Laragh 2 Muff National School Anti – Bullying Policy

  1. 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  Laragh 2 National 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-Primary Schools which

were published in September 2013.

  1. 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 positive school culture and climate which-


o is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;


o  encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and

o promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

  • Effective leadership;
  • A school-wide approach;
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  • Implementation of education  and  prevention  strategies  (including  awareness raising measures) that-

o build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and

o  explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.

  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • Supports for staff;
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
  1. 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.


  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
  • Class teacher of the pupils involved.
  • Principal will be notified of case by teacher and where deemed appropriate will speak with pupil and/or parents.
  • Relevant Learning Support/Resource teacher may speak with pupil.
  1. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:

Focus on self esteem with curricular and extra-curricular programmes, providing pupils

opportunities, to develop a positive sense of self-worth.

  • Initiatives and programmes focused on developing pupils’ awareness and understanding of

bullying, including its causes and effects.

  • To create a positive school culture and climate.
  • Explicit teaching of various types of bullying – what’s involved and how to avoid it.
  • Curriculum based teaching, i.e. S.P.H.E Programme, Stay Safe, Walk Tall.
  • Working Together Week – One week in the second term that focuses on getting messages

across with regard to anti-bullying; posters, lessons, mini dramas.

  • Rewards for positive behaviour.


  1. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour

and  the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of

bullying are  as follows:

  • The relevant teacher, while investigating any incident(s), will aim to restore the relationships

of parties involved in so far as is practicable. (Rather than to apportion blame)

  • In investigating the incident, the teacher will use his/her own professional judgement in determining whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
  • All reports of bullying must be dealt with by the relevant teacher. It should be made clear to pupils that reporting incidents of bullying is responsible and correct positive behaviour.
  • Non-teaching staff will report any incidents of possible bullying type behaviour to the

relevant teacher.

  • Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as


  • It is important to that all involved understand this and accept it.
  • Teachers will take a calm, problem solving approach when dealing with alleged incidents of bullying behaviour.
  • While all reports must be investigated, the relevant teacher will use professional judgement in relation to records.
  • Where as is practicable as possible, incidents will be investigated outside the classroom


  • Pupils will be spoken to with due regard and sensitivity. Pupils not directly involved will

also be spoken to if required.

  • When analysing incidents of bullying, the relevant teacher should seek to establish facts of

who, what, where, when and why.

  • If a group is involved they should be spoken to individually at first. They can then be spoken

to as a group.

  • It may be appropriate to ask pupils to write down an account of an incident.
  • In cases where it has been determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of

the pupils concerned will be contacted to inform them of the established facts and the

actions been taken.  The principal will also be informed by the teacher.

  • Where the relevant teacher has been determined that bullying behaviour has taken place,

the pupil will be made aware of how (s)he is in breach of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy

and efforts should be made to see the situation from the perspective of the bullied pupil.

  • It will also be made clear to all involved that any disciplinary sanctions required is a private

matter between the disciplined pupil, his or her parents and the school.

  • The relevant teacher will fill in the form in the appendix below in the event of any bullying

behaviour being established. Each copy will be signed by the principal as well.

  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately addressed, the relevant teacher

will take the following into account:

(a) Whether the bullying has ceased

(b) Whether the issues between the parties has been resolved as far as is practicable

(c) Whether the relationship between the parties has been restored as far as is practicable

(d) Any feedback from relevant parties

  • Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance

with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints


  • In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not

satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the

Ombudsman of Children.

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

(see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :

  • Work on self-esteem both at home and in school for both the bullied pupil and the

transgressor.  This can be done through the use of drama, P.E., art lessons, circle

time etc.

  • Specific programmes if warranted in serious cases.
  • Regular one to one meeting with teacher/principal to monitor how events

subsequently have panned out with regard to those involved.

  • If pupil involved in resource/Learning support meetings with the teacher involved.
  • Contact with parents in subsequent weeks to ensure that matters are still running


  1. 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.

  1. 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.


  1. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 04/02/2014


  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.


  1. 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, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.



Date: 04/02/2014     

Date: 04/02/2014             

Date of next review:  Spring 2015    

Appendix 2 Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.

Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.

Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.

Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.

Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.

Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are ignored.           Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with

the school rules and routines.

Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.

Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.

Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.

Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.

Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.          Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.

All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.

Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.

School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for

bullying in the school.

o   Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.

o   Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.

Support the establishment and work of student councils.