Sacred Heart Primary School Anti Bullying Policy
1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Sacred Heart Primary School has adopted the following anti-
THIS POLICY MUST BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SCHOOLS OVERALL CODE OF BEHAVIOUR AND EXISTING ANTI BULLYING MEASURES AND PROCEDURES.
2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
(a) A positive school culture and climate which
• is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
• encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-
• promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
At Sacred Heart Primary School we consider the following to be key elements of a Positive School Culture:
We acknowledge the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment
We acknowledge the uniqueness of each individual and their worth as a human being
We promote positive habits of self-
We actively prohibits vulgar, offensive, sectarian or other aggressive behaviour by any of its members
We have a clear commitment to promoting equity in general and gender equity in particular in all aspects of its functioning
We have the capacity to change in response to its pupils needs
We identify aspects of its curriculum through which positive and sustainable influences can be exerted towards forming pupils attitudes and values
We take particular care of ‘at risk’ pupils and uses its systems to identify needs and facilitate early intervention where necessary –thus responding to the needs, fears & anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner
Sacred Heart Primary School recognises the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships within the school community
We recognise the right of parents to share in the task of equipping pupils with a range of life skills
We recognise the role of other community agencies in preventing and dealing with bullying
We promote habits of mutual respect, courtesy and an awareness of the interdependence of people in groups and communities
We promote qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding among its members both in school and outside of school
Staff members share a collegiate responsibility, under the direction of the Principal, to act in preventing bullying/aggressive behaviour by ANY MEMBER of the school community
(b) Effective leadership
The BOM has overall responsibility to ensure that this policy is effective, sustainable and measured. The BOM must ensure that accountability is of the highest standard and frequently appraise the outcomes of the strategies and measures contained within the policy
ISM Team -
The Principal of Sacred Heart Primary School as key leader strongly influences attitudes and sets standards in relation to dealing with bullying
Teachers must act as good role models and not misuse authority, but be fair, clear and consistent in their disciplinary measures.
(c) A school-
A whole community approach to the problem of bullying is required and the Sacred Heart School community comprises of management, teachers, non-
Beyond the school community, bullying behaviour may extend to outside of school. Where this negatively impacts on a school -
The assistance of Gardaí, Tusla and Community Workers may be required in some cases
Collective vigilance is needed throughout the whole school/community sector to identify and deal with issues around bullying in a fair and equitable manner
(d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
Sacred Heart Primary School endeavours to put in place appropriate systems to ensure that ALL relevant members of the school community (parents, pupils, staff and the wider community) have a shared understanding of what constitutes bullying behaviour as defined in this policy (Section 2&3 of Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary & Post Primary Schools)
(e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies see section 5 of this policy, (including awareness raising measures) that-
• build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
• explicitly address the issues of cyber-
(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
Staff members have a distinct responsibility to ensure that supervision of pupils in class is effective and consistent
Supervision in playground areas must be managed and conducted effectively, with particular attention given to ‘hot spots’ or ‘hot times’ e.g. arrival & dismissal
Goal Ambassadors are consulted and engaged in a supervisory role, suitable to their capacity and understanding of the issues involved both in class and in the playground
Office Staff And Bus Escorts are well placed to inform if any behaviour which may constitute bullying is noticed
(g) Supports for staff
Regular discussion and review of policy and procedures is essential to support staff on a continuous basis
All staff must have a uniform interpretation of what is expected in relation to bullying, how to identify possible bullying behaviours, how to manage disclosures and how to deal effectively with incidents of bullying within the classroom context
Staff must be aware that supporting one another is a key aspect of prevention and new/inexperienced members of staff must be given every opportunity to discuss concerns and model best practice
CPD in relation to Anti Bullying Strategies will be supported and encouraged for all members of staff
(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
3. In accordance with the Anti-
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,
Isolated or once-
However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-
Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
Bullying Behaviours which Sacred Heart Primary School has identified as relevant to our context:
General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying
• Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legis-
• Physical aggression
• Damage to property
• Name calling
• The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
• Offensive graffiti
• Insulting or offensive gestures
• The “look”
• Invasion of personal space
• A combination of any of the types listed.
• Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation
• Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing mes-
• Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under an-
• Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
• Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
• Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising infor-
• Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
• Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
• Silent telephone/mobile phone call
• Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
• Abusive text messages
• Abusive email
• Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles
• Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
• Abusive posts on any form of communication technology
Identity Based Behaviours
Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender in-
Homophobic and Transgender
• Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation
• Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
• Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian...used in a derogatory manner
• Physical intimidation or attacks
Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community • Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, na-
• Exclusion on the basis of any of the above
This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:
• Malicious gossip
• Isolation & exclusion
• Excluding from the group
• Taking someone’s friends away
• Spreading rumours
• Breaking confidence
• Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
• The “look”
• Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way
Sexual • Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
Special Educational Needs,
Disability • Name calling
• Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs
• Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying
• Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
• Mimicking a person’s disability
• Setting others up for ridicule
4. The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying in accordance with the Anti -
All class teachers
5. The following education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-
Education and prevention strategies
• The school will lead by example as we adopt a school-
• The school promotes qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding amongst all its members both in and out of school.
• In its Code of Behaviour, the school make its position very clear on the issue. Staff members share a collegiate responsibility, under the direction of the Principal teacher, to act in preventing bullying, or aggressive behaviour by any member of the school.
• The school will organise the school community in order to minimise opportunities for bullying, e.g. provide adequate supervision at all times.
• Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to be-
• Encourage each child to develop and recognise the talents and gifts unique to each one. Affirming the child with praise and leading them to recognise and appreciate good qualities in one another.
• Involve children in activities where teamwork, tolerance, interdependence and re-
• Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints.
• Review the School Policy regularly.
• Continue to have a firm but fair discipline structure. The rules are simple and easy to understand.
• Use teaching materials or equipment which give a positive view of other groups which differ from us in gender, ethnic race and other international/cultural back-
• Encourage pupils to discuss how they get on with other people and to form positive attitudes towards other people.
• Treat bullying as a serious offence and take every possible action to eradicate it from Sacred Heart Primary School.
• Lessons will be taught dealing with respect, self-
• The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyp-
• The fostering and enhancing of the self-
• Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to re-
• An annual audit of professional development needs with a view to assessing staff requirements through internal staff knowledge/expertise and external sources
• Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant teachers
• School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying, to include pu-
• Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra-
• Involvement of the senior pupils in contributing to a safe school environment e.g. Buddy system, mentoring, Lunchtime Buddies and other student support activities that can help to support pupils and encourage a culture of peer respect and support.
• Development and promotion of an Anti-
• The school’s anti-
• The implementation of regular (e.g. per year) whole school awareness measures e.g. a dedicated notice board in the school on the promotion of the Sacred Heart Goal of focus for that year; annual Anti bullying Week, parents/guardians seminars organised by HSCL.; twice weekly school assemblies by principal or deputy principal.
• Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of by-
• Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:
• Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.
• Hand note up with homework.
• Make a phone call to the school
• Get a parent/guardian or friend to tell on your behalf.
• Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.
• Identify clear protocols to encourage parents/guardians to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied.
• The development of an Acceptable Use Policy in the school to include the neces-
All teachers should be aware of this code. However, when discussing with the children, focus on the positive aspects and promote respect and kindness towards each other.
I should never bully others or allow others to bully me.
• Treat other children kindly. Keep unhelpful hands, feet and comments to yourself. Use your brain not your fist.
• Don’t tease or jeer another child, or call them a name that might hurt their feelings.
• Be friendly! Never threaten another child or say bad things about them to others.
• Remember that everyone has a right to their own things. Never take someone else’s belongings.
• Use your own brain all the time. Never copy bad behaviour or join a bad gang.
• Never keep bullying a secret. Be brave! Always tell a parent or teacher. Remember that Sacred Heart Primary School is a telling school and a bully-
Implementation of curricula
• The full implementation of the SPHE and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.
• Continuous Professional Development for staff in delivering these programmes.
• School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes.
• School wide delivery of lessons on Cyber Bullying (Web wise Primary teachers’ resources), and on Diversity and Inter-
• Delivery of the Garda SPHE Programmes at primary level. These lessons, delivered by Community Gardai, cover issues around personal safety and cyber-
• The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to ena-
Links to other policies
Hereunder is a List of school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to bullying:
Code of Behaviour
Child Safeguarding Statement,
Acceptable Use policy,
DEIS Plans particularly parental involvement and attendance,
6. Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying
The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame);
The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following approach.
Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parents/guardians) understand this approach from the outset.
Reporting bullying behaviour
• Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.
• All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
• Teaching and non-
Investigating and dealing with incident
• In investigating and dealing with bullying, the relevant teacher will exercise her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-
• Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-
• Where possible incidents should be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
• All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way;
• When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-
• If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
• Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher;
• It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
• In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken by Sacred Heart Primary School. The school should give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils;
• Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to her how she is in breach of the school’s anti-
• It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school
If it is discovered following investigation that bullying is taking place the following disciplinary procedures are used by the school:
• Pupils engaged in bullying behaviour will be warned to stop offending. If it is the first occurrence, the person engaged in bullying behaviour is given a verbal warning and apologises to the victim. A record of the incident is kept by the teacher.
