Anti-Bullying Revised 2017

St Joseph’s Boys’ High School



Stay Safe at School


(Revised: June 2017)

St Joseph’s Boys’ High School aims to provide a safe and secure learning environment for everyone in the school community. We are committed to taking positive action to prevent and respond to bullying behaviour.  Bullying in any form is caused by a lack of proper respect for another person’s dignity and rights.  We are determined to offer pupils a safe and happy learning environment and therefore bullying type behaviour will not be tolerated.

(This policy has been revised to reflect Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Guidance, DENI Circular 2015/22 – Relationships and Sexuality Guidance and ‘Addressing Bullying in Schools Act NI 2016)


The aim of the policy is to establish an agreed set of procedures for pupils, staff and parents to follow in the event of bullying behaviours. The procedures offer a sense of direction and an understanding of the commitment of St Joseph’s Boys’ High School to take positive steps to prevent and respond to bullying behaviour.

  1. To clarify for students, parents and staff that bullying is always unacceptable and will be treated as a serious offence, and that the school will not tolerate instances where any student attempts to threaten, coerce or victimize another, in individual or group situations.
    1. To confirm that every pupil has the right to be safe and happy in school, on the way to and from school, and to be protected if and when he feels vulnerable.
    2. To encourage pupils through the pastoral system at St Joseph’s Boys’ High School, to confide in any member of staff whom they trust, on occasions when they have felt themselves to be targets of bullying or have witnessed others being bullied. We guarantee the safety and respect the rights of pupils by listening, reassuring and thoroughly investigating reported incidents.
    3. To devise and deliver programmes which support the targets(s) of bullying behavior and which enable the pupil(s) engaging in bullying behaviour to recognise the unacceptability of his behaviour and as to change it.
    4. To cooperate fully with other external agencies or authorities if and when appropriate when dealing with bullying behavior.
    5. To evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy through regular monitoring and review.


”bullying is the repeated use of power by one or more people intentionally to harm, hurt or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others” (Adopted by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum)

Bullying behavior can be categorized into a number of forms

Verbal e.g. name-calling

Non-Verbal e.g. menacing looks

Physical e.g hitting, kicking

Exclusion e.g. being left out

Extortion e.g. taking money/property

Cyber e.g. use of mobile phones or social networking websites to send images/text.

Furthermore St Joseph’s Boys’ High School will not tolerate any form of behavior or attitudes which are sectarian, racist or homophobic.


Developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have made instances of cyber bullying more widespread. Some examples of cyber bullying include:

  • Text messages that are threatening or upsetting;
  • Still images and video clips captured on and circulated by mobile phones to cause embarrassment to the pupil, who may not even know that they have been photographed or videoed in line with e safety policy;
  • Threatening emails, often using a fictitious name or someone else’s name;
  • Anonymous calls or abusive messages to another mobile phone – sometimes the person who is being bullied has her phone stolen and it is used to harass others, who then think the owner of the phone is responsible;
  • Instant Messaging (IM) conveying threats or insults in real-time conversations;
  • Defamatory messages broadcast on websites, blogs, twitter, personal or social networking sites (Eg. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram);
  • Menacing or upsetting responses in chat rooms.


We are aware that as young people are growing up they can experience sexual identity and orientation confusion. All pupils have the right to learn in a safe environment, to be treated with respect and dignity and not be treated any less favorably on grounds of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.  Relationships and Sexuality Education will help to promote positive views regarding sexual orientation and gender identity which in turn will help to raise the self-esteem of young people who may feel different.  St Joseph’s Boys’ High School will handle all issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in a sensitive and reassuring way.  All negative and prejudice attitudes and behaviours will be challenged to creative an inclusive learning environment.

Bullying on the grounds of sexual orientation is as unacceptable as it is on any other situations where someone is mistreated. All issues relating to homophobic language and bullying will be dealt with appropriately in accordance with this policy.  Use of unkind language will be challenged and deemed as unacceptable.

