Anti-Bullying Policy | Jan 2021

Key Contact Personnel: 

Nominated Member of Leadership Staff Responsible for the policy: Marianne Goodwin Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion and Behaviour.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (s): Marianne Goodwin DSL and Julie Holdcroft DDSL

Named Governor with lead responsibility: Jayne Crowe

Diversity Pioneer: Annika Cooke Mentor and Year Manager

Date written: January 2021. Date agreed and ratified by Governing Body/Trust/Committee: January 2021

Date of next review: January 2022.  This policy will be reviewed at least annually, and following any concerns and/or updates to national/local guidance or procedures

Anti-Bullying Policy January 2021

This policy is based on DfE guidance “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” July 2017 and supporting documents. It also considers the DfE statutory guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2020 and ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’ guidance. Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent has also read Childnet’s “Cyberbullying: Understand, Prevent and Respond: Guidance for Schools”. 

  1. Policy objectives: 
  • This policy outlines what Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent will do to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying. 
  • The policy has been adopted with the involvement of the whole Academy community. 
  • Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent is committed to developing an anti-bullying culture where the bullying of adults, children or young people is not tolerated in any form.
  1. Links with other Academy policies and practices 

This policy links with several Academy policies, practices and action plans including: 

  • Behaviour and Rewards policy
  • Complaints policy 
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection policy 
  • Confidentiality policy 
  • Online safety and Acceptable Use Policies  
  • Curriculum policies, such as: PSHE, citizenship and computing 
  • Mobile phone and social media policies
  • Staff Code of Conduct 
  1. Links to legislation 

There are several pieces of legislation that set out measures and actions for schools in response to bullying, as well as criminal and civil law. These may include (but are not limited to): 

  • The Education and Inspection Act 2006, 2011 
  • The Equality Act 2010 o The Children Act 1989 
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997 
  • The Malicious Communications Act 1988 
  • Public Order Act 1986

The DfE research into anti-bullying practices has been taken into account when writing and adhering to this policy:

  1. Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of: 

  • The headteacher to communicate this policy to the Academy community, to ensure that disciplinary measures are applied fairly, consistently and reasonably, and that a member of the senior leadership team has been identified to take overall responsibility.
  • Governors to take a lead role in monitoring and reviewing this policy. 
  • All staff, including: governors, senior leadership, teaching and non-teaching staff, to support, uphold and implement this policy accordingly. 
  • Parents/carers to support their children and work in partnership with the Academy
  • Students to abide by the policy. 
  1. Definition of bullying
  • Bullying can be defined as “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”. (DfE “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, July 2017) 
  • Bullying can include name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; producing offensive material; gossiping; excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours. 
  • This includes the same unacceptable behaviours expressed online, sometimes called online or cyberbullying. This can include: sending offensive, upsetting and inappropriate messages by phone, text, instant messenger, through gaming websites, social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading photos or videos. 
  • Bullying is recognised by the Academy as being a form of peer on peer abuse. It can be emotionally abusive and can cause severe and adverse effects on children’s emotional development. 
  1. Forms and types of bullying covered by this policy

Bullying can happen to anyone. This policy covers all types and forms of bullying including: 

  • Bullying related to physical appearance 
  • Bullying of young carers, children in care or otherwise related to home circumstances 
  • Bullying related to physical/mental health conditions 
  • Physical bullying 
  • Emotional bullying 
  • Sexual bullying, including ‘sexting’ 
  • Bullying via technology, known as online or cyberbullying 
  • Prejudicial bullying (against people/pupils with protected characteristics): 
  • Bullying related to race, religion, faith and belief and for those without faith 
  • Bullying related to ethnicity, nationality or culture 5 
  • Bullying related to Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) 
  • Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic/biphobic bullying) 
  • Gender based bullying, including transphobic bullying 
  • Bullying against teenage parents (pregnancy and maternity under the Equality Act
  1. Academy ethos
  • Community recognises that all forms of bullying, especially if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on individuals; it can create a barrier to learning and have serious consequences on mental wellbeing. 
  • By effectively preventing and tackling bullying our Academy can help to create a safe and disciplined environment, where pupils are able to learn and fulfil their potential.  

