In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Manager of Hamilton High School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, which were published in September 2013.

 

The Manager of Hamilton High School 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 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-threatening environment; and promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
  • Effective leadership;
  • A school-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 pupils; and
    • – explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular,    homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • 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 BULLYING

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 and
  • 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 school’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.

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

This list is not exhaustive and additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

 

RELEVANT TEACHERS

All of the school community play a role in encouraging a respectful attitude to others, creating a positive school climate and reporting unacceptable student  behaviour, including allegations of bullying.  There is a responsibility on all of the school community to be familiar with the school’s Code of Behaviour, including Anti Bullying Policy, Rewards & Disciplinary Procedures, Suspension & Exclusion Policy  and Pastoral Care & Bullying Policy. These policies are available on the school website, in the student journal and in the teacher handbook.

The Code of Behaviour, including Rewards & Disciplinary Procedures outlines the expectation for students to be mature, responsible and caring citizens equipped with life skills and qualifications that will enable him to live a fulfilling and happy life.

The Staff Charter outlines the expectation that staff will uphold the school’s Dignity in the Workplace Policy.

Subject teachers, students , parents & ancillary staff should report allegations of bullying to the Year Head, in the first instance. The Year Head ‘relevant teacher’ will investigate the allegations and  keep a written record of the allegation and procedures. The ‘relevant teachers’ for investigating and dealing with bullying in Hamilton High School.

 

Hamilton High School Year Heads 2013-14

  • First Year – Mr. Ronan McWalters
  • Second Year – Ms. Carmel Murphy
  • Third Year – Ms. Bridie Clifford
  • Transition Year – Mr. John Byrne
  • Fifth Year – Mr. Thomas Power
  • Sixth Year – Mr. Hubert O’Connor

 

The Guidance Counsellor (Ms Teresa Connolly) may be involved in dealing with the bullying and in providing support and guidance to the students involved in the incident(s).

The senior management team will, if necessary, further investigate and deal with reports of alleged bullying from relevant teachers.

  • Deputy Principal – Mr. Damian Mitchell
  • Principal – Ms. Majella Buckley 

 

EDUCATION AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES

The Education and Prevention Strategies that will be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

  • School Ethos
  • Student Journal
  • Teacher Handbook including Staff Charter – Dignity in the Workplace
  • Class Tutor & Year Head System
  • Student Council
  • Code of Behaviour including Rewards & Disciplinary Procedures
  • Pastoral Care Policy including Pastoral Care & Bullying
  • Anti Bullying Questionaire
  • Amber Flag for Positive Mental Health
  • Anti Bullying Student Seminars
  • Subject Planning & School Self Evaluation
  • Induction Policy
  • Suspension & Exclusion Policy
  • ICT Acceptable User Policy including Internet Safety Policy
  • SEN Policy
  • RSE Policy
  • Attendance Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Parent Teacher Meetings
  • School Events
  • Emergency Contact List
  • School Tour/Trip Guidelines

Students,subject teachers, middle management, senior management, ancillary staff  and  the school manager of Hamilton High School have a role in ensuring a happy and safe environment conducive to good teaching and learning.

The Code of Behaviour supports the entire school community in creating an inclusive climate which encourages and reinforces good behaviour and to uphold the school’s high expectations for good behaviour.

RESPECT is the main principle underlying the Code and positive relationships of mutual respect and mutual support among the school community are expected.

The school aims to participate in the development of each student into a mature, responsible and caring citizen, equipped with life skills and qualifications tht will enable him to live a fulfilling and happy life. Students are encouraged to become lifelong independent learners.

 

PROCEDURES FOR INVESTIGATION, FOLLOW_UP AND RECORDING OF BULLYING BEHAVIOUR AND THE ESTABLISHED INTERVENTION STRATEGIES

The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :

Investigation

  • Stage One – submission of ‘Report of Bullying Behaviour’to the Referring Teacher i.e.  Year Head
  • Stage Two – Investigation initiated by Referring Teacher  i.e. the Year Head, who  will keep a written record of the investigation and inform the Principal of the investigation.
  • Stage Three – If it is established that bullying has occurred and the issue remains unresolved after 20 days, , the Referring Teacher  i.e. Year Head will submit a ‘Record of Bullying Behaviour’ and all accompanying written records and their written report to senior management.
  • Stage Four – If required,further investigation and liasion and if required,referral to DES and outside agencies

Follow Up

  • Referring Teacher
  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Deputy Principal
  • Principal
  • D.E.S & outside agencies, if required.

Recording

  • Report of Bullying
  • Referring Teacher Written Report
  • Record of Incident

 Established Intervention Strategies

  • Restorative Meetings
  • Code of Behaviour including Rewards & Disciplinary Procedures
  • Consultation with Education Partners (see appendix A)
  • Whole School Pastoral Care Policy (see Appendix B)
  • Procedures for noting and reporting incidents of Bullying (see Appendix C)
  • Anti Bullying Questionnaire (see Appendix D)
  • Class Tutor
  • Year Head
  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Positive Mental Health ‘Amber Flag’ Committee

The school reserves the right to apply its bullying policy in respect of bullying that occurs at a location, activity, function or program that is not school related if in the opinion of the Principal and/or  Manager the alleged bullying has created a hostile environment at school for the victim, has infringed on the rights of the victim at the school and/or has materially or substantially disrupted the education process or the orderly operation of the school.

 

PROGRAMME OF SUPPOR FOR WORKING WITH PUPILS AFFECTED BY BULLYING

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

  • Restorative Meetings
  • Pastoral Care Programme
  • RSE Policy
  • Code of Behaviour including Rewards & Disciplinary Procedures
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Monitoring, Support, Intervention, Liaision, Referral, Follow Up from
  • a) School Guidance Counsellor b) Class Tutor c) Year Head d) Senior Management
  • Referral to DES recognised outside agencies, if required, by Senior Management – eg  NEPS, Tusla, CAMHS (G.P. only),

 

SUPERVISION AND MONITORING OF PUPILS

The School Manager 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.

(See Supervision & Substitution Rota)

 

PREVENTION OF HARASSMENT

The School Manager 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.

This policy was adopted by the Manager on:

This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the School Manager once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists).  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.