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Principles for policy development

An anti-bullying policy is a clear commitment to develop a respectful, equitable and inclusive culture and ethos.

 

An anti-bullying policy is a clear commitment to develop a respectful, equitable and inclusive culture and ethos. Cultures that encourage respect, celebrate difference and promote positive behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour.

An anti-bullying policy provides consistency in process, action and practice. Any member of staff, parent, child or young person should be able to read a policy and know what they can expect and also what is expected of them. Policy development is a journey, a values based journey to create environments where bullying does not thrive.

 
 

The process of developing an anti-bullying policy

Local Authorities and individual organisations will have their own way of developing anti-bullying policies to reflect local environments and culture. However, all organisations providing services to children and young people in the public, voluntary or private sectors must develop an anti-bullying policy that reflects the principles of the National Approach, to ensure that children and young people receive a consistent response wherever bullying takes place. Organisations must ensure every local service or individual school develops a local policy that reflects theirs and the process of consultation.

To ensure consistency from Government level to an individual school or youth club, the principles, values and definition of bullying should be the same at all levels. This means an individual school policy can have the same approach and values as the overarching Local Authority policy, which shares the values and principles of the National Approach.

 
 

Anti-bullying policies should include:

  • A statement which lays out the organisational stance on bullying and the scope of the policy
  • A definition of bullying in line with the National Approach
  • A clear statement that bullying is a breach of Children’s Rights
  • Inclusion of the broader legislative and policy landscape
  • An explicit commitment to challenge all types of prejudice-based bullying and language – referencing the Equality Act 2010 and each of the protected characteristics as well as other forms of prejudice, including completion of an Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment (EQIA) where appropriate
  • Expectations or codes of behaviour, and responsibilities for all staff/volunteers and children and young people
  • A clear commitment to promoting and role modelling positive relationships and positive behaviour
  • A range of strategies that will be used to prevent and respond to bullying
  • Clarity on how and how often the organisation will communicate its anti-bullying policy
  • The recording and monitoring strategies that will be used for management purposes
  • Children and young people have a right to be included and consulted and this should be evidenced in your policy
  • Parents and carers have a right to be included and consulted and this should be evidenced in your policy
  • How wellbeing concerns relating to bullying will be shared and recorded
  • How and how often the policy will be evaluated and reviewed with children and young people, parents and carers and staff (ideally every three years)
  • A commitment as to how staff and volunteers will be developed and trained
  • Clear expectations that individual school and/or children’s services within an organisation or Local Authority will develop a local policy that reflects the organisational one.
  • View our Policy through to Practice booklet here