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Kettering Buccleuch Academy

Equality & BPRI

REVIEWED BY: A McKeen

DATE AGREED BY GOVERNORS: March 2016

DATE OF NEXT REVIEW: March 2017

Equality & Bullying/Prejudice Related Incidents

Preventing and Responding

Introduction

Children and young people tell us that bullying is a significant concern to them, but accurate data on bullying and prejudice related incidents in schools is hard to find. National and regional findings have suggested that:

· 50% of children say they have been bullied at school.

· 80% of children with SEN/disabilities are bullied at some point.

· 65% of lesbian, gay or bisexual children experience homophobic bullying.

· The proportion of racist incidents is higher in mainly White areas such as Kettering.

A study by Ofsted, published June 2012, found that, of 1,060 pupils from 558 primary and 502 secondary schools:

· 50% of primary and 38% of secondary school pupils said that they had been “picked on” in the past.

· 8% of primary and 4% of secondary school pupils said that they were still “picked on”.

Children learn best in an environment where they feel respected and safe. This guidance aims to support academy staff in their work to make sure that children are safe and feel safe from bullying and prejudice related incidents (BPRIs).

It defines bullying and prejudice related incidents and describes what we can do to support children, challenge unacceptable behaviour, build a culture of respect, and establish effective reporting and monitoring systems at Kettering Buccleuch Academy.

Throughout this document the words child or children are used to describe children and young adults up to age 18.

Anti-Bullying Policy

The school is anxious to differentiate between conflict, mutual harassment and real bullying. In schools there are often disputes and arguments between young people who resort to verbal abuse and sometimes fight to resolve differences of opinion. Where mutual harassment is established, both parties must accept responsibility for their actions.

However, bullying is behaviour which is deliberately designed to intimidate and control others, and which leaves a child or young person unhappy, bewildered, frightened or threatened.

Bullying can take the form of physical assault, name-calling, “sending to Coventry” or taunting. In dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour, consideration will be given to the following:

  • Bullies often are or have been "victims" themselves.

· Bullying incidents are often aggravated by the involvement of a wider group.

The staff that deal with bullying incidents will recognise that these issues are likely to have to be addressed if a real solution is to be achieved.

Kettering Buccleuch Academy is committed to:

  • Taking consistent action on all incidents of bullying behaviour

· Heightening the awareness of all staff, parents and students about what is regarded as bullying behaviour

· Creating an atmosphere in which students and parents feel able to report incidents of bullying with confidence

· Making clear to all staff, students and parents the procedures employed in the school for dealing with bullying incidents

· Identifying factors within the school community which might allow incidents of bullying to take place and endeavouring to eradicate them

· Where necessary involving the parents of all the students involved in bullying incidents

· Maintaining a record of all reported incidents of alleged bullying, conflict and mutual harassment

· Evaluating the success of measures employed to deal with bullying

Legal Duties and Expectations

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination and harassment. If someone thinks they have been discriminated against, they may take their complaint to a court or Employment Tribunal (if they are an employee). But the Act also places duties on public authorities (including schools) to be pro-active about addressing inequalities. The Public Sector General Duty (Section 149) states: a public authority must give due regard to the need to:

· Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct.

  • Advance equality of opportunity.
  • Foster good relations between people.

‘Advance equality of opportunity’ means remove or minimise disadvantage, meet people’s needs, take account of disabilities and encourage participation in public life.

‘Foster good relations between people’ means tackle prejudice and promote understanding.

These duties apply to eight protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment (gender identity)
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The legal duties to eliminate harassment and foster good relations make it clear that schools must address bullying and prejudice related incidents based on a protected characteristic, such as racism or homophobic bullying.

The expectation in law is not only for schools and establishments to respond when an incident occurs but to also take steps to try and prevent those incidents from occurring or escalating.

When evaluating the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school, Ofsted will consider pupils’ behaviour towards, and respect for, others, including freedom from bullying and harassment that may include cyber bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability. Inspectors will look at how well teachers manage the behaviour and expectations of pupils to ensure that all pupils have an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. They will also look at how well the academy ensures the systematic and consistent management of behaviour.

When evaluating the quality of leadership and management in the school, the inspectors will consider whether the school ensures that all pupils are safe

Bullying and Prejudice Related Incidents (BPRIs)

Bullying may be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. Bullying may or may not be because of a protected characteristic (sometimes referred to as ‘identity based bullying’).