• However, if the teacher deems it necessary, the parents of both victim and the person engaged in bullying behaviour will be made aware of the incident, through a phone call or meeting.
• If this bullying behaviour continues over a period of time, the person engaged in bullying behaviour will be put on report for a certain period of time, and subject to special moni-
• A meeting with the parents of the person engaged in bullying behaviour, class teacher, and other teachers involved, the pupil and Principal may be appropriate at this stage. Ways of dealing with the situation will be discussed and the parents will be asked to support or reinforce the actions taken by the school. The school is very aware that pupils involved in bullying and their victims, need help on an on-
• If this intervention is deemed inadequate, outside agencies that can offer help will be contacted.
• If there is no improvement the problem will be reported to the Board of Management, persons involved will be requested to appear before the Board of Management with their parent(s)/guardians.
• Serious instances of bullying behaviour will in accordance with the Children First and The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate.
• If the above procedures fail to overcome the problem, the parents of the person engaged in bullying behaviour may be asked to find an alternative school placement for their child. Our Anti-
Follow up and recording
• In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
• Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
• In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school's complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Recording of bullying behaviour
It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.
The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:
• All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. These records will be made in the yard incident book in the school office. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher
• While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
• The relevant teacher must inform the principal of all incidents being investigated.
Formal Stage 1-
• If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
• The school in consultation with the relevant teacher/s should develop a protocol for the storage of all records retained by the relevant teacher.
Formal Stage 2-
The relevant teacher must use the recording template attached to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
a) in cases where she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and
b) All confirmed instances of bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.
The recording template must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal.
Teachers records are retained in a secure space in the teacher’s classroom. All report templates given to the Principal will be retained in the filing cabinet in the Principal’s Office.
Established intervention strategies
• Teacher interviews with all pupils
• Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
• Working with parent/guardian to support school interventions
• No Blame Approach
• Circle Time
• Restorative interviews
• Restorative conferencing
Sacred Heart Primary School is committed to exploring these interventions further:
• The traditional successful disciplinary approach
• Strengthening the victim
• Restorative Practice
• The Support Group Method
• The Method of Shared Concern
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
• By offering him/her an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with his/her class teacher, or another teacher if he/she chooses, or arranging non-
• Informing the victim’s parents/guardians.
• By offering continuing support when he/she feels he/she needs it.
• It is very important that the victim is reassured that the situation isn’t going to spiral out of control.
• All in-
• If pupils require counselling or further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same. NEPS will also be contacted for advice.
• Pupils should understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all inci-
8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and Practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
• There are agreed supervision and monitoring practices in the school
• Mobile phones must be powered off and surrendered to the teacher/principal or school of-
• Mobile phones are generally not permitted on school tours/outings except in special circum-
• Bullying danger spots have been identified as the playground, toilets, corridors, school tours/trips, after school activities and swimming lessons.
• Parents and pupils have been consulted in the identification of these danger spots.
• In relation to Acceptable Use Policy in the school the following issues are addressed:
o All Internet sessions are supervised by a teacher
o The school regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage within school time.
(Note that the Schools Broadband Programme has blocked all social networking sites on the basis that they waste time and take up too much of the bandwidth which is been provided for educational purposes only).
9. Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school 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.
10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management at a meeting held on October 14th 2021.
11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the parents who were active partners in its compilation. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. (Appendix C) Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and be readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed: ___________________________ Signed: _______________________
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: __________________________ Date: _________________________
Appendix A: List of ISM Team Members
Mrs. Caitriona Sutton-
Ms. Valerie Carey-
Ms. Adrienne Cunningham
Ms. Elaine Mounsey
Ms. Emma McGrath
Appendix B: Template for recording bullying behaviour
1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group
2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))* 4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned Playground
Other Pupil Classroom
5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
Physical Aggression Cyber-
Damage to Property Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (specify)
7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-
Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)
8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact
9. Details of actions taken
Signed _________________________ (Relevant Teacher) Date_______________________
Date submitted to Principal ___________________
Appendix C Checklist for annual review of the anti-
The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-
Has the Board formally adopted an anti-
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?
Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?
Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?
Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?
Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?
Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Chairperson, Board of Management
Signed: _____________________________________ Date ________________
Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review
of the anti-
The Board of Management of ____________________ wishes to inform you that:
o The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-
o This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the De-
Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________
Chairperson, Board of Management
Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________