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									I N F O R M AT I O N F O R PA R E N T S

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                        B U L LY I N G    !
                         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
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
                                       • 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
                                                                                                                     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
                                       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
                                       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.
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              

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.                Tel: 0870 000 2288
Or contact Childline on                                Websites
Tel: 0800 44 1111
                                       • ‘Don’t Bully Me! Advice for
                                         Primary Age Children’, ‘Stop
                                         Bullying Pocket Book’ are    
                                         both available from Kidscape,
                                         2 Grosvenor Gardens, London,
                                         SW1W 0DH.                    
                                         Tel: 08451 205 204

                                        • ‘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
If you would like a copy in community language, braille,
    large print or audio-tape, please call 01324 506602.

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