Anti Bullying Policy

Anti Bullying Policy for all Staff, Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers:

Bullying of any form is not tolerated by Stairways Music school, and all staff and students are expected to be committed to this policy.

All staff and students should respect each individual and aim to make everyone always feel comfortable. Students must not be in fear of, or intimidation from, other people, either physical or psychological.

Bullying is the aggressive behaviour of one person, or group of people towards another.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can be:

  • physical – a person can be physically punched, kicked, spat at, etc.
  • verbal – verbal abuse can take the form of name calling, it may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical/social disability, or personality.
  • exclusive – a person can be bullied simply by being excluded from discussion/activities with those they believe to be their friends.
  • damage to property or theft – a person may have property damaged or stolen; physical threats may be used by the bully to coerce the person to hand over the property to them.
  • Ethnic minorities
  • LGBTQ+
  • Students with special educational needs or disabilities

More specific forms of bullying linked to vulnerable groups may be:

Racist bullying - is a type of racism where someone’s bullying focuses on race, ethnicity or culture. Racism is where someone thinks a person is inferior because of colour, ethnicity, nationality or race. Homophobic or gender variant bullying - is bullying that is based on prejudice or negative attitudes, beliefs or views about LGBTQ+ people.

Homophobic bullying may be targeted at students who are, or who are perceived to be, LGBTQ+i. It can also suggest that someone or something is less worthy because they are LGBTQ+. Homophobic bullying is also often targeted at students who have LGBTQ+i family members, and students who do not conform to gender stereotypes or are seen to be ‘different’ in some way.

Principles In order to ensure an impartial and objective approach to investigating allegations of bullying, implementing a clear and rigid approach to investigations is what underpins our response at Stairways music school.

In the first instance students will be asked to speak to a member of staff to confide/outline their concerns.

It is important that victims are not made to feel powerless so to this end, victims of bullying will have a dialogue with an adult member of staff to discuss ways in which the situation can best be dealt with in the first instance.

After a full investigation relating to the peer conflict, which is likely to involve seeking student voice from all parties involved and if an incident of bullying has been substantiated, and a bully and victim have been identified parents will be notified. If negative behaviour continues after the issue has been addressed and parents advised, then Stairways School reserve the right to terminate any students place at any given time.

The Stairways Music School will:

  • ensure all students are aware of the nature of the bullying.
  • ensure all students are aware of the measures that will be taken against bullying.
  • inform parents/carers of the school’s attitude towards bullying via this policy upon enrolment
  • ensure that all staff are aware of the anti-bullying policy and procedures for its implementation, a copy of which will be signed by each staff member
  • Take preventative steps to educate students on bullying and have a proactive approach to anti bullying.

Preventative steps.

Stairways music school will work to educate students on bullying and to encourage anyone who witnesses or experiences bullying to report it as soon as practicably possible.

The following outlines some of the school’s preventative steps in taking anti – bullying action: (this list is not exhaustive)

  • Ensure that all staff, are given appropriate information and training where necessary, in respect of the School’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • Ensure that the school uses any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards each other as and when needed and or when Bullying is identified within the school at any given time.
  • Enlist parent, guardian or carer support to reinforce and educate children on matters of bullying to always support healthy relationships within the school.

It is the responsibility of students to develop positive relationships within the school and demonstrate acceptable standards of behaviour, good personal relationships and a respect for any individual.

It is the responsibility of parents/carers to support the school in encouraging and fostering in their children, acceptable standards of behaviour, good personal relationships and a respect for the individual.

Procedures As a student: If you suspect someone is being bullied or if you are being bullied yourself:

  • Act. If you think someone is being treated unfairly then approach them, try talking to them to find out the situation, and refer them to an adult staff member.
  • Tell an adult member of staff or someone more senior than yourself immediately if you feel that you cannot speak to the person who is being bullied yourself.
  • Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully. If you are being bullied:
  • Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied, and that it is wrong.
  • Be proud of who you are.
  • Try not to show you are upset, it is difficult, but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
  • Stay with a group of friends, there is safety in numbers.
  • Walk confidently away, go straight to a member of staff, or a parent if you feel uncomfortable speaking to staff.
  • You may feel angry but rise above it. Don’t get involved in a fight.

As a Parent/carer:

  • Look for unusual behaviour. For example, your child may suddenly not wish to attend the school, may feel ill regularly, or may lose interest in practising their instruments or completing assigned homework as set by the tutors.
  • Inform the School staff immediately if you suspect bullying.
  • Advise your child not to fight back.
  • Reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with her/him/them
  • Make sure you and your child are aware of the Stairways music School’s Anti- Bullying Policy.
  • Do not get involved personally with other parents but inform staff who will act accordingly on your behalf.
  • Make sure you talk to your child.

As a member of staff

  • Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints.
  • Encourage students and staff to form positive attitudes towards others.
  • Ensure that perpetrators of bullying are counselled and/or sanctioned appropriately and parents or carers informed.
  • Ensure that victims of bullying are given help, advice and support by appropriate staff or parent or carer
  • Ensure that the school uses any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying and the appropriate way to behave towards each other if needed by holding discussion meetings with students and staff together.
  • Talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses.

The victims will be supported by:

  • Being offered the immediate opportunity to talk about the experience
  • The school informing the victim’s parents/carers
  • The school offering continued support when the victim feels s/he needs it
  • Supervising staff member taking steps to prevent more bullying by parent or carer being informed and students behaviour being addressed
  • all staff continuing to work with the bullies to get rid of prejudiced attitudes
  • If bullying persists, recommend a permanent exclusion from Stairways music school.