As with many conventional forms of bullying, many children do not tell anyone they are being bullied by another person via the internet or mobile phone. It is important that the pupil informs a parent/guardian or member of staff if they are being bullied through technologies such as mobile phones or the internet.  If a parent/guardian discovers that their child is being bullied via the internet or mobile phone, the school advises that they should seek advice from the PSNI.  If the bullying has an impact on the behaviours or relationships between pupils in school, staff will investigate the incident in line with the Promoting Positive Behaviour for Learning Policy.


The Curriculum and Pastoral Care provision in St Joseph’s Boys’ High School aims to help and support all pupils, preparing them to cope with the demands of school and adult life to enable them, to achieve their full potential. These provisions include measures to help meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all learners in an inclusive learning environment.  The Pastoral Programme and Counselling Service create a supportive environment for pupils where they feel valued and supported.  The taught pastoral programme allows pupils to explore key issues within Personal Development including self-awareness, health and well-being, relationships and personal safety.


    • To ensure that policies designed to prevent bullying involving pupils in St Joseph’s Boys’ High School are pursued at the school;
    • To determine the measures to be taken (whether by the Board of Governors, the staff of the school or other persons) with a view to preventing bullying of pupil(s) 1. On the premises of the school during the school day, 2. While travelling to or from the school during the school term, 3. While the pupil is in the lawful control or charge of a member of the staff of the school 4. While the pupil is receiving educational provision arranged on behalf of the school and provided elsewhere than on the premises of the school;
    • To review those measures at interval of no more than 4 years and such times as the Department may direct;
    • To consider measures taken at the school with a view to prevent bullying involving the use of electronic communication;
    • To ensure records are kept of all incidents of bullying or alleged bullying.


    • To promote an ethos of respect for self, for others and the environment;
    • To set the highest possible standards for positive relationships among staff, pupils and parents;
    • To ensure a safe environment for staff and pupils;
    • To encourage openness about any form of unacceptable bullying behaviour;
    • To investigate any reports of bullying;
    • To take appropriate action when bullying is reported;
    • To involve parents in addressing a problem situation when necessary;
    • To promote the need for respectful behaviour, rights and responsibilities through the taught Pastoral Care Programmes and assemblies.
    • To encourage the development of resilience among pupils when faced with diversity;
    • To support and help both the person being bullied and the person bullying.


    • To encourage their child to have self-confidence and to have confidence in talking to staff;
    • To promote respect for self, others and property and support the school rules;
    • To discuss with their child any fears or experiences of what appears to be bullying behaviour;
    • To help their child work out simple, non-aggressive, strategies for dealing with what appears to be worrying behaviour on the part of another person;
    • To discourage any tendency towards bullying behaviour on the part of their child;
    • To encourage their child to accept the right of staff to correct them for poor behaviour;
    • To inform the school of any serious concern regarding bullying behaviour;
    • To co-operate with the school in resolving any difficulties involving bullying;
    • To seek advice from the PSNI if they know their child is being bullied outside the school environment via social networking sites, mobile phones or the internet;
    • To resolve situations/difficulties outside of school which may carry over into school.


    • To respect himself, others and the environment;
    • To know his rights and responsibilities regarding personal safety;
    • To have confidence in staff and to report any concerns regarding bullying whether for his own safety or the safety of others;
    • To tell his parents/guardians if he is being bullied;
    • To avoid any behaviour which could be understood by others as bullying: (e.g. giving ‘dirty looks’, calling names, spreading rumours, teasing, threatening);
    • To practice self-control and avoid reacting to negative attitudes or behaviours of other in an aggressive way.

St Joseph’s Boys’ High School’s Response to Bullying


If you are being bullied the following responses should help:

    • Tell an adult you trust – your parents, a Year Head, Form Teacher or school friend.
    • If they don’t believe you DON’T give up – try someone else.
    • When you tell someone you trust – only say what actually happened – DON’T EXAGGERATE. If anything you say is untrue then people may doubt your whole story.
    • Stay with your friends and in sight of peers and adults.
    • Stay calm – Do not retaliate – you could end up being accused of bullying!
    • Leave expensive items at home – If you don’t have it with you it can’t be taken off you.
    • If you have a nickname, try to get used to it.       Recognise that the laughter is not directed at you, but at the nickname. Joining in not only stops the bullying but helps make you popular.
    • Follow the ‘Bullying Advice’ posters displayed in the classroom and in prominent positions around the school.

