Developing an anti-bullying policy

The policy MUST contain:

  • A statement of the school’s aims and objectives regarding bullying behaviour
  • The school’s agreed definition of what constitutes bullying behaviour which should include reference to sexist, racist, cyber and homophobic bullying

The policy ideally SHOULD also contain:

  • An outline of the preventative steps the school will take and how these will be implemented e.g. curriculum
  • An outline of the response procedures that will be followed when bullying takes place – the immediate steps, what recording needs to be done, who should be told, and what sanctions will be implemented?
  • Procedures for when a parent or a member of staff report an incident of bullying

The policy COULD contain:

  • Roles and responsibilities of staff, managers, pupils, parents and the wider  community
  • Recognition of vulnerable groups and how they will be supported
  • Recognition of the impact of bullying behaviour
  • Who can support externally, including voluntary agencies

Research shows that policies that have gone through consultation with the whole school community are most effective.

Who could be involved?

It is essential to establish a working party of people who are able to have a broad and balanced view of the school and its needs and may be able to offer specialist information and support.

This could include:

  • Police officers
  • School premises manager
  • Parents
  • Young people
  • Inclusion support
  • Youth workers
  • Health visitors
  • Governors
  • Local charity representative

Anti-Bullying Works recommends that schools:

  • Set up a working party
  • Agree definitions
  • Decide on consultation procedures
  • Find out what is going on already in the school community (survey, measures, data gathering)
  • Agree on prevention and intervention strategies
  • Agree on reporting mechanisms
  • Agree role and responsibilities
  • Decide on impact measurements
  • Share the whole-school anti-bullying policy with all
  • Implement your policy
  • Review  your policy with all stakeholders

This process is in keeping with the criteria outlined to gain the BIG awards in anti-bullying.

Monitoring and review

This process should be undertaken on a regular basis and is essential for ensuring that the policy remains responsive to the changing needs of the school community, whilst continuing to protect the students from bullying.

Information gathered from monitoring and feedback about the policy through consultation and participation by staff, pupils, parents and governors should be incorporated in the review process and used to update the policy and action plan where necessary.

What needs monitoring?

  • The effectiveness of the policy
  • The curriculum
  • Pupils’ views and expectations
  • Reviewing principles with parents
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff
  • Levels and incidents of bullying
  • Methods of reporting and recording