All students and staff have the right to attend or work in a place that is safe and secure, free from the threat of physical or emotional harm, actual or implied.  To support all members of the academy to identify, tackle and prevent bullying.  Bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 

Our Community:

  • Monitors and reviews our anti-bullying policy and practice on a regular basis. 
  • Supports staff to promote positive relationships to help prevent bullying. 
  • Recognises that some members of our community may be more vulnerable to bullying and its impact than others; this may include children with SEND. Being aware of this will help us to develop effective strategies to prevent bullying from happening and provide appropriate support, if required. 
  • Will intervene by identifying and tackling bullying behaviour appropriately and promptly. 
  • Ensures our pupils are aware that bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that everyone should feel safe to learn and abide by the anti-bullying policy. 
  • Requires all members of the community to work with the Academy to uphold the anti-bullying policy. 
  • Recognises the potential impact of bullying on the wider family of those affected so will work in partnership with parents/carers regarding all reported bullying concerns and will seek to keep them informed at all stages. 
  • Will deal promptly with grievances regarding the school response to bullying in line with our complaints policy 
  • Seeks to learn from good anti-bullying practice elsewhere. 
  • Utilises support from the Local Authority and other relevant organisations when appropriate.
  1. Responding to bullying
  • The following steps may be taken when dealing with all incidents of bullying reported to the academy:
  • If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached or witnessed the concern. 
  • The staff member with complete a google report form which will be sent to both the safeguarding and behaviour team.
  • The Academy will provide appropriate support for the victim – making sure they are not at risk of immediate harm and will involve them in any decision making, as appropriate. 
  • The headteacher/Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL and DDSL) or nominated staff member within the behaviour team will interview all parties involved. 
  • The DSL will be informed of all bullying issues where there are safeguarding concerns. 
  • The Academy will speak with and inform other staff members, where appropriate. 
  • The Academy will ensure parents/carers are kept informed about the concern and action taken, as appropriate and in line with child protection and confidentially policies. 
  • Sanctions, as identified within the Academy behaviour policy, and support will be implemented in consultation with all parties concerned. 
  • If necessary, other agencies may be consulted or involved, such as the police, if a criminal offence has been committed, or other local services including early help or children’s social care, if a child is felt to be at risk of significant harm. 
  • Where the bullying of or by pupils takes place off school site or outside of normal school hours (including cyberbullying), the Academy will ensure that the concern is fully investigated. If required, the DSL will collaborate with other schools. Appropriate action will be taken, including providing support and implementing sanctions in school in accordance with this policy and the Academy’s behaviour policy. 
  • A clear and precise account of bullying incidents will be recorded by the Academy in accordance with existing procedures. This will include recording appropriate details regarding decisions and action taken.

Bullying must never be kept a secret. 

  1. Dealing with bullying 

All incidents of bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with as quickly as possible. Staff will do all they can to support the victims of bullying and make it clear to the perpetrator that this behaviour is not acceptable. 

In dealing with bullying, Academy staff will: 

  • Not ignore it. 
  • Not make premature assumptions. 
  • Listen to all accounts of the incident. 
  • Adopt a problem-solving approach that encourages students to find solutions rather than simply justify themselves (taking responsibility for their actions). 
  • Make regular follow-up checks to ensure that bullying has not resumed.  
  • Ensure that all relevant personnel within school (Deputy Headteacher/DSL/SENDco, Lead Year Manager) have been informed. 
  • Record the incident promptly on the appropriate google form, as soon as practically possible after the incident, ideally within the day. 
  • Incidents will be reviewed to identify students, type, style and location of bullying. This will enable the Academy to identify patterns and to develop appropriate action plans. 
  • Punitive measures will be implemented as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned. 
  • Liaison with the Deputy Headteacher/SENDco/DSL/Lead Year Manager will be made to ensure there is targeted support to address the underlying issues. 
  • Be mindful that a uniform approach to homophobic/transphobic/biphobic bullying in relation to informing parents/carers of this type of bullying may break a student’s confidence around their sexuality or gender identify. Students and staff members must work together to seek an effective outcome in order to safeguard the student yet endeavour to keep the students’ sexuality confidential from their parents/carers if the student does not want their parents/carers to know.  However, the need to safeguard dictates all decisions. 