Avoid times and places when and where you feel you might be bullied. This is not ‘running away’ but is common sense.

You can help stop bullying:

    • Don’t stand by and watch – fetch help.
    • Show that you and your friends disapprove.
    • Give sympathy and support to other pupils who may be bullied.
    • Be careful about teasing people or making personal remarks. If you think they might not find your comments funny then don’t say them.
    • If you know of serious bullying TELL. The victim may be too scared or lonely to tell.


Watch for signs of distress in your child, for example, unwilling to attend school or to travel certain routes, or consistently has articles damaged or stolen. Such events may indicate that bullying is going on.

If you think your child is being bullied inform the school immediately. Telephone the school office and ask to speak to the Form Teacher, Year Head, Student Support Officer, Head of Pastoral Care, Member of SLT or Principal.

When you contact the school give as much detail as you can. Be aware that there is likely to be no quick and easy answer but by contacting the school you will be taken seriously and that a full investigation will begin.

We also recommend that you try to stay calm and to talk things through with your son. A sympathetic and supportive approach that concentrates first on listening to what the child has to say does most good.

Tell your son that there is nothing wrong with him which justifies bullying.

Do advise your child to tell a trusted teacher about bullying incidents.

Do NOT encourage your child to hit back. Exhortations for pupils to hit back or to stand up for themselves are usually unhelpful.


If you suspect a case of bullying, report it immediately to the appropriate Form Teacher, Head of Year, Student Support Officer, Head of Pastoral Care, Member of SLT or the Principal.

Be alert to potential bullying related incidents and be aware of the importance of detecting them early and passing on the appropriate information.

The pertinent details, observations and actual words spoken should be recorded in writing as soon as possible.


Bullying incidents will be dealt with by the Head of Year, Head of Key Stage, Vice Principals or Principal. Form Teachers may be involved at the initial stage and will continue to have a supportive role.  All allegations of bullying will be taken and staff will use the ‘Teacher’s Handbook – Effective Responses to Bullying Behaviour’ while investigating a bullying incident.

Guidelines for Investigating an Alleged Instance of Bullying

Form Teacher:

The Form Teacher may have a very important role to play in the initial investigative process. He or she knows the pupil better than anyone else in the school.  If the Form Teacher is dealing with the incident initially it is his or her responsibility to:

    • Have a meeting with the pupil concerned to determine the seriousness of the incident;
    • Listen sympathetically and provide reassurance;
    • Record details in writing/SIMs - dates, times, the type of bullying, the name of any pupil who witnessed what was happening, where the incidents occurred (in the classroom, on the corridor, outside);
    • Inform the Head of Year of the incident and provide him or her with the written report or SIMs record.

Head of Year:

When the Head of Year receives details of the incident he or she is required to:

    • Meets with the pupils (victim, witnesses, alleged bully) connected with the incident;
    • Record details in writing/Sims - dates, times, the type of bullying, the name of any pupil who witnessed what was happening, where the incidents occurred (in the classroom, on the corridor, outside);
    • Determine if there is a case of bullying;
    • Contact both sets of parents explaining what has been happening and how the incident will be dealt with;
    • Arrange meeting with the parents of the victim and bully;
    • Ensure the Student Support Officer, Head of Pastoral Care or Principal is informed of the details of the incident;
    • Determine the appropriate disciplinary action agreed with the SLT or Principal;
    • Inform relevant staff of outcomes and disciplinary action taken.

Normally two members of staff will be present when a pupil is being interviewed and notes of the interview will be made and kept.

The parents may be informed and may be asked to come to school to discuss the matter.

A written assurance of future good behaviour will be asked for and retained in the pupil’s personal file and both the bully and the parents may be made aware of the potentially serious consequences of a repetition of the behaviour. We operate “The No Blame Approach” to sorting bullying issues.

When victims of bullying are identified they will be offered support and reassured that no blame attaches to them. However they may also be made aware that there are ways to help avoid and respond to bullying that they may have to develop and put into practice with appropriate guidance and support.

