We are committed to creating a culture of respect where our community is safe and learning is heightened by positive, respectful relationships that allow all individuals to feel valued and to truly grow, learn and flourish. Therefore, bullying behaviour is the antithesis of our ethos and is unacceptable in our school.
If bullying does occur, all students should be able to report it and feel confident that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bulling is happening is expected to inform a member of staff who will respond to these concerns with urgency and rigor to ensure each young person is adequately safeguarded. No one deserves to be the victim of bullying and everybody has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
Meridian High School recognises these risks, plans for prevention and monitors the efficacy of our interventions, programmes and curriculum content. Bullying happens in all societies, at all levels, it is important that we make our students knowledgeable about bullying and teach them strategies that enable them to stand up for themselves without resorting to retaliation in any form. Bullying is in the news and is a form of real anxiety for parents, it is important that we inform parents fully about our approach to dealing with bullying, so that parents are able to distinguish between what is bullying and what is not.
- All members of the governing body, teachers and support staff, students and their parents and carers have a clear understanding of what constitutes bullying;
- All members of the governing body, teachers and support staff know what the school policy is on bulling and follow it when it is reported;
- All students and parents know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises;
- For students and parents to be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported;
- To make it very clear that we have a zero tolerance to bullying behaviour.
Bullying is an intentional act, by an individual or group, which may be repeated over time, and causes physical or emotional pain or distress.
Bullying often involves an imbalance of power e.g. popularity, physical strength, age, group size etc. which can leave the victim of bullying feeling powerless and isolated.
Bullying can be perpetrated in different ways:
- Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding possessions, threatening gestures)
- Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Verbal: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
- Cyber: all areas of internet, such as email, chat room misuse and social networking sites including inappropriate messaging, passing on messages or sharing of personal information, mobile threats by text messaging and calls, misuse of technology i.e. camera and video facilities.
Some groups are more vulnerable than others may become a target for bullies. Bullying is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or because a student is adopted, has caring responsibilities, special educational needs or a physical or mental health disability. It might be motivated by actual difference between students, or perceived differences. Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case. Where vulnerable groups have been identified routine well-being conversations will be led by staff to check students are feeling safe and secure.
Meridian High School is committed to raising awareness of bullying issues by providing the students with learning opportunities throughout the curriculum, but particularly within PSHE and tutor time. Assemblies spread across the year, information shared on our electronic display and special events will also contribute to preventing bullying. There is also a genuine commitment to CPD for staff in order to raise awareness and equip staff with the skills and knowledge to deal with bullying sensitively and effectively.
How can students report bullying?
Meridian High School encourages all students to report bullying whether they are directly involved, a confidant or as a witness of a bullying incident.
Bullying can be reported by:
- Telling a member of staff with whom the student feels comfortable to make a disclosure.
- Telling a parent who should contact the relevant House Lead or tutor as a matter of urgency.
- Sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with details of who is being bullied.
- Reporting a concern via Meridian Sharp https://meridianhigh.thesharpsystem.com/
When it is determined that bullying may have taken place the relevant investigative procedures must be followed by the pastoral team.
How can parents report bullying?
When parents wish to raise the issue of bullying, initial enquires should be directed to the relevant PWL or Form Tutor. A record of the discussion will be made on CPOMS. Concerns should be dealt with quickly to demonstrate the school's commitment to tackling bullying. The parental disclosure should trigger the investigative procedures. It is important the school maintains a dialogue with the parent until the issue has been satisfactorily resolved.
How can staff report bullying?
Where staff witness behaviour which has any of the hallmarks of bullying, they should intervene immediately and talk to the student to establish what has happened. If the student claims that they are not being bullied, the detail of what has been witnessed should still be reported using the school's online safeguarding reporting system CPOMS and it will then be shared by the safeguarding team with the relevant PWL and Form Tutor for their consideration and to build a bigger picture. Many students who are being bullied can be reluctant to report it or may play the situation down.
How can visitors report bullying?
If a visitor witnessed bullying they should discuss it with the member of staff they are visiting. The member of staff should pass on the information using the school's online safeguarding reporting system CPOMS.
Supporting students who report bullying
Support for the student who has reported an incident is paramount. The student's form tutor is a key point of contact, but further support may be required from a PWL, DSL, and SLT. The following options should be considered and applied appropriately:
- Safe places
- Enhanced adult vigilance
- Referrals to appropriate internal courses
- Referrals to outside agencies
- Group move
Our commitment as a school to tackle any form of bullying as as follows:
- Listens – all pupils, parents and carers are listened to and influence strategies and approaches to prevent, report and respond to incidents of bullying.
- Includes all – all pupils, including those with SEND, are included, valued and participate fully in all aspects of school life.
- Respects – all school staff are role-models to others within the school in how they treat others.
- Challenges – disablist language is taken as seriously as homophobic or racist language.
- Celebrates difference – difference is actively and visibly celebrated and welcome across the whole school.
- Understands – all parents and carers, pupils and school staff understand what bullying is and what it isn’t.
- Believes – all pupils, including those with SEND, along with their parents and carers, are acknowledged, believed and taken seriously when reporting incidents of bullying.
- Reports bullying – all pupils within the school, and their parents and carers, understand how to report incidents of bullying.
- Takes action – the school responds quickly to all incidents of bullying. Pupils, including those with SEND, participate fully in decisions made about them and help to formulate appropriate action to respond to incidents of bullying
- Has clear policies – the school’s anti-bullying policy reflects these principles and is embedded within other school policies. They are widely and actively promoted to school staff, pupils and their parents and carers.
- Mrs G Watson- Designated Safeguarding Lead: email@example.com
- Mrs C Meayers- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Miss A Stimpson- SENDCo: email@example.com
- Mrs J Curd- Senior leader for Behaviour: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr G Newton- Assistant Headteacher for Behaviour: email@example.com
- Mr G Cook- Deputy Headteacher: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs A Anderson- Head of School: email@example.com