Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policy
Concord means “harmony” and the Summer School strives for a sense of community from all its staff and students. Concord College is committed to providing a supportive, caring and safe environment where the welfare of its staff and students is a priority. Any incident of abuse or bullying is not acceptable, falls far short of the high standards of behaviour expected of both its staff and students, and will not be tolerated. Anyone experiencing bullying is encouraged to report it. Any such allegations will be taken seriously, investigated and addressed. No member of the Summer School community should tolerate abuse or bullying or suffer in silence.
Abuse and bullying can take many forms but, in general, it is a deliberate attempt to make another person feel bad. This deliberately hurtful behaviour, often repeated over a period of time, makes it difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. It could be by threatening them, hurting them physically, frightening them or upsetting them. It involves someone having some negative power over the person who is being bullied.
An awareness of the following types of bullying/abuse is necessary:
- Physical (e.g. pushing, hitting, kicking or biting someone)
- Emotional (e.g. scaring, humiliating, isolating or ignoring someone)
- Verbal (e.g. spreading stories or gossip about someone)
- Extortion (e.g. demanding payment in money or in kind)
- Gesture (e.g. giving someone unkind looks, or using offensive gestures)
- Exclusion (e.g. not allowing another to be part of a group or activity)
- Cyber bullying (where information technology is used as a means of communicating verbal and emotional bullying e.g. text message)
Students are bullied for a variety of reasons – and for no reason. Specific types of bullying include:
- race, religion or culture;
- special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities;
- appearance or health conditions;
- sexual orientation;
- young carers or looked-after children or otherwise related to home circumstances;
Bullying can take place between students, between students and staff, or between staff; by individuals or groups; face-to-face, indirectly or using a range of cyber bullying methods.
Summer School Policy
No forms of abuse or bullying are acceptable. Summer School takes its duty of care for its students and its staff extremely seriously and will investigate whenever there are signs, or allegations, of abuse or bullying (as per the Behaviour and Discipline policy). External agencies such as the Police, Health Specialists and Social Services will be called in as necessary. Many accusations of bullying and/or abuse could result in the implementation of Child Protection Procedures, as outlined in Concord College’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
All students receive induction talks regarding the Summer School’s concern for them to be safe, healthy and happy. They are encouraged to report any incidents of abuse or bullying. The Designated Safeguarding Lead introduces their self and discusses the range of people they could approach (both staff and student) if they have any welfare problems or questions. Students are encouraged not only to share their own experiences, but to share their concerns about their friends and peers. The Summer School will also raise the awareness of the nature, causes and effects of bullying within its orientation sessions.
Staff should be alert for any changes of behaviour in students. Staff receive training in Child Protection and should be aware of the need to be vigilant for any signs or symptoms of abuse. Such concerns should be shared with staff concerned such as their Teacher, Boarding Parent, Course Director, Director of Studies, Safeguarding Manager or their deputies.
While the Summer School has not experienced bullying as a significant problem in the past, it recognises that incidents can occur and accepts the moral and statutory duties to be prepared to deal with these as, and when, they occur.
Procedure for Dealing with an Abusive or Bullying Incident
- A written record of the Bullying Incident should be made by the member of staff receiving the allegation as soon as possible. If the alleged victim reports the incident by themselves, they should be convinced that they are being listened to, taken seriously, reassured that further action will follow, they are being supported.
- The Incident should be reported to the Safeguarding Manager as soon as possible. (The written record should follow an oral report as soon as practical.)
- The Senior Manager investigating the Incident will interview the victim and alleged bully separately and will make a written record of these interviews. Other interviews with students who witnessed the alleged incident(s) might also be necessary at this stage. Victims should be treated with sensitivity. Anonymity cannot be guaranteed if the bully is to be effectively tackled, but discretion and reassurance must be offered.
- At the discretion of the Senior Manager, the parents of both the victim and the bully might be contacted at this stage along with the appropriate members of staff (e.g. Boarding Parent, teachers).
- Consideration will be given as to whether an interview, or mediation session, involving the Senior Manager, victim and bully would be appropriate and productive.
- Appropriate punishments in the case of actual incidents of bullying will be awarded and recorded. Copies of Bullying Incidents will be kept in both the victim’s and bully’s student files. Support for the victim will also be provided. The causes of bullying should be considered with both the victim and bully in order to establish how to avoid a repeat of the initial incident.
- A review meeting, or meetings, should be held with both the victim and bully within a few days. If there have been no further incidents, no further action is needed. However, if the review suggests evidence of further bullying, or provocation, then the parents of both the victim and bully will be contacted by the Senior Manager at this stage. It is also likely that the Course Director will become involved at this stage since major punishments such as expulsion might be deemed necessary and appropriate.
Publicising our Abusive Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policy
Summer School’s Anti-Bullying Policy will be published and disseminated to staff, students and Trustees as part of their Child Protection or Safeguarding Training, Refresher Training or Induction Training. The Policy is part of the Staff and Student Handbooks and it will also be publicised to parents via the Summer School website and parental online portal. A simplified version of the policy is available for students.
Adapted from Concord College Main Term Policy Section 11.2
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