The victim’s parents/guardian may be fully informed in discussions with school staff. It may be appropriate to utilise external agencies, with parental consent, to provide part of the counselling and support for the victim.

All written internal reports of bullying will be kept securely in school


Where bullying is suspected, the school aims to:-

    • Respond to the bullying behavior that is taking place;
    • Resolve the concerns
    • Restore the well-being of all those involved


When dealing with incidents of bullying behavior, the school will ensure the appropriate type of intervention is chosen based on the NIABF Levels of Intervention.

Level 1 – Low level bullying behavior

Level 2 – intermediate level bullying behavior

Level 3 - Complex bullying behavior

Level 4 – high risk bullying behavior


The school will support the target of bullying in the following ways:-

  1. By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience
  2. By informing the target of bullying parent/guardian
  3. By offering continuing support when they feel they need it – referral to

      Student Support Officer/Head of Pastoral Care

  1. By taking disciplinary steps to prevent further incidents of bullying
  2. By talking to the bully and his parent
  3. Working with the bully to ensure anti-social attitudes cease.


  1. Interview the target/s separately. Take notes.

Watch for denial/partial disclosures. Probe gently, don’t insist on information.

Demonstrate confidence, concern, acceptance and empathy.

Offer positive, realistic, resourceful suggestions.

Reassure the pupil that he was right to tell.

  1. Interview the student/s doing the bullying. Take notes.

Adopt a problem-solving approach rather than a blame/punishment-orientated approach. This can avoid an over-emotive atmosphere.  Use open questions, e.g. “ Anything else to tell me? ” or “ Yes ”, or “and”.  Accept what is being said and keep an open mind.  When it is evident that bullying has occurred stress that it is the behaviour and not the pupil that is unacceptable.  Encourage the bully to examine the problem and offer solutions.  Outline the sanctions which will be imposed if the bullying continues.  Concentrate on the good behaviour.  Praise any positive change.

  1. Set up a meeting with both target/s and bully/bullies.

Ask the target to express how he feels. Ask the bullies what they can do to help.

  1. Agree some approach/action (apology, recompense, etc.) and arrange time and place for follow-up meeting.

  1. Hold follow-up meeting

Begin with: ‘Can you tell me how you’ve been getting on? ”


The most effective way the school can deal with bullying is through preventive work and by having procedures in place to detect, record and deal with bullying.

    • Each class in the School has a Taught Pastoral Care Programme. The programme aims to develop a positive self image, competence in social and listening skills and the ability to empathise with others and work in a team or group. Pupils have the opportunity to discuss bullying in role-play situations. These are devised so that bullies have an insight into how their actions affect others and to suggest to victims how they might avoid bullies or deal with them more assertively. The programme also tackles the broad areas of human rights and social responsibility. It aims to promote confidence and self-esteem. It provides opportunities for young people to consider the range and extent of diversity and inclusion in society.


To counter bullying in any form we in St Joseph’s Boys’ High School will endeavour to:

ü  Provide a school ethos in which positive attitudes and achievements are recognised, valued, respected and rewarded. We do this by putting into place an appropriate rewards system and by putting emphasis on producing a caring community where pupils and adults are openly valued.

ü  Ensure that as far as possible, the curriculum helps all students towards an   understanding of the nature of bullying behaviour and the development of appropriate coping skills. There is an opportunity for Cross-curricular work in Pastoral Care, RE, Drama and Art to highlight that bullying behaviour is unacceptable, destructive and anti-social and that respect for all is essential in every community.

ü  Develop teaching methods which actively promote co-operative behaviour and encourages all pupils to participate, which in turn demonstrates that all are of equal worth.

ü  Attempt to identify when and where bullying may take place in the school, whether in classrooms, corridors, playground or on the way to and from school.  Once identified, ensure that there is adequate supervision of these areas and other areas frequented    

ü  by pupils at lunchtime and before and after school. That supervision will be consistent and regular.

ü  The School signs up to the annual Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Week, during which each Year Group participates in a range of activities which focuses on the issue.

