Anti Bullying Policy

Anti-Bullying POLICY & PROCEDURE (for students)

 

 

Version No. 1.0
Contents No. Pages: 7
Policy Statement: Yes
Procedures: Yes
Recommended by Killester College of Further Education Committee
Date recommended October 8th 2018
Approved by City of Dublin ETB
Date Approved
Last Reviewed First Version of the Policy
Next Review October 2019

Introduction

Killester College of Further Education was established in 1956 under the aegis of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board.  Over the years the Killester College has grown to be a community working together so that all students can make the most of the opportunities that arise and realise their full potential.  The students in Killester College come from different parts of Dublin, different parts of Ireland and different countries from around the world.  There are students of different ages, abilities and background.  Such diversity enriches the College.  Each member of the College community is entitled to be treated with equal courtesy, dignity and respect irrespective of disability, gender, age, religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, family background or membership of the travelling community.

 

Scope of the Policy

This policy, which applies to the bullying of students, forms part of a suite of policies which form part of the College’s Policy on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.  Other policies in this suite include the Code of Behaviour and the Policy on the Acceptable Use of the College’s ICT System.  The Board of Management of Killester College of Further Education has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the College’s overall Code of Behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the CL 45/2013 Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.  This policy should be read in conjunction with the Action Plan on Bullying published by the Department of Education and Skills in 2013, and also the Well-Being in Post Primary Schools – Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention developed by the inter-departmental group from the Department of Education and Skills, the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health published in 2013.

Key Principles of the Policy

The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of students and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour: 

  • A positive College culture and climate which-
  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages students to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  • promotes respectful relationships across the College community;
  • Effective leadership;
  • A College-wide approach;
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
  • build empathy, respect and resilience in students; and
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic, transphobic and disablist bullying including surdophobic bullying (Surdophobia is the hostility, intolerance or fear against Deaf people, deaf culture and the Deaf Community).
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of students;
  • Supports for staff;
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

Definition of Terms

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

 The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • cyber-bullying
  • Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the College’s Code of Behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.  This would also include the unauthorised capture/playing/posting of images/video footage or audio recording.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the College’s Code of Behaviour.

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

This Policy concerns bullying on the college premises and grounds, while students are engaged in work experience, on educational visits or College social activities, and those travelling to and from courses.

The College has a duty of care to ensure that all students and staff have a safe working and learning environment in which they are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.  Bullying will not be tolerated and all incidents of bullying will be carefully recorded and fully investigated, with appropriate follow up action taken.

Students and staff, both teaching and non-teaching, have a responsibility to promote a safe learning environment for all, and have a duty to report incidents of bullying or situations where vulnerable students may be at risk.  In doing so, they are acting responsibly to ensure the safety and well-being of others.

Procedure for Implementing this Policy

This procedure is in two main parts:

  1. Preventative Element: – Awareness Raising and Education Strategy
  2. Responsive Element: – Pastoral Care dimension – Code of Behaviour dimension

 

  1. Preventative Element: – Awareness Raising and Education Strategy

 

The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the College are as follows:

 

  • Raise awareness amongst the student population of the College’s anti-bullying policy.
  • This must also include cyber-bullying, identity-based bullying-in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Report inappropriate use of IT
  • Maintain & foster an environment where all members of the College community work together to ensure that everyone is treated with mutual courtesy, dignity & respect
  • Demonstrate the mutual benefits for all by responding to and not ignoring any incidents of unwelcome behaviour directed at others.
  • Where appropriate, provide students with the tools and strategies to deal with any unwelcome behaviour.
  • Publish a copy of the policy in the student handbook and on the student section of the College’s Moodle site.
  • Publish a copy of the policy on the College’s website.
  • Identify clearly the designated liaison person whom a complainant may approach to report incident/s of bullying
  • Provide in-service training for all staff-teachers, maintenance and administration staff on anti-bullying strategies.
  • Review policy annually.

 

  1. Responsive Element: – Pastoral Care dimension

 

The College’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:

The College will implement a programme of appropriate support for those affected by bullying and for those involved in bullying.  This will involve:

  • The College will raise awareness with the persons involved in bullying of the aspect of their behaviour which has constituted bullying and the impact of       their behaviour on others.
  • The College will put supports in place for those affected by bullying to ameliorate the impact of the unwelcome behaviour.
  • The Pastoral care dimension of the procedure is coordinated by the Care Team led by the Guidance Counsellor.
  • The College’s Code of Behaviour will convey the seriousness with which the College authorities view bullying/harassment thereby providing a deterrent to           such behaviour.
  • The College will endeavour to ensure that the person/s who alleges that they       have been bullied will be treated with fairness, sensitivity, underpinned by the   need for confidentiality with all parties concerned.

