UPDATED OCTOBER 2021
FIFE COUNCIL EDUCATION AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Fife Council Education and Children’s Services Directorate is committed to the personal and social wellbeing of all children and young people growing up in Fife. Through our schools and service, we aim to provide community, social and learning environments free from any threat or fear, as a matter of right and as a prerequisite to effective learning and development.
In this context the Directorate, through all staff who work within it, is unequivocally opposed to bullying. We fully recognise the damage which bullying can do to young people’s lives – both those who bully and those who are bullied – in the short and long term. We are therefore committed to reducing and preventing bullying across all our services and establishments and providing appropriate support when bullying does occur. This policy sets clear expectations regarding how these goals will be achieved.
WOODMILL HIGH SCHOOL
In addressing the issue of bullying we recognise that children and young people will naturally fall in and out of friendships in the course of growing up. Such difficulties, disagreements or conflicts might be relatively minor and short-lived, but at other times may lead to serious conflict requiring direct intervention to ensure resolution. At whatever level such conflict occurs it is important to distinguish it from bullying, and to ensure that children and their parents and carers understand this distinction. It should also be recognised of course that unresolved conflict might, in time, lead to bullying.
We believe it is important to make a distinction between conflict and bullying as describing all relationship difficulties as ‘bullying’ is likely to devalue the term and obscure the very real risks which we know are associated with children and young people being bullied. It can also create confusion around the nature of response or intervention which is required to get best outcomes for children. Bullying is a mixture of behaviours and impacts, and adult intervention should be guided by the impact on a child or young person.
The Woodmill Community are expected to follow the ethos of We Learn, We Respect, We Succeed. Each individual community member is expected to take responsibility for, and contribute to this ethos by following the positive behaviour strategy. The reporting of situations of conflict or bullying are encouraged from all members of the community.
“Every pupil has a right to work and learn in an atmosphere that is free from victimisation and fear”.
“Children have the right to protection from all forms of violence (physical or mental). They must be kept safe from harm and they must be given proper care by those looking after them.” [The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19]
At Woodmill we are committed to ensure that all pupils are supported and through the universal approach, and through the learning and teaching strategy, it is important that all pupils feel safe.
The topics of relationships, understanding conflict and bullying are explored in detail through Personal and Social Education classes. Through this the areas of understanding others; making positive choices and creating resolutions are explored.
The Woodmill community will challenge any signs of conflict or bullying, and will respond.
PREJUDICE BASED BEHAVIOURS
At Woodmill we recognise equality and diversity and the need and responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of all pupils who may be vulnerable to bullying as a result of real or perceived difference affecting them or any member of their family, as identified as protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010:
- DISABILITY (including the behaviours where the young person may not be able to identify that they are being bullied)
- GENDER REASSIGNMENT (including identity and transphobic bullying)
- MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
- PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY
- RELIGION OR BELIEF
- SEXUAL ORIENTATION (including perceptions of orientation for the child, parent/carer and sexist attitudes)
We also identify that prejudices and marginalisation can also extend to the following groups:
Additional support needs; Age; Asylum Seekers and Refugees; Body Image and Physical Appearance; Care Experienced young people; Gypsy/Travellers; Young Carers; Socio-economic circumstances; Family circumstances (single parent families; family with persons in prison).
Instances of bullying or conflict, reported by any Woodmill Community member (pupil(s), member of staff, parent/carer) are investigated by the most appropriate person/persons to the situation.
All reported instances are investigated fully and communication maintained with the young person(s) involved, as well as the parent/carer(s).
The approach taken by staff when addressing these instances, will at all times, take account of the pupils’ past experiences, any additional support needs.
Through the procedure the decisions are made in terms of conflict or bullying by the person who knows the pupil(s) the most. If the outcome of the investigation is found to be a bullying incident, the incident will be recorded as such via SEEMIS referral.
Support planning will encompass the GIRFEC wellbeing indicators for all of the young persons involved in the incident.
The process of recording bullying and conflict in WHS:
INFORMATION FOR PUPILS
If you are worried that you are being bullied, report to your Guidance Teacher, a trusted member of staff, or prefect, who will advise you on the process. It is ok, not to be ok and want to chat over issues.
If you think that you have witnessed bullying behaviour please report this to your Guidance Teacher, a trusted member of staff, or prefect, who will advise you on the process.
For more information and practical support click on the link below
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS/CARERS
Bullying situations can be a stressful time for all involved and there are times when young people do not want to discuss it. It is worth remembering that if there are changes to your young person’s behaviours, it may be communicating that there is something underlying that is not right.
There is a wealth of information on the signs of bullying and practical tips on how to advise your young person to build their resilience and ability to cope with difficult situations on the RESPECTME pages, click on the link below for more help.
If you are concerned about your young person, do not hesitate to contact the school to discuss your concerns with your young person’s Guidance teacher.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF SUPPORT AND INFORMATION
If your child is being bullied and would like to speak to an adult in confidence, they can contact:
ChildLine on 0800 1111
If you are worried about your child and would like to talk to someone in confidence, you can call:
ParentLine Scotland on 08000 28 22 33
ChildLine: ChildLine’s website has a bullying section for young people and adults. www.childline.org.uk
Childnet International: Childnet International works in partnership with other organisations to help make the internet a safe place for children and young people. www.childnet.com
Cybermentors: A social networking place where children and young people can talk about bullying with mentors their own age. www.cybermentors.org.uk
CEOP: The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre website provides information and advice for online safety. www.ceop.police.uk
LGBT Youth Scotland www.lgbtyouth.org.uk
Families on the Outside www.familiesoutside.org.uk