • You have the right to expect • Discuss alternative ways to responsibility to ensure your your concerns and worries to be • Although certain aspects of respond to bullying such as being child’s attendance at school. treated seriously. information shared with an adult assertive, not reacting, getting will remain confidential, some • You can also talk to people in help if pursued, agreeing with the • Write down what has been the wider community – such things may need to be discussed bully, saying “You’re right” and happening, when and where it as friends, neighbours, family with other trusted professionals to walk away. happened. Describe incidents support workers, social workers, ensure the safety and well being without exaggerating. • Raise your concerns with the health workers, youth workers, of others. school giving as much information community police, community • Make sure the adult understands • Take all measures to try and as possible including dates, places workers eg church leaders, guides/ how upset you are and that the protect yourself such as walking and where possible names of scout leaders, Childline, Kidscape matter is not trivial. home with friends or ask someone children involved. etc. to stay with you. What if my child is displaying bullying behaviour? Learning that your child or young • Think about the reasons why they person is bullying others is are bullying others. distressing for parents. Should this • Encourage your child or young happen to you, it is important to person to treat others, whether remain calm and avoid becoming different or not, with kindness and defensive. Bullying can often stem respect. from unhappiness or insecurity. Before punishing a bullying child, • Find out if your child or young you should take time to talk to them person’s friends are also bullying. about their actions to find out why they are acting in this way. • Set realistic goals for your child or young person, do not expect Not all bullying stems from family immediate changes. problems but it is a good idea to • Reassure your child or young Role Play examine the behaviour your child witnesses at home. If a child or person that you love them but that young person lives with taunting or you do not approve of this kind of Assess your child or young behaviour. name calling from a parent, brother person’s behaviour and way of or sister, this may prompt similar • Talk with staff at your child or interacting with others and see what behaviour outside the home. young person’s school to sort suggestions you can make to turn the immediate situation around. In addition to creating and problems out. You know your child maintaining a positive home or young person best and can Role play can help with this and make suggestions to tackle any atmosphere you should: make skills in dealing with bullies problems. more real. • Remind your child or young person that bullying is a serious Act out situations and allow your problem which will not be child or young person the chance tolerated at home, by the school to practise different responses, or the police. prevention techniques - such as staying with other kids and not getting involved with bullies in any kind of interchange. Restorative Approach to Bullying Behaviour Whilst many believe that children Falkirk Council has a responsibility who bully must be punished for to protect those being bullied but their behaviour, it is widely accepted also to provide an education for that this type of response can at all pupils including children who times be ineffective, dangerous, bully or those with behavioural breeds resentment and can make problems. Whilst appropriate action the situation worse. will be taken by the school, it is also important that all parents involved, Punishment can make a person work with the school to resolve the resentful instead of reflective. problems in the best interests of Children who bully must be given their child or young person. the opportunity to hear about and face up to the pain, hurt, distress and anger they have caused to others. Punishment does not help to restore relationships and can result in further retaliation. Exclusions can only be carried out when incidents fall within the legislative criteria. Anti-Bullying Literature Policy • ‘Focus on Bullying’, ‘Bullying at School – Advice for Families’ If you need any further information booklets are available from about your school’s Anti-Bullying the Anti Bullying Network, Policy, you should contact the Moray House, The University Headteacher direct. of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Additional Sources Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ. Tel: 0131 651 6103 of Information and www.antibullying.net Help • ‘Tackling Bullying: Listening to the Views of Children and Young Want to find out more? Need People’ and ‘Bullying: don’t someone to talk to? Try the suffer in Silence’ pack is available Parentline Plus free 24 hour helpline. from DfES Publications, PO Box Tel: 0808 800 222 or 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley, free textphone 0800 783 6783 Nottingham, NG15 0DJ. www.parentlineplus.org.uk Tel: 0870 000 2288 Or contact Childline on www.dfes.gov.uk Websites Tel: 0800 44 1111 • ‘Don’t Bully Me! Advice for www.kidshealth.org www.bullying.co.uk Primary Age Children’, ‘Stop Bullying Pocket Book’ are www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk www.bullyonline.org both available from Kidscape, www.anti-bullyingalliance.org www.childline.org.uk 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH. www.childrenslegalcentre.com www.safechild.org Tel: 08451 205 204 www.beatbullying.org www.kidscape.org.uk • ‘Tackling Bullying’ booklet is available from the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE), 1c Aberdeen Studios, 22 Highbury Grove, London N5 2DQ Tel: 0808 800 5793 www.ace-ed.org.uk If you would like a copy in community language, braille, large print or audio-tape, please call 01324 506602.