Remember that you can be an ACTIVE BYSTANDER. 

This means that you can reject bullying behaviour by supporting the victim and encouraging him/her to join you and your group. 

You can challenge bullying behaviour by making statements to support the victim e.g. “We don’t think that’s right.” 

You can ensure that someone is not deliberately left out of a group and isolated. 

You can choose not to smile or laugh when someone is bullied. 

You can tell a member of staff. 

You can show the bully that you disapprove of his/her behaviour.

Procedure to support a student who has been bullied: 

  • Talk to the student away from other students, but with other staff close by. 
  • Listen to the student’s account of the incident. 
  • Reassure the student that reporting the bullying incident was the right thing to do. 
  • Make it clear to the student that she/he is not to blame for what has happened. 
  • Ideally, allow the student to write a statement or make a note of what the student said. 
  • Explain that the student should report any further incidents to a teacher or other member of staff immediately. 
  • Explain to the victim what the next steps will be as this will offer them reassurance.

Ask the student: 

  • What happened? 
  • Whether or not this was the first incident, if not how many other incidents have there been. 
  • Who was involved? 
  • Who was the perpetrator?
  • Where it happened?
  • Who saw what happened (staff as well as students). 
  • What the student had already done about it. 
  • Has anyone else taken any action?
  • Ideally, the student should be given the time and appropriate accommodation to make a written statement which is jointly checked by the student and member of staff and where necessary amended to ensure clarity. This information must be passed on as soon as possible to the DSL/Deputy Headteacher/Lead Year Manager. It is usual to remove the accused perpetrator and any witnesses from the learning zones as soon as possible to get them to write statements on their own about the incident. It is recognised that some students will need assistance to write statements.
  • Members of staff who witnessed the incident should be asked to write the relevant details down as soon as possible and give these to the staff investigating. 
  • The victim should be consulted regarding their return to the learning environment and where possible their views heeded. 

Cyberbullying (reference Childnet’s Cyberbullying guidance) 

  • When responding to cyberbullying concerns, including ‘sexting’ the Academy will: 
  • Act as soon as an incident has been reported or identified. 
  • Provide appropriate support for the victim who has been cyberbullied and work with the perpetrator to ensure that these behaviours do not repeat.   
  • Encourage the victim to keep any evidence (screenshots) of the bullying activity to assist any investigation. 
  • Take all available steps where possible to identify the person responsible. This may include: 
  • Looking at use of the school systems; 
  • Identifying and interviewing possible witnesses; 
  • Contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary. 
  • Work with the individuals and online service providers to prevent the incident from spreading and assist in removing offensive or upsetting material from circulation. This may include:
  • Support reports to a service provider to remove content if those involved are unable to be identified or if those involved refuse to or are unable to delete content. 
  • Confiscating and searching pupils’ electronic devices, such as mobile phones, in accordance with the law and the school searching and confiscation policy. (Note: Schools should ensure they access the DfE ‘Searching, screening and confiscation at school’ and Childnet cyberbullying guidance to ensure that the schools powers are used proportionately and lawfully) .
  • Requesting the deletion of locally-held content and content posted online if they contravene Academy behavioural policies.
  • Ensure that sanctions are applied to the person responsible for the cyberbullying; the school will take steps to change the attitude and behaviour of the perpetrator, as well as ensuring access to any additional help that they may need.  To Inform the police if a criminal offence has been committed. 
  • Provide information to staff and students regarding steps they can take to protect themselves online. This may include: 
  • Advising those targeted not to retaliate or reply; 
  • Providing advice on blocking or removing people from contact lists;
  • Helping those involved to think carefully about what private information they may have in the public domain.
  • Working with parents/carers to help them keep children safe when online.

