The aims of Mintlaw Academy include:
- to provide and maintain a free, happy and secure environment in which pupils can learn
- to encourage attitudes of self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others
Clearly bullying runs counter to these aims and stops pupils from achieving the all round success to which they are entitled. Therefore, Mintlaw Academy affirms that bullying, of any sort, is unacceptable and seeks to do all that it can to stop such practices.
The ability to stop bullying in Mintlaw Academy should arise from, and depend upon, an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between pupils and also between pupils and staff, parents and staff, and between staff members. Such an ethos will highlight the unacceptability of bullying.
Bullying is to be defined as the wilful conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone. This can be seen either in a pattern of behaviour, or in a single incident perceived as having the potential for repetition.
Bullying behaviour can take a wide variety of forms and is recognised as including verbal threats as well as acts of physical violence.
Every member of the school community, pupils, teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as parents, have a responsibility towards each other. Not only does this include refraining from being involved in any behaviour that could be construed as bullying, but also supporting and helping anyone who is being bullied. This support might include:
- reporting the incidents of bullying to someone who can take action
- intervening in incidents when observed
- applying the full range of disciplinary sanctions appropriate
- take seriously all reports of bullying and listening to those giving information
- involving all relevant people including parents.
The school policy on discipline states "School discipline is the collective responsibility of all members of staff". Therefore all staff are expected to react to incidents of misbehaviour and to use the appropriate form of discipline. However, if in investigating a situation bullying is identified as being the cause of the incident in addition to using the relevant sanctions it is essential that the situation is reported to the relevant Principal Teacher of Guidance at the earliest opportunity. In the absence of the PT Guidance, the Depute with responsibility for the year group should be contacted.
The options open to the PT Guidance or Depute are wide but will usually include the involvement of parents at an early stage as well as further disciplinary measures if appropriate.
Procedures for parents and pupils to report bullying will be explained in the relevant documentation for each group.
Creating an anti-bullying climate is the responsibility of all pupils, parents and staff. Practices will be developed to encourage such an ethos. These may include:
- special assemblies
- work in PSE classes
- poster competitions
- involvement of S6 pupils
- anti-bullying comment box
- classroom discussion
- articles in Quartet
- involvement of Community Ed
Monitoring of the incidence of bullying
The responsibility for monitoring the incidence of bullying rests with the Guidance Team and particularly the Guidance Co-ordinator from the SMT. This will be done on a regular basis using a variety of methods (e.g. class surveys and a log book).
Review of Policy
The policy statement will be reviewed at regular intervals. Such reviews will involve as wide a consultation as possible including pupils, parents and staff. The Guidance Team and Guidance Co-ordinator from the SMT will be responsible for this evaluation.