The purpose of this policy is:
• to help prevent bullying from happening to students in our care
• 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, homestays, volunteers, students and their parents about what we should all do to prevent and deal with bullying.
Bright World Guardianships believes that:
• children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind;
• we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.
We recognise that:
• bullying causes real distress. It can affect a person’s health and development and, at the extreme, can cause significant harm;
• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;
• everyone has a role to play in preventing all forms of bullying (including online) and putting a stop to it.
Nominated anti-bullying leads and DSLs
Name: Robbie Piper
Phone/email: 01273835745 firstname.lastname@example.org
Designated lead for safeguarding and child protection
Name: Lana Foster
Phone/email: 01273835745 email@example.com
NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000
What is bullying?
Bullying may be repeated over time and intentionally hurts a student or group physically or emotionally and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example, on grounds of race, religion, culture, sex, gender, homophobia, special educational needs and disability, or because a child is adopted or is a carer– it may occur directly or through cyber-technology (social websites, mobile phones, text messages, photographs and email).
Bullying includes a range of abusive behaviour that is:
• intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally.
The NSPCC explains that bullying can take different forms. It could include:
• physical bullying: hitting, slapping or pushing someone;
• verbal bullying: name calling, gossiping or threatening someone;
• non-verbal abuse: hand signs or text messages;
• emotional abuse: threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone;
• exclusion: ignoring or isolating someone;
• undermining, constant criticism or spreading rumours;
• controlling or manipulating someone;
• making silent, hoax or abusive calls;
• racial, sexual or homophobic bullying (this is also a hate crime);
• bullying someone because they have a disability (this is also a hate crime).
The NSPCC explains that no single sign will indicate for certain that a child is being bullied, but watch out for:
• belongings getting ‘lost’ or damaged;
• physical injuries, such as unexplained bruises;
• being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning, or skipping school;
• not doing as well at school;
• asking for, or stealing, money (to give to whoever is bullying them);
• being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn;
• problems with eating or sleeping;
• bullying others.
Who is at risk?
The NSPCC explain that any child can be bullied for any reason. If a child is seen as different in some way or seen as an easy target they can be more at risk.
This might be because of their:
• race or ethnic background
• sexual orientation.
Or it could be because they:
• appear anxious or have low self-esteem
• lack assertiveness
• are shy or introverted.
Popular or successful children are also bullied, sometimes because others are jealous of them. Sometimes a child’s family circumstance or home life can be a reason for someone bullying them.
Disabled children can experience bullying because they seem an easy target and less able to defend themselves.
Further information on bullying (including cyber-bullying) can be found on the NSPCC website https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/bullying-and-cyberbullying/
Bright World Guardianships will seek to prevent bullying by:
• developing a code of behaviour that sets out how everyone involved in our organisation is expected to behave, in face-to-face contact and online, and within and outside of our activities;
• holding discussions with staff, homestays, volunteers and students in our care about bullying and how to prevent it. These discussions will focus on:
• group members’ responsibilities to look after one another and uphold the behaviour code;
•. practising skills such as listening to each other;
• respecting the fact that we are all different;
• making sure that no one is without friends;
• dealing with problems in a positive way;
• checking that our anti-bullying measures are working well.
• providing support and training for all staff, homestays and volunteers on dealing with all forms of bullying, including cyber bullying, racial, sexist, homophobic and sexual bullying;
• making sure our response to incidents of bullying takes into account:
• the needs of the person being bullied;
• the needs of the person displaying bullying behaviour;
• needs of any bystanders;
• our organisation as a whole.
• reviewing the plan developed to address any incidents of bullying at regular intervals, in order to ensure that the problem has been resolved in the long term;
• Making parents fully aware of our procedures by providing them with a copy of this policy.
What is Cyber Bullying?
The NSPCC website explains that cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. Unlike bullying offline, online bullying can follow the child wherever they go, via social networks, gaming and mobile phone and can include:
• sending threatening or abusive text messages
• creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos
• trolling – the sending of menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
• excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups
• shaming someone online
• setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child
• encouraging young people to self-harm
• voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
• creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name
• sending explicit messages, also known as sexting
• pressuring children into sending sexual images or engaging in sexual conversations.
Cyberbullying is just one type of online abuse. Further details on the different types and signs, as well as how to help keep students safe online can be found in our online safety policy.
We will take seriously and investigate any bullying or cyber-bullying concerns that are reported to us:
• Students will be made aware that they can talk to their parents, teachers, homestay, or a member of Bright World Guardianships staff about any bullying concerns they may have;
• Bright World Guardianships staff member may receive a report of suspected online abuse from a student, parent or other source by face to face disclosure, email or telephone call. This disclosure will be recorded in writing by the member of staff (using the ‘Tell Explain Describe’ model if the information is being given by a student);
• Any concerns raised by a student, parent, homestay, member of staff or other source will be reported within 24 hours to [Name of individual and role- this could be the Designated Safeguarding Lead]. The written record (see above) must be submitted at this time;
• The DSL will hold an emergency strategy meeting to discuss the incident, assess the alleged threat and risk to the student (including any relevant facts about the child which may affect their vulnerability including age and ability), implement an action plan and continue to review the situation until a resolution has been achieved. Written notes will be kept securely of this meeting by the DSL;
• The DSL will arrange for the young person to be helped and supported in recognition of the pressures (and possible vulnerabilities) they may have been under as a result of the suspected abuse;
• Any concerns that bullying (including cyber-bullying) has taken place at a student’s school will be referred to the DSL of the school concerned;
• If the alleged bullying incident involves a member of the homestay family, or another student staying at the homestay, Bright World Guardianships will investigate fully as outlined above and, if necessary find alternative accommodation for the student;
• In most cases parents will be kept informed about the situation and the actions that Bright World Guardianships is taking unless there is good reason to believe that involving these parties would put the young person at risk of harm;
• We will support the victim and the perpetrator (if they are a student in our care) and monitor students well-being following a bullying incident for as long as necessary;
• Where there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’ due to bullying, we will refer the matter to local agencies;
• Please note that strong sanctions such as termination of our contract may be necessary in cases of severe and persistent bullying;
• Full records will be kept of any bullying concerns and of any actions taken. These will be held confidentially by our DSL, Robbie Piper or Lana Foster].
• Whilst is acknowledged that bullying may be repeated over time, we will take action in response to a single incident and make an appropriate record.
Specific cyber-bullying procedures in addition to the above
• In the case of cyber-bullying support for the student could include helping them to understand how to recognise the early signs of online abuse, the wider issues and motivations of online abuse and making available relevant information and material. This help and support could be provided by accredited organisations such as the school, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Childline, National Crime Agency (NCA), Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) websites and helplines;
• The DSL will ensure that viewing of any images or other content is only made where there are good and clear reasons to do so (unless unavoidable because the student has willingly shown a member of staff), basing incident decisions on what the DSL has been told about the content of any imagery or other content. The DSL will ensure that staff members do not search through devices and delete imagery unless there is a good and clear reason to do so. If the DSL feels that it is necessary to view any imagery, they will follow the guidance in the guidance Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people (publishing.service.gov.uk). This includes ensuring that there is another senior member of staff present, ideally of the same sex of the as the student in the images when the viewing takes place. (Section 2.10 of Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people explains the procedure to follow if it is felt that there is a clear reason to view such imagery);
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
This policy was last reviewed on: 26th July 2023
Signed: Lana Foster, Managing Director, DSL