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Bullying: Reporting And Managing Allegations of Bullying


Kelly Ofasi

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This blog post was originally published on The Safeguarding Company website >> https://www.thesafeguardingcompany.com/resources/blog/bullying-reporting-and-managing-allegations-of-bullying/

BULLYING: REPORTING AND MANAGING ALLEGATIONS OF BULLYING

Bullying is an issue that can affect children, young people and adults in schools, after-school clubs and in the workplace. This blog discusses bullying, your school's bullying policy, and how to report bullying.   

BULLYING DEFINITION   

The UK Government defines bullying as behaviour that is:  

  • Repeated  
  • Intended to hurt someone physically or emotionally  
  • Often aimed at certain groups, for example, because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation   

Bullying can take many forms and can include:  

  • Physical assault  
  • Teasing  
  • Making threats  
  • Name-calling  
  • Cyberbullying via mobile phones or online   

It is important to remember people of all ages can be bullied. We tend to associate bullying with children and young people, however, adults can also be bullied at their place of work or by their own friends and families.   

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY   

It is vital that every school and college has an anti-bullying policy which outlines the definition of bullying and has a defined threshold for determining whether various incidences of undesirable behaviour which may take place constitute bullying behaviour. The policy should be understood by every member of staff and enforced throughout the organisation.  

The NSPCC suggests organisations should have a policy statement whose purpose is:  

  • To prevent bullying from happening between children and young people who are a part of our organisation or take part in our activities   
  • To make sure bullying is stopped as soon as possible if it does happen and that those involved receive the support they need   
  • To provide information to all staff, volunteers, children and their families about what we should all do to prevent and deal with bullying.   

The policy statement applies to anyone working on behalf of the organisation including volunteers and paid staff.   

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has a helpful checklist for writing an anti-bullying policy:   

  • The organisation has an up-to-date anti-bullying policy, or a behaviour policy which includes anti-bullying, that is renewed annually with involvement from students, staff, and parents/carers  
  • The policy is easy for students, staff and parents/carers to understand  
  • The policy clearly defines what bullying is, and this definition is understood by all members of the school community  
  • The policy states that bullying is never acceptable behaviour and sets expectations about how members of the school will treat each other  
  • The policy references the Equality Act 2010 and shows the school's commitment to preventing and responding to the bullying of protected and vulnerable groups  
  • The policy references actions to prevent and respond to bullying outside of the school such as online   
  • The policy is aligned with the schools’ other relevant policies such as the safeguarding policy or behaviour policy   
  • The policy includes a range of methods for students and staff to report bullying  
  • The policy is available within the school and on the school’s website   

ANTI-BULLYING WEEK  

Anti-bullying week takes place across the UK from the 14-18 of November. This year’s theme is Reach Out, which has been developed with the help of parents, teachers, children and young people across the UK with the hope to encourage people to challenge bullying & create kinder communities.  

You can get involved with various activities online and within your school.   

Anti-bullying week is organised by:   

MANAGING AND REPORTING BULLYING   

It is vital to have a secure system in place for both reporting and recording instances of bullying as well as managing the incidents. MyConcern is The Safeguarding Company’s solution for the easy recording, managing, and reporting of any concerns including instances of bullying both in person and online.   

Having a system to manage allegations of bullying is vital not only to protect the children and young people within your care but also to have data to show inspectors, governors and board members that your policies and procedures are robust and all complaints are dealt with swiftly.   

The Anti-Bullying Alliance suggests these questions in order to record an allegation of bullying.  

  • Where and When did the bullying take place?  
  • Were there any other children or young people around at the time?   
  • Were there any adults around  
  • This will be helpful to understand why another adult may not have reported the behaviour or if the adult is the one who is bullying the child or young person   
  • Names of the children, young people or adults who are bullying you  
  • What were you doing before the incident took place?  
  • What happened or was said? Try to use the exact language  
  • What happened next?   
  • Has this happened before?  

Remember, always take the perceptions and feelings of the young person being bullied as the starting point.  

The next steps will depend on the school's anti-bullying policy and the severity of the bullying incident. It is vital to act quickly as incidents may leave children and young people upset or distressed. It is also important to involve the young people and parents in the response and management of the situation. 

 

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