Supporting Students

  • Students who have been bullied will be supported by: 
  • Reassuring the student and providing continuous pastoral support, empowering students to take back control.  
  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with their Year Manager, the designated safeguarding lead, or a member of staff of their choice. 
  • Being advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience as appropriate. 
  • Working towards restoring self-esteem and confidence. 
  • Providing ongoing support; this may include: working and speaking with staff, offering mentoring or formal counselling, engaging with parents and carers. 
  • Where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this could include support through Early Help or Children Social Work, or support through the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
  • Students who have perpetrated bullying will be helped by: 
  • Discussing what happened, establishing the concern, accepting responsibility for their actions and the need to change. 
  • Restorative Practice work to be undertaken, by the relevant Year Manager, DSL or Deputy DSL. 
  • Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the child.
  • Providing appropriate education and support regarding their behaviour or actions. 
  • If online, requesting that content be removed and reporting accounts/content to service provider. 
  • Sanctioning, in line with Academy behaviour/discipline policy; this may include official warnings, detentions, removal of privileges (including online access when encountering cyberbullying concerns), and fixed-term or permanent exclusions. 
  • Where necessary, working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance; this may include involvement from the Police, Youth Offending Service or referrals to Early Help, Children Social Work, or the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Supporting adults 

  • Our Academy takes measures to prevent and tackle bullying among students; however, it is equally important to recognise that bullying of adults, including staff and parents, whether by students, parents or other staff members, is unacceptable. 
  • Adults who have been bullied or affected will be supported by: 
  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the concern with the designated safeguarding lead, a senior member of staff and/or the headteacher. 
  • Advising them to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discuss how to respond to concerns and build resilience, as appropriate. 
  • Where the bullying takes place off school site or outside of normal school hours (including online), the school will still investigate the concern and ensure that appropriate action is taken in accordance with the Academy’s’ behaviour and discipline policy. 
  • Reporting offensive or upsetting content and/or accounts to the service provider, where the bullying has occurred online.
  • Reassuring and offering appropriate support. 
  • Working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance. 
  • Adults who have perpetrated the bullying will be helped by: 
  • Discussing what happened with a senior member of staff and/or the headteacher to establish the concern. 
  • Establishing whether a legitimate grievance or concern has been raised and signposting to the Academy’s official complaints procedures. 
  • If online, requesting that content be removed. 
  • Instigating disciplinary, civil or legal action as appropriate or required.

Note: Specific guidance is available for leaders regarding dealing with complaints made on social networking sites:

  1. Preventing a Bullying Environment

The whole Academy community will:

Create and support an inclusive environment which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others, which will be upheld by all. 

  • Recognise that bullying can be perpetrated or experienced by any member of the community, including adults and children (peer on peer abuse).  Bullying has no limitations and can happen to anyone. 
  • Recognises the potential for children with SEN and disabilities to be disproportionally impacted by bullying and will implement additional pastoral support as required. 
  • Openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as: children with different family situations, such as looked after children or those with caring responsibilities, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality or appearance related difference. 
  • Challenge practice and language (including ‘banter’) which does not uphold the Academy values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others. 
  • Be encouraged to use technology, especially mobile phones and social media, positively and responsibly. 
  • Work with staff, the wider community and outside agencies to prevent and tackle concerns including all forms of prejudice-driven bullying. 
  • The Academy have an awareness of hotspots within the building where bullying is more likely to occur linking these areas with duty points for staff and implementing CCTV. 
  • Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
  • Celebrate success and achievements to promote and build a positive Academy ethos.
  • Celebrate diversity within the academy, creating an inclusive environment for all.  