ü  Heads of Year address Year assemblies on the theme of Personal Safety, Anti-Bullying, Internet Safety, Rules inside and Outside School, the responsibilities of belonging to a community and Respect for all.

ü  Anti-Bullying Advice posters are displayed in every classroom, and in prominent positions around the school.

ü  The Positive Behaviour for Learning Code has been reviewed by pupils and staff and emphasises the rights and responsibilities of all members of the school community.

Procedures in dealing with reported incidents of bullying

    Staff:  For full details refer to the Handbook Effective Responses to Bullying Behaviour

    • Treat all reported incidents seriously and with an open mind
    • Report incident to Form Teacher – record all details on the Bullying Concern Assessment Form or on SIMs

    • Form Teacher to investigate incident and record all details
    • Take statements from all involved
    • If necessary discuss with Head of Year

    • Try to resolve situation amicably
    • Discuss sanctions
    • Contact parent, if necessary
    • Retain all records in student file in general office or on SIMs

    • Monitor situation and liaise with pupil
    • Continue to record on the SIMs or on the Bullying Concern Assessment form
    • Arrange support, if necessary for the child being bullied or the child displaying bullying behaviour – possible referral to Student Support Officer, Head of Pastoral Care/Familyworks Counsellor
    • Keep parents informed


The school will offer all staff training in the area of anti-bullying.


The Anti-bullying Policy at St Joseph’s Boys’ High School will be monitored and reviewed regularly and in line with EA guidelines.


Childline - a free, 24 hour national helpline for children and young people on                 0800 1111

Kidscape – produces leaflets on bullying, and runs a helpline Mon to Wed 9.30am to 5pm on 020 77303300

Family Lives – a national helpline for parents, listening, supportive and non – judgemental. 0808 8002222

The Samaritans – 08457 909090

Lifeline 0808 808 8000 – 24 hours a day 7 days a week help and support from trained counselors

      Bullying Concern Assessment Form (Pilot)

PART 1 - Assessment of Concern                                         Date                     

Our School’s Definition of Bullying is the repeated use of power by one or more people intentionally to harm, hurt or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others. (Adapted by the NI Anti-Bullying Forum)

  Name (s) Gender Year Group
Person(s) reporting concern

Name of targeted pupil(s)

Name of Pupil(s) involved

Does the behaviour involve?

     Individual to individual 1:1

       Individual to Group

       Group to individual


       Group to group


Type of incident and Theme (if applicable):

q Physical bullying (includes jostling, physical intimidation, interfering with personal property, punching/kicking, any other physical contact which may include use of weapons)

q  Verbal bullying (includes name calling, insults, jokes, threats, spreading rumours)

q  Indirect bullying (includes isolation, refusal to work with/talk to/play with/help others)

q Disability (related to perceived or actual disability)

q Cyber (through technology such as mobile phones and internet)

q Homophobic (related to perceived or actual sexual orientation)

q Racist (related to skin colour, culture and religion)

q Sectarian (related to religious belief and/or political opinion)

q Other_______________________________________________________________________

Is there persistence/recurrence of this behaviour?     Yes / No

Is it targeted behaviour?                               Yes / No

Is there a power imbalance?                           Yes / No

Is it intentionally hurtful behaviour?                Yes / No

  Does this incident meet your school’s agreed definition of bullying? Yes / No

Check records for previously recorded incidents


Outline of incident(s): Attach all written accounts/drawings of incident(s) completed by bullied pupil, witnesses (i.e. other pupils, staff) including date(s) of events, if known, SIMS record.