 

  1. Responsive Element: – Investigation procedures

 

Responsibility for the implementation of this policy is vested in the Principal of the College, Mr Rory O’Sullivan.  This includes responsibility for the investigation of and the dealing with incidents of bullying.  The Principal may delegate responsibility for investigating or dealing with a particular incident to a senior member of staff, taking into account the particular circumstances of the incident in question.  The staff member to whom the investigation has been delegated would normally be a teacher who does not teach either the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator.The College’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the College for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:

 

  • In the event of a student feeling bullied they may approach any member of staff: teaching; maintenance or administrative staff. Should any member of staff be so approached they must bring it to the immediate attention of the Principal.  At this point the Principal will immediately commence an investigation.
  • If a student is experiencing bullying but does not feel able to approach a member of staff directly he/she could ask a friend or relative to contact the College on their behalf. He/she might prefer to ask their family doctor to make the initial contact.  In some cases a student may wish to make the College aware of their situation through an advocacy agency, for example:

The Samaritans, tel. 1850 609090

BeLong To tel. 01-6706223

GLEN tel., 01-6728650

  • A student experiencing bullying may not wish to make a complaint but would like to talk to someone in confidence. The Guidance Counsellor is available for such conversations.

 

Informal Process

 

  • The first step in any informal resolution of a complaint should be to establish the facts of the complaint, the specific issues complained of, when they occurred and to consider whether or not they fall within the definition of bullying.
  • If bullying is established, the aim would be to eliminate it informally (if appropriate) with the consent of parties involved. This could include a non-judgemental (mediation approach). This would include clarification of what constitutes bullying, agreement by the person complained of, that they accept that their behaviour was inappropriate and that the conduct will not be repeated, or an explanation to the complainant about what occurred from the point of view of the person complained about which disposes of the complaint.
 

Formal process

 

  • This involves a formal complaint and a formal investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to determine the facts and to establish whether the complaint of bullying is well founded.

 

Key steps:

 

(1)  The complainant should make a formal complaint in writing, signed and dated, and give it to the Principal.

(2)  The complaint should provide precise details of alleged incidents of   bullying, including dates and names of witnesses where possible.

(3)  Where this is not possible, a written account should be taken of the complaint and signed by the complainant.  The Principal may assign a senior member of staff to conduct the investigation of the complaint.

(4)  The complainant should be assured of support and given a copy of the anti-bullying policy.

(5)  The person/persons against whom the complaint is made should be notified in writing that a formal allegation of bullying has been made. He/she should be advised of the aims/objectives of the formal process. He/she should be assured of the organisation’s commitment to investigating the matter in an objective and unbiased manner, with due regard to confidentiality, and the rights of all concerned.  He/she should be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint in writing.

(6)   The investigation should be completed as quickly as possible. The investigator should investigate the complaint and the response to the complaint and present his/her findings to the Principal who will then issue preliminary findings to the complainant and the person(s) complained of for comment.  Following receipt of such comments, the Principal will then make a decision as to whether or not the complaint of bullying has been established and will decide on appropriate action. The Principal’s decision should be communicated in writing to both parties.

(7)  Every effort will be made to complete the process within a 20 day period.

(8)  If the complaint is upheld, then it is a disciplinary matter and will be considered a serious breach of the College’s Code of Behaviour and dealt with at Stage 4 of the Disciplinary procedure by the Deputy Principal.

(9)  If a complaint is not upheld, no further action will be taken.

(10)  If a complaint is found to have been maliciously made, disciplinary procedures will be applied.  This is also considered to be a serious breach of the College’s Code of Behaviour and dealt with at Stage 4 of the Disciplinary procedure by the Deputy Principal.

 

 

 

 

Monitoring of Students

 

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

 

Prevention of Harassment

 

The Board of Management confirms that the College will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

 

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________

 

This policy has been made available to College personnel, published on the College website.  A copy of this policy will be forwarded to the City of Dublin ETB.  A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department, if requested.

 

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every College year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to College personnel and published on the College website.  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available to the CDETB and the Department, if requested.

 

Signed:          Cllr Sean Paul Mahon__________________    Date:  8th October 2018____

Chairperson of Board of Management

 

Signed:          Dr Rory O’Sullivan______________________ Date:  8th October 2018____

Principal

 

 

Date of next review: October 2019______________