After our surveys were conducted in Autumn 2014, the following positives and issues were identified:
Students (251 responses)
The majority of students surveyed said that the people in our school are kind and friendly to each other, and that the school cares for those who are sad, worried or upset. The vast majority of students said that they felt safe in school. Most students said that adults help when someone is being bullied, and teachers do listen to the views of students.
Students said that they felt bullying was still a problem in school, and that bullying is most likely to occur during lunchtimes or break times. The most common type of bullying identified was name calling, although some students also identified being left out (emotional/non-verbal bullying), and different forms of cyber bullying. A number of students also felt that although teachers listen to their views, teachers do not necessarily ask for the views of students. Half of the students surveyed said that they did not know what the school does to prevent bullying.
Staff (43 responses)
Most staff agreed that all sections of our school community have a shared understanding of the definition and nature of bullying, and that the leadership and co-ordination of our school’s anti-bullying work is effective. Most staff agreed that we consistently record and use information about discriminatory attitudes and bullying behaviour, and that we teach children and young people social, emotional and behavioural skills and attitudes that support positive relationships and a non-discriminatory, anti-bullying school ethos.
Most staff agreed that children & young people are encouraged and have ways to report bullying, and concerns about bullying and/or relationship problems raised by children, young people or parents are given priority and dealt with sensitively.
Most staff said they had a good understanding of different types of bullying and how they can be prevented and tackled.
Staff were less confident that our school has effective ways of informing and involving parents in our work to prevent and deal with bullying. A number of staff said that bullying is a problem at our school, and that the most common form of bullying witnessed was children/young people being targeted for name-calling. The most common time identified for bullying to occur was lunchtimes and break times.
Governors (8 responses)
All governors surveyed agreed that bullying is taken seriously at the school, and that the concerns of parents and young people are taken seriously. The majority of governors were confident that when parents or youngsters express concerns, this results in appropriate actions being taken by staff.
Some governors were less confident that there are policies and procedures in place to encourage parents and young people to report bullying. It was also felt that more could be done to make explicit the ways in which the school tackles bullying.
Parents (82 responses)
Of the parents who responded to the survey, most said that they thought that bullying is taken seriously by the school, and that they feel confident that they would be listened to if they approached the school with a concern about bullying. The majority of parents said that they felt confident the school would make an appropriate and sensitive response to such concerns, and that the school would listen to their child if he or she had concerns about bullying. Of those parents who said that their child had been bullied in the last 12 months, the majority of respondents indicated that they were either very, or reasonably satisfied with the way the school responded.
The majority of parents surveyed said that didn’t know or were unsure about how the school works to prevent and deal with bullying. Most parents felt that they are not encouraged and helped to be involved in the school’s work to prevent and deal with bullying.
Additional comments from parents underlined the need for the school to be more explicit in its communication of its policies and procedures to deal with bullying, and communication related to incidents of bullying in general was deemed to need improvement. The issue of pupils not reporting ‘low-level’ bullying (e.g. name calling) was also raised, suggesting that some pupils may not feel that these incidents would be taken as seriously as other types of bullying. One parent expressed concern over group selection by elimination as a source of stress and potential bullying.
Action points following survey
As a result of feedback from stakeholder surveys, the school will:
- provide further opportunities for students to share their views with teachers
- publish anti-bullying procedures and policies on the school website.
- provide opportunities for parents to get involved in the work of the anti-bullying group
- use assemblies and tutor periods to remind students of the ways they can report bullying, and the importance of reporting all incidents of bullying
- improve communication with parents over issues of bullying, ensuring parents are aware of our pastoral support team and making timely contact when concerns are raised
- ensure group selection is fair and sensitive to all parties
- develop further its methods of recording and monitoring bullying
- evaluate current supervision at break times and lunchtimes and make changes where necessary
- continue to provide staff with training opportunities to help them identify and deal with bullying effectively