PART 2 – Details of interventions to be implemented in response

  1. Pupil(s) who has been bullied – please tick

q Help the bullied pupil to identify ways in which he/she may be strengthened or supported e.g. peer support.

q Talk to the child being bullied to explore whether he/she has in any way provoked the bullying behaviour.

q Monitor the situation further

q Peer support/befriending/mentoring/mediation

q Independent Counselling Services for Schools

q Restorative Meetings

OUTLINE ACTION/SUPPORT TO BE IMPLEMENTED (further details) ___________________________________________________________________________________

Provide outline details of the level and type of intervention with (if relevant)

peer group                                                                                                                    

whole class                                                                                                                 

Ongoing support/monitoring to be provided                                                    (daily, weekly) by _____________ (named staff) and will be formally reviewed by ______________(date)

Have parent(s) been informed/involved?  Yes/No (Give details)   ______________________


Referral to other agencies- If yes please specify _________________________________________________________________________

Any other details (please specify) ______________________________________________


PART 2 – Details of interventions to be implemented in response to

  1. Pupil(s) who has been displaying bullying behaviour (Level 1 &2 ) – please tick

q Explain the inappropriateness of the behaviour in line with the school’s positive behaviour policy.

q Identify possible consequences if the bullying behaviour continues.

q Point out the level of distress experienced by the bullied pupil.

q Encourage reparation to be made, if appropriate.

q One to one Interview Interventions to formally remind the pupil of the harm their behaviour is causing another and of the negative consequences to encourage the pupil to change their behaviour.(Restorative Questioning, Worth a Re-think, Shared Control Discussion, Think Time Discussion Sheet.)

q Monitor the situation carefully.

q Use of Rights Respecting Script to remind the pupil displaying bullying behaviour of everyone’s right to be safe.

q Use of Rule Reminder Script to remind the pupil who is bullying of the appropriate rule that has been broken.

q Use of the Expectation Discussion which is a non-confrontational script requiring the pupil to commit to behaving appropriately and taking responsibility for subsequent behaviour.

q Involvement of the SENCO

q Where the pupil is somewhat resistant to change he/she may be placed on the COP Stage 1

  (Level 2) When the bullying behaviour continues and/or is considered more severe some of the    above interventions and small group and/or whole class approach.

q Involvement of the SENCO

q Where the pupil is somewhat resistant to change he/she may be placed on the COP Stage 2 –IBP

(Level 3) If the bullying behaviour is more complex and/or resistant to change and/or pupil is presenting with many additional needs and risk factors.

q Involvement of the Head of Pastoral Care/Student Support Officer.

q Social and emotional mentoring by an identified member of staff.

q Individualised strength and emotional well-being building programmes e.g Conflict resolution, Solution focussed conversations, empathy training, mood management, anger management.

q Peer support/befriending/mentoring/mediation

q Independent Counselling Services for Schools

q Restorative Meetings

q Completion of a Risk Assessment which will determine a plan of intervention.

q Risk Assessment shared with all staff.

(Level 4)Pupil presenting with significant concerns including mental health, criminal and/or child      protection concerns.

q Involvement of the SENCO, CPO, SLT.

q Risk Assessment reviewed and shared with all staff.

q Refer to relevant investigative agencies – PSNI, Health and Social Care Trust, Gateway Teams





Provide outline details of the level and type of intervention with:

peer group                                                                                                                           

whole class                                                                                                                           

q   On-going support/monitoring to be provided                                                   (Daily, Weekly) by                                                                 (named staff)

q   Have parent(s) been informed / involved?                   Yes / No (Give details)

__________________________________________________________________________Referral to other agencies (please specify)


q   Any other action (please specify) ___________________________________________________________________________



Date Details of Intervention

Action Required/Taken

(Dated and Signed)

Name and designation of the teacher completing this form:
Signed:                                                                          Date:



This concern is now resolved:                   Yes

q   Copied to                                                                                            

q   Filed (Interventions complete, issue resolved, record maintained)

When concern is not resolved:

Further intervention/ Required

If Level One not resolved refer to Head of Year

If Level Two not resolved refer to Head of Key Stage

If Level Three not resolved refer to VP Pastoral or CPO

q   Review information and action to date

q   Refer to VP/Principal/Head of Pastoral Care

q   Re-assess Level of Interventions; Implement other strategies from appropriate level

Assign tasks, record and monitor as in Part 2 & 3


Name and designation of teacher completing this form. __________________________

Signed _________________________________ Date ______________


Signed …………………………           (Chairman of Board of Governors)


Signed …………………………………………….(Principal)

Date ……………………………………..


Board of Governors Meeting ……………………………………

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