The Department published new anti-bullying procedures for all primary and post primary schools at the beginning of the 2013/14 school year.
The procedures are designed to give direction and guidance to school authorities and school personnel in preventing and tackling school-based bullying behaviour amongst its pupils. They include specific requirements in relation to the use of prevention and education strategies and the consistent investigation, follow up and recording of bullying behaviour.
A very important element of the new procedures to help ensure greater transparency for parents and pupils is the requirement for schools to publish their anti-bullying policy on the school’s website and to provide it to the parents association.
If a parent or a student tells you that they are concerned about bullying in your class/school you should immediately reassure them that you will do everything you can to address the situation.
Do not avoid using words like bullying and ensure that you help the victim to get closure by working towards an apology from the student who was bullying.
Sometimes teachers and schools think that by not naming bullying that they will minimise any negative effects however if bullying has occurred it should be named and addressed in a clear and transparent manner.
Bullying prevention should always take place within a whole school approach.
A whole school approach to bullying will involve:
- School Leadership & Managing Change
- Policy Development
- Curriculum Planning for Teaching and Learning
- School Ethos and Culture
- Student Voice
- Student Support Services
- Partnership with Parents and Local Communities
If you are a teacher you are required to address bullying when it occurs in your classroom/school. The Department of Education and Skills Policies and Proceduresprovide guidance to teachers and schools on how to address bullying when it occurs.
There are a number of organisations which can provide you with further support.
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