Policy and Support 

The whole Academy community will: 

  • Provide a range of approaches for students, staff and parents/carers to access support and report concerns. 
  • Regularly update and evaluate our practice to consider the developments of technology and provide up-to-date advice and education to all members of the community regarding positive online behaviour. 
  • Take appropriate, proportionate and reasonable action, in line with existing Academy policies, for any bullying bought to the Academy’s attention, which involves or effects students, even when they are not on Academy premises; for example, when using Academy transport or online, etc. 
  • Implement appropriate disciplinary sanctions; the consequences of bullying will reflect the seriousness of the incident, so that others see that bullying is unacceptable and that the academy will deal with it extremely seriously. 
  • Use a variety of techniques to resolve the issues between those who bully, and those who have been bullied. 

Education and Training 

The Academy community will: 

  • Train all staff, including: teaching staff, support staff (e.g. administration staff, lunchtime support staff and site support staff) and pastoral staff, to identify all forms of bullying and take appropriate action, following the Academy’s policy and procedures, including recording and reporting incidents.
  • Consider a range of opportunities and approaches for addressing bullying throughout the curriculum and other activities, such as: through displays, assemblies, peer support, the Academy/student council, various tutor time activities etc. 
  • Collaborate with other local educational settings as appropriate, and during key times of the year, for example during transition. 
  • Ensure anti-bullying has a high profile throughout the year, reinforced through key opportunities such as anti-bullying week. 
  • Provide systematic opportunities to develop pupils’ social and emotional skills, including building their resilience and self-esteem.
  • Train a number of Y10 students to be peer mentors.
  1. Involvement of students

We will:

  • Involve students in policy writing and decision making, to ensure that they understand the Academy’s approach and are clear about the part they play in preventing bullying. 
  • Regularly canvas children and young people’s views on the extent and nature of bullying. 
  • Ensure that all students know how to express worries and anxieties about bullying, through a trusted adult, worry boxes, whisper function etc.  
  • Ensure that all students are aware of the range of sanctions which may be applied against those engaging in bullying. 
  • Involve students in anti-bullying campaigns in the academy and embedded messages in the wider Academy curriculum. 
  • Utilise student voice in providing student led education and support.
  • Publicise the details of internal support, as well as external helplines and websites. 
  • Offer support to pupils who have been bullied and to those who are bullying to address the problems they have.
  • To identify vulnerable Y7’s through a robust transition process and buddy them up with the older trained peer mentors and offer a support package around self-esteem. 
  1. Involvement and liaison with parents and carers 

We will:

  • Take steps to involve parents and carers in develop policies and procedures, to ensure they are aware that the Academy does not tolerate any form of bullying. 
  • Make sure that key information about bullying (including policies and named points of contact) is available to parents/carers in a variety of formats, including via the Academy website 
  • Ensure all parents/carers know who to contact if they are worried about bullying and where to access independent advice. 
  • Work with all parents/carers and the local community to address issues beyond the Academy gates that give rise to bullying. 
  • Ensure that parents work with the Academy to role model positive behaviour for students, both on and offline. 
  • Ensure all parents/carers know about our complaints procedure and how to use it effectively, to raise concerns in an appropriate manner.
  1. Monitoring and review: putting policy into practice
  • The Academy will ensure that they regularly monitor and evaluate mechanisms to ensure that the policy is being consistently applied. 
  • Any issues identified will be incorporated into the Academy’s action planning. 
  • The headteacher will be informed of bullying concerns, as appropriate. 
  • The named Governor for bullying will report on a regular basis to the governing body on incidents of bullying, including outcomes.
  1. Useful links and supporting organisations



Race, religion and nationality 


Sexual harassment and sexual bullying 

Note: Additional links can be found in ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’ (July 2017)