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Bullying Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy St James’s Primary

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of St James’s Primary 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-PrimarySchools which were published in September 2013.

2. The Board of Management 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) 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
  •  promotes respectful relationships across the school community

 (b) Effective leadership: The Principal and/or the Deputy Principal and Behaviour Post Holder

will be available to support class teachers

(c)  A school-wide approach: Lessons are addressed in each class and incidental circle time done on issues. School displays and posters are used

 (d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

(e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:

  • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying
  • effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils: Supervision rotas are drawn up for morning and break time supervision

(g) Supports for staff: School policies, CPD from SESS,PDST and other relevant sources including colleagues

(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour, including use of established intervention strategies

(i) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.


3. 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.

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.


Examples of bullying behaviours

 General  behaviours which apply to all types of bullying


  • Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Name calling
  • Slagging
  • The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
  • Offensive graffiti
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation
  • Insulting or offensive gestures
  • The “look”
  • Invasion of personal space
  • A combination of any of the types listed.




  • · Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s     reputation
  • · Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing              messages to an individual
  • · Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under     another person’s name
  • · Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
  • · Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
  • · Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images
    • Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
    • · Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
      • Silent telephone/mobile phone call
      • Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
      • Abusive text messages
      • Abusive email
    • · Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles
      • Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
      • Abusive posts on any form of communication technology
Identity Based BehavioursIncluding any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community).
 Homophobic and Transgender


  • Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation
  • Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
  • Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian…used in a derogatory manner
  • Physical intimidation or attacks
  • Threats
Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller  community 
  • · Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour,            nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background
    • Exclusion on the basis of any of the above




This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

  • Malicious gossip
  • Isolation & exclusion
  • Ignoring
  • Excluding from the group
  • Taking someone’s friends away
  • “Bitching”
  • Spreading rumours
  • Breaking confidence
  • Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
  • The “look”
  • Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way
  • Unwelcome or inappropriate  sexual comments or touching
  • Harassment


Special Educational Needs,Disability
  • Name calling
  • Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
  • Mimicking a person’s disability
  • Setting others up for ridicule





4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are


Deputy Principal

All class teachers


Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.




Education and Prevention Strategies


School-wide approach

Creation of a culture of “telling”. 

  • Teachers should repeatedly reinforce the message that if anyone is the victim of bullying behaviour, they should not retaliate in any way, but they should tell an adult. Victims should be reassured that if they tell, something will be done about the bullying in a safe manner and all reported incidents will be dealt with
  • Class lessons to be provided to enable pupils “how to tell” ( telling protocol)
  • Bystanders can be the key to resolving bullying and if anyone witnesses bullying behaviour, they should always tell a teacher. This is not telling tales but a means of protecting victims

Raising the awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour by:

  • Displaying school’s anti-bullying statement (Bullying is wrong and is not tolerated in St. James’s Primary School. We are a telling school) in school foyer and other prominent places around the school environment. Engaging in formal teaching within the class setting through SPHE and RE programmes.
  • Incorporate multi-cultural and international aspects of our school to our Open Day.

Other strategies

  • Positive reinforcement by teachers in classroom setting (Star Pupils, Golden time, spot prizes, stars, stickers etc.)
  • Modelling of respectful behaviour and language by teachers and staff
  • Whole staff professional development with specific focus on the role of the relevant teacher
  • Promotion of extra-curricular activities which encourage co-operation among pupils
  • Rewarding incidents of good and improved behaviour and showing acts of kindness at class level and whole-school through Star Pupil
  • Encouraging students to look out for each other and to be responsible for their own behaviour
  • All teachers and SNA’s are required to be vigilant on yard duty- record all incidences- monitor repeat offenders
  • Immediate affirmation of children who report incidents of bullying which they have witnessed
  • Circle-time sessions, role-play, Socially Speaking programs and puppetry are methodologies which may be used to discuss and explore issues of bullying
  • Distribute the school rules and contract which parents/guardians  must sign and return to the school each year
  • Display signs around the school
  • Practise Mindfulness in all classes to develop self-awareness, calmness and how to use breathing to self soothe
  • Ensure teacher supervision at all times when pupils can access the internet
  • Sanctions for unauthorised use of the internet/electronic devices will be imposed as per the Code of Behaviour
  • HSCL teacher to facilitate lesson on internet safety for parents
  • To focus on the topic of bullying on at least one school assembly





Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying


The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame)


Reporting bullying behaviour


  • Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs),  caretakers, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher


Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach

  • In investigating and dealing with bullying, teachers will exercise their professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible
  •  Teachers will take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach
  • Where possible incidents will  be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved
  •  All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all     pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful               information in this way
  • When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher will seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This will be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner
  •  If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved will be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements
  •  Each member of a group will be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher

Those involved may, if appropriate,  be asked to write down their account of the incident(s)

  •  In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved will be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school will give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils
  •  Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying        behaviour, it will be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts will be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the              perspective of the pupil being bullied
  •  It will be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the    pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school


Follow up and recording


  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher will, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following      factors into account:

– Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased

– Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable

-Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable

-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

  •  Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved will be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable
  • Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be referred, as             appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures
  • In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.



Recording of bullying behaviour


The recording of bullying incidents will be done in an objective and factual manner.


The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:



       Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred

  • All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them
  •  All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher
  • While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
  • All records will be kept in a class incident folder and stored in a locked

filing cabinet

  • The relevant teacher must inform the Principal of all incidents being investigated


       Formal Stage 1-determination that bullying has occurred

  • If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved
  •  All records will be retained by the relevant teacher


         Formal Stage 2-Appendix 1

The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 1 to record the bullying     behaviour in the following circumstances:


in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and  appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred


When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy retained by the Principal.


Records will be retained by the Principal at the end of the year and stored until the pupil is    leaving the school.


Established intervention strategies

  • Teacher interviews with all pupils
  • Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
  • Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions
  • No Blame Approach
  • Circle Time
  • Restorative interviews
  • Restorative conferencing



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


  • All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g. school based activities as part of the SPHE programme to build self esteem and to develop coping strategies for those affected by bullying            behaviour.

Support through Early Focus

 Help from outside agencies, may be needed – some children/adult may require                 professional counselling



 Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils


The Board of Management 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.


Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management 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.


10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 14th May 2014.


11. This policy has been made available to school personnel and published on the school website. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.


12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel.  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.




Signed: ____________________________________        Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                                 (Principal)



Date: ______________                                                              Date: __________________



Date of next review: _______________







Appendix 1 Template for recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name _________________________________________Class__________________

2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour




3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))* 4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned Playground
Other Pupil Classroom
Parent Corridor
Teacher Toilets


5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern


6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *

Physical Aggression Cyber-bullying
Damage to Property Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (specify)


7.  Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:


Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller Community Other (specify)


8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact








  1. Details of  actions taken






Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________


Date submitted to Principal ___________________