Prejudice related incidents are one-off incidents relating to a protected characteristic, which may or may not be directed at an individual. They may or may not be carried out with the intention to harm or cause offence.

BPRIs can take many forms including:

Verbal Name-calling and ridicule such as racist or homophobic remarks.

Visual Graffiti, gestures, wearing racist insignia or showing pictures.

Incitemen t Spreading rumours or encouraging others to participate.

Cyber Using technology such as text messages, Facebook or email.

Segregation Excluding, isolating, ignoring or avoiding an individual from the activities or social acceptance of their peer group.

Physical Hitting, pushing, unwanted touching, kicking, threatening with a weapon.

Property Theft or damage to personal property; extortion.

All have an emotional impact on an individual, and the effects of verbal incidents should not be underestimated. The old English proverb “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” is far from the truth for children, particularly those from a minority group.

Why do BPRIs occur?

BPRIs may arise because an individual is seen to be different. Children may be seen as different because of their:

· Ethnic origin, skin colour, nationality or culture including Travellers and Gypsies (racism).

  • Religion or belief.
  • Sexual orientation (homophobia).
  • Sex or gender identity.
  • Disability or Special Educational Needs.

It may be they are perceived to have a particular characteristic or they are associated with someone with that characteristic.

Research indicates that there are groups of children who are bullied disproportionately. These include disabled children and those who have special educational needs, and children who are, or are perceived to be, homosexual (lesbian or gay).

Some children are singled out because they are overweight, affluent, deprived, in care or young carers, or for a variety of other reasons. Sometimes the aggressor can’t explain the reasons; they just see their target as ‘different’.

The motivation may be because of:

  • irrational fear
  • ignorance
  • wanting to achieve a sense of power
  • envy or
  • conformity (going along with others)

Behaviours are often learnt; understanding the motivation is important because it may reveal concerns for the safety of the aggressor or other needs they have.

Prejudice related incidents can include verbal assaults, offensive jokes or language, mockery and ridicule. They may be based on social stereotypes and may or may not be directed at individuals.

Children may use words without an understanding of their meaning but the impact on the target can still be harmful. A child may not understand the meaning of a word and use it as a form of insult because they have heard it being used in that way by others, but a child of equivalent age may be very familiar with the meaning because of their family background.

Stereotypes are powerful and pervade our society. Not all stereotypes cause harm but many reinforce prejudices that can result in attitudes and behaviours that lead to bullying and other forms of physical or psychological harm.

Insults can surface fleetingly in lessons or during playground activities: comments such as “you’re just a girl” addressed to either gender, “that’s gay” or “you mong”. Such comments can be seen as part of growing up, and may seem unremarkable or irrelevant, but if left untackled they contribute to an unacceptable culture in our academy in which bullying is more likely to occur. This needs to be challenged and prevented as far as possible by building a culture of respect and empathy.

In a study carried out by Ofsted, many pupils said that they were aware that such language was unacceptable but it was seen as ‘banter’. Staff who also viewed it as banter did not challenge it, or feel they have the confidence or skills to challenge it.

Children who overhear such comments may feel unsettled, or may learn to repress a feeling they have of being different, to keep hidden if they wish to remain safe; especially if they know the comments go unchallenged. It may result in self-loathing; others hate them because they are different and so they hate themselves because of their difference. This sense of self-loathing can be extremely harmful, leading to depression and suicide.

Racism

Racism arises where a person is targeted because of their skin colour, ethnicity, culture, national origin or nationality. Travellers and Gypsies (e.g. Irish Travellers, Roma and Romany Gypsies) are included in the definition of race. Racism can arise without an intended target/victim, for example, children making offensive remarks about a particular group between themselves.

“A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.”

Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, Sir William Macpherson, 1999

The effect of racism on children differs with each individual. The impact on their lives is dependent on many factors including the level of security and support they have.

Racism can affect confidence and self-esteem including the sense of belonging, acceptance and the need to feel loved and wanted. These are human needs which, if not met, can leave a person with a sense of loneliness and detachment. Without feelings of pride, love and belonging, minority ethnic children will suffer emotionally, which will impact upon their lives in numerous ways, including educational attainment and behaviour within the classroom.

Religion and belief

Religion and belief includes major faiths such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism as well as a lack of belief. Sometimes religious based incidents are reported as racist, for example incidents directed at Muslims or Sikhs of Asian origin, because the child is perceived as different not only by their religious clothing but also their skin colour or family heritage.

As with racism, religious based bullying and incidents can have similar impacts on a victim’s sense of identity and belonging.

