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Preventing Bullying Policy

Connell Co-op College - Preventing Bullying Policy

  1. Principles

The Preventing Bullying Policy is committed to and guided by the principles that the college should encourage respect for people and property, honesty, tolerance, self-discipline and a clear awareness that any type of harassment is an unacceptable form of behaviour.

1.1 Connell Co-op College’s view of bullying

Any form of bullying is totally unacceptable at Connell Co-op College; this behaviour runs counter to the ethos of the College, underpinned by our Ways of being Co-op.  Bullying also seriously undermines the College’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Bullying jeopardises the College’s ability to promote and ensure successful student outcomes.  If our students are not safe, they cannot ‘be happy, healthy, achieve or reach their full potential’.  We have a Safeguarding duty to ensure that all our students can learn and reach their potential in a safe environment.  Bullying has a significant detrimental effect on the well-being of young people and can be a serious obstacle to student achievement.

  1. Purpose

The aims of this Preventing Bullying Policy are to:

  • foster respect for others
  • provide a clear message to all students that harassment and bullying, in any form, are completely unacceptable
  • provide students with an effective means of tackling bullying by ensuring that a known support network exists
  • provide all staff and those adults who work with our students (e.g. supply teachers, trainee teachers, associate staff), with a clear framework to enable effective handling of child protection issues
  • provide sanctions which ensure the bully is clear that such behaviour is not to be tolerated
  • investigate the reasons for such behaviour and offer support for the reform of the bully

  1. Guidelines

3.1 Definition of bullying

Bullying is defined as ‘behaviour, usually repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual or group, physically or emotionally’.

How does bullying differ from banter?

  • There is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate
  • There is a power imbalance that makes it hard for the victim to defend themselves
  • It is usually (though not always) persistent

3.2 Form of bullying

Bullying includes: name calling; taunting; mocking; making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; pushing; taking belongings; inappropriate touching; producing offensive graffiti; spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours; or always leaving someone out of groups.  It is also bullying when a young person is pressured to act against their will by others (including ‘grooming’ of a young person with a view to committing abuse).

  1. Cyberbullying

Increasingly, bullying is happening through the web, smartphone and other new technology.  This can involve sending inappropriate, or hurtful text messages, e-mails, instant messages, or posting malicious material online (e.g. on social networking websites), or sending or posting offensive or degrading images and videos.  

  1. Potential victims of bullying

Bullies may pick on someone for no apparent reason.  Bullying may also take the form of singling out a young person because they belong to a particular group.  Examples include:

  • Racist and religious bullying – singling out people because of their background, culture or religion.
  • Sexual, sexist and transphobic bullying – where sexuality is used as a weapon by boys or girls.  Insults that are often seen as acceptable by some can be used to victimise others.  Inappropriate touching can also be seen as a form of bullying and harassment, and may escalate into abuse.  Similarly, ‘jokes’ about sexual assault, or rape, if unchallenged, can create an atmosphere in which this behaviour is seen as more acceptable.
  • Homophobic bullying – targets someone because of their sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation).  The term ‘gay’ as an insult is unacceptable and should always be challenged.  
  • Disablist bullying – used against someone with a disability.  This may take the form of manipulative bullying where the victim is coerced to act in a certain way and ‘conditional’ bullying where the victim is ‘allowed’ to be in a friendship group only on certain conditions

  1. Policy

4.1 Staff Training

Staff will be given the opportunity to participate in CPD courses which lead to a greater understanding of the signs and symptoms of bullying; awareness of procedures for dealing with individual cases; the relationship between bullying and child protection issues and advice on making use of the curriculum to build preventative approaches to bullying.  Staff will also receive training on College policies for reporting suspected cases of bullying to the Safeguarding Team.

  1. Student awareness of bullying

Students will receive guidance and advice with regard to keeping themselves safe (both physically and on-line), and what to do if they (or someone they are concerned about) is either subject to bullying, or feels vulnerable to being bullied via the CORE curriculum.  Students will receive clear guidance on the ethos and expectations of the College during their Induction Programme.

4.3 Prevention of bullying

Bullying can only be stopped through a combination of prevention and response.  Preventative work is ongoing and sustained.  When an incident occurs, a response is required to deal with the bullying behaviour and support the victim.  

  • Preventing bullying is the responsibility of all members of staff.  The College ethos will play a key role in creating an inclusive environment in which bullying is not tolerated.  All staff should model our Core Values of respect, integrity and empathy with their associated behaviours to students on a day to day basis.
  • The College gathers information from schools each year on new students.  This information is used by staff to prevent past histories of bullying reoccurring in College.  

  1. Responding to bullying

  • All staff have the responsibility to respond to any form of bullying.  This response should seek to address and change the behaviour of the bully and to support the victim.  All members of the College community should work together to challenge all forms of prejudice.  All staff must take appropriate action when they become aware of an incident of bullying, this action should include making the Safeguarding team aware.  A clear and accurate record should be kept outlining the nature of the incident and what has been done. Notes should be recorded on CEDAR, notifying the Safeguard Team and making  staff aware that a confidential matter has been recorded and passed to the Safeguarding Team, but not contain any detail of the incident.
  • In the case of serious and recurring bullying, the Safeguarding Team should be informed.  The Safeguarding Team will respond accordingly, using restorative strategies to address and change the bullying behaviour and to reach an outcome which best supports both the victim and the perpetrator.  This policy should also be applied in conjunction with the systems and procedures already in place with regard to Student Management, including serious and persistent misconduct.
  • The College has very specific ICT policies and protocols in place to prevent and respond to forms of cyberbullying.  Our managed systems limit access to websites that are considered as a risk and the Acceptable Use Policy is applied to reprimand students who violate agreed procedures.  


The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Rosie Pate


Responsible Staff

Emma Soper / Rosie Pate

Policy administrator

Mrs Christine Butterfield.

Approving body


All policies are available to stakeholders either on the College website or upon request from the College Office.