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How Can Teachers And Schools Help?

 

 

Prevention is better than cure

The best way that teachers can help the victims of bullying is by preventing it from happening in the first place.

  • All schools should have an anti-bullying policy (see below).
  • Teachers can raise awareness about what bullying is and what the consequences of it are, through classroom activities and special lessons.
  • Students can be encouraged to take a stand against bullying behaviour, thereby creating an anti-bullying culture within school.
  • Hold a class meeting in which students come up with rules for appropriate behaviour. Rules should be limited in number (no more than 3-4) and be framed in positive terms, e.g. 

     

    - Treat others with courtesy and respect.
    - Make everyone feel welcome and included.
    - Help others who are being bullied or picked on

     

 

 

If bullying is happening

 

Unfortunately, even with prevention measures in place, bullying can still occur in the school and beyond. If this is the case, the following measures can help:

  • Ensure that confidentiality is assured when students report bullying against themselves or others - they need to feel safe that once they make the disclosure, the bully does not find out it was them who told. An easy way to overcome this could be to say to the bully that "Another member of staff has witnessed you..."
  • Promote awareness of the above confidential disclosure policy - young people will feel safe if they know they are protected by anonymity and are therefore more likely to report bullying 
  • Act upon every incident that is reported to you, and let the referrer know that you have acted upon it. If a student reports bulying but they do not see that action is taken, their confidence in you will wane.
  • Take steps to ensure the safety of any bullying victims - be aware of the victim's school timetable and identify the risk areas/times. Speak to other school staff to get their help in keeping the victim safe from bullies.
  • Confront students engaged in bullying in a firm but fair manner - sending a clear message to students that bullying will not be tolerated.
  • Provide appropriate and consistent consequences for bullying behaviour - using the anti-bullying procedure if it is in place.

 

Further details for dealing with bullying can be found in the excellent document Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do that can be read and downloaded here.

 

 

 

ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES FOR SCHOOLS TO TACKLE BULLYING

 

All schools should have an anti-bullying policy which clearly sets out the rules and consequences of how teachers will deal with any case of bullying. The school rules should also enforce the anti bullying policy ensuring that all of the students know the boundaries and the consequences if they were to bully someone. 

 

An effective policy should include:

Outlines on how school staff tackle the issue of bullying - preventative methods, educating students about bullying, pointing students to the right appropriate support (see the Links page).

Guidance on how incidents are dealt with after they occur, including what support the school will offer to the student. 

All students and parents should be informed about the policy and what the consequences of breaching it are. 

 

The Policy should outline each form of bullying including but not limited to:

Verbal

Physical

Sexual

Indirect

Relational 

Most of these are described on our 'What Is Bullying Page' or in the below document. 

 

Other methods teachers and schools can use to tackle bullying can be found in this useful PDF document.

 

What support should teachers offer to the victims:

 

Teachers should carry out the following tasks to deal with bullying in a school:

Do

  1. Stop the bullying immediately. 
  2. Refer to school rules regarding bullying (if there are any in place).

  3. Offer support to the victim.

  4. Make the consequences of bullying very clear to the perpetrator(s).

  5. Tell other members of staff and inform all sets of parents.

  6. Follow up to make sure things have calmed down and stopped.

 

Don’t

  1. Do not confuse bullying with general conflict.

  2. Do not use peer mediation or resolution conflict methods. This can be very hard for the victim to deal with.

  3. Do not use group treatment for bullies. Any work with bullies should be done on a one-to-one basis as working in groups may make the bullies want to work together, which can worsen the situation.

Who To Tell

 

  • The people who need to be involved will depend on the situation.  
  • Teachers should inform the parents of the children concerned and other members of teaching staff to make the bully know that they are being watched and that it will not be tolerated.
  • If the school has a peer mentor scheme it may be best to assign the victim to a mentor so that they can feed back to the mentor about how well things are going. The teacher should also keep the mentor up to date about what is happening.
  • It may be better to refer the case to someone who deals with senior management or pastoral care (Student support services).
  • Other cases may require the victim to be referred to a counsellor or to be passed on to the local authority or police. 
  • Teachers should also make it clear to victims that there is support is available to them. The following are all great places to direct the young person to:

 

www.bullying.co.uk

www.childline.org.uk

www.devanwitter.strikingly.com