Homophobia

Homophobia is motivated by a prejudice towards people whose sexual orientation is, or perceived to be, lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

In 2007, Stonewall, in The School Report stated that homophobic bullying is almost endemic in Britain's schools. The report went on to say:

Almost two thirds (65%) of young lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils have experienced direct bullying. Seventy five per cent of young gay people attending faith schools have experienced homophobic bullying. Even if gay pupils are not directly experiencing bullying, we need to ensure that Kettering Buccleuch Academy is not a place where homophobic language and comments are commonplace.

98% of young gay people hear the phrases “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” in school, and over four fifths hear such comments often or frequently. Less than a quarter (23%) of young gay people have been told that homophobic bullying is wrong in their school. In schools that have said homophobic bullying is wrong, gay young people are 60% more likely not to have been bullied. We must ensure that our students are free from this sort of prejudice.

Sexism and sexual bullying

Sexism and sexual bullying affects both boys and girls. Boys may be targets as well as girls, and both sexes may be targets of others who share the same sex.

Sexism and sexual bullying may be characterised by name-calling, comments and overt looks about appearance, attractiveness and emerging puberty. It therefore goes beyond normal and acceptable ‘fancying’ to a level that makes an individual feel harassed (intimidated, offended, degraded).

In addition, unwelcome touching, innuendos and propositions, pornographic imagery or graffiti may be used. Boys and girls who have access to pornography may have their views about sexual relationships between women and men distorted. Sexism and sexual bullying may progress to incidents of domestic/partner violence and abuse, sexual exploitation and assault, including rape.

Girls and boys are affected by media-promoted gender stereotypes, many harmful to the understanding of intrapersonal behaviours and personal development, restricting their freedom to be who they want to be. Girls and boys who do not, or cannot measure up to stereotypes may be bullied. For example, boys may be under intense pressure to conform with masculine ‘alpha-male’ traits, for which they may have no good guidance or appropriate role-models. Boys who do not display these traits may be bullied for being “sissy” or “gay”.

It’s important that both male and female staff at Kettering Buccleuch Academy act as good role models, for example male staff responding to girls’ complaints sensitively.

Gender identity

Children can experience bullying when they identify as transgender because of Gender Dysphoria (where their biological sex does not match the gender they feel they are) or they do not conform to the gender role that society prescribes to them for whatever reasons.

Some children are born Intersex – with ambiguous or dual sex.

Although many schools think that they have no transgender [or intersex] students to worry about, that is statistically unlikely. In a school the size of Kettering Buccleuch Academy there are likely to be 6 who will experience transgenderism throughout their lives. There are likely to be others who have a transgender parent or close relative.

A supportive environment which allows for early diagnosis and ability to transition is vital for the mental and physical wellbeing of individuals with Gender Dysphoria.

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

There is a growing amount of research literature on bullying among children with disabilities and Special Educational Needs. This research indicates that these children may be at particular risk of being bullied by their peers. For example, research tells us that:

· Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely than other children to be bullied. They also are somewhat more likely than others to bully their peers (Unnever and Cornell, 2003).

· Children with medical conditions that affect their appearance (such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida) are more likely to be victimised [bullied] by peers. Frequently, these children report being called names related to their disability (Dawkins, 1996).

· Children who have diabetes and who are dependent on insulin may be especially vulnerable to peer bullying (Storch et al., 2004).

As with all other forms of bullying and prejudice, this can have a detrimental effect on self esteem and lead to other problems.

What we can do about Bullying and Prejudice Related Incidents

A successfully inclusive culture with learning environments that value diversity and foster respect and good relations can reduce the level of bullying and prejudice related incidents, and if they do occur (because they can, even in schools and establishments operating good practice), can settle the situation more readily.

In order to successfully address bullying and prejudice related incidents our academy must have a strong ethos of respect and good behaviour amongst children and staff.

Promote. Challenge. Support. Report.

Promote

The aim for the academy is to promote awareness of issues in response to current cultural developments to ensure expectations are met. Global Learning is a focussed lesson to identify PSHE and issues on bullying, homophobia, prejudice and the range of problems surrounding bullying in all of its forms. Regular speakers and project focussed topics within Global learning ensure all aspects are covered throughout the academy. Additionally to this we confirm and exercise rights throughout the school with publications of expectations surrounding bullying and prejudice related incidents. Use of ‘STOP – Several times of purpose’ and ‘Stonewall’ publications are used to promote awareness. (Attached Appendix 1.)

Challenge

To succeed we need to:

· Challenge unacceptable behaviour, including setting standards of acceptable behaviour and a culture of trust and respect.

· Support the target (and sometimes the aggressor).

· Report what has happened and monitor those reports.

The aim for us as an academy is not just to respond appropriately to incidents as they happen, but to try to make sure that more incidents don’t happen in the future.

Our goal is to make Kettering Buccleuch Academy a place for learning where prejudice and bullying of any sort will be challenged.

How to Challenge

Challenging expressions of prejudice can require a degree of skill and knowledge, particularly if the statements come from someone with deeply entrenched views or value systems. Here are some useful responses that you can use to help people explore their prejudices:

· You know we don’t accept that in this school. Why did you say that?

  • What did you say?
  • Do you know what that means?

· Do you know that [ ] people find that hurtful because…..?

  • Why did you say/do that?
  • How do you know that?

· What evidence do you have that [ ] people are like that?

· What are you afraid of? Is that really going to happen?

· Is that really evidence? I think that’s a negative social stereotype. Do you know what a stereotype is?

· Before you judge someone, you should get to know them.

  • Why do you think that might be wrong/hurtful?

· How would you feel if the same was said of [describe child]?

· I suggest you find out more about [ ] before making judgements, come to me at [ ] and I will give you some resources.

· You can hold those views if you want, but that does not give you the right to express them openly, because they are hurtful. (Use if the person will not change their belief).

Support

An anti-bullying ambassador’s programme has been implemented this year to support students and staff in the process of challenging anti- bullying behaviour. Each house has identified perfect students that have the capability, personality and qualities to be ambassadors to mentor students with surrounding issues. As parts of the Diana award the students have undergone relevant training to ensure they have the capacity to handle the mentoring of their peers in the appropriate way. Anti-bullying ambassador’s in KS2-4 wear a purple star badge to indicate their role and KS5 wear a jumper. The jumper has the text number on the back, this is for students to book an appointment or to send a text issues through to highlight a key topic for discussion group. Discussion groups and tips to handle issues will be advertised on the screens around school to invite any students along to a communal discussion.

The text number is only accessible to secondary students and will be monitored by secondary students and welfare staff in the first instance. Appointments and group sessions will be made through the system and use of screens around school. The discussion room will be manned at all times on a rota basis by anti-bullying ambassadors.

In Primary the students support others by way of a Friendship bench. Anti-bullying ambassadors will have the duty to keep an eye on the friendship bench. Once there is a person that may feel they need to talk or have a friend, any free anti-bullying ambassador will support this student regarding their issues. Within the training students will be trained on how and when to bring reoccurring issues to be responded to by an adult.

Report Procedure

Report of incident to any member of staff

Statements sheets taken to a House officer

Investigation by House officers

Conclusion made with victim and aggressor notified

Aggressor individual student log updated – 1:1 Stop and think programme with House officer

Victim - 1:1 Support programme with House officer


The aim of the report procedure is to ensure students are supported and issues are investigated immediately. When an event is logged it is completed on an individual student log file (Attached Appendix 2) to ensure reoccurring problems are linked and acted upon. Once an issue have been investigated both the victim and the aggressor have some 1:1 time to restore the correct behaviour or self-confidence.

House officers ensure the aggressors have some restorative reflection time and partake in a stop and think programme. If it becomes a reoccurring pattern students will begin the process of sanctions (Refer to the Behaviour policy) and no improvement on their behaviour and choices may result in internal or external exclusion. As an academy we do not tolerate bullying in any capacity and an extensive record of any form of bullying may result in permanent exclusion.

Overview

Ofsted’s study No Place for Bullying, published in June 2012, which interviewed 37 primary and 19 secondary schools, found that the best schools had the following characteristics:

  • A positive culture and ethos in the school.

· School expectations and rules were clearly spelled out in terms of how pupils should interact with each other.

· Respect for individual differences had a high profile.

· Pupils had developed empathy and understood the effect that bullying could have on people, and took responsibility for trying to prevent bullying.

· Curriculum planning and delivery helped a great deal to bring about these positive attitudes by giving pupils a wide range of opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of diversity and an assortment of strategies to protect themselves from bullying.

· Bullying incidents were carefully analysed to look for trends and patterns. This information was used to plan the next steps.

  • Action taken was firm, and often imaginative.

· If pupils had been bullied they felt very confident that action was taken and it stopped promptly.

· Governors were well informed and questioning about bullying.