FOR SCHOOL TO BE A happy and productive place, kindness and respect is everything. These are values that we seek to promote in all aspects of school life, with the intention that pupils should have the strength of character to act decisively in the face of wrongdoing. Bullying is completely antithetical to the guiding principle of the school’s Code of Conduct: “everybody will act with courtesy and consideration to others at all times”.

Pupils are encouraged to be alert to bullying and to report it promptly when they become aware of it.  For staff, there is a duty to act promptly and firmly against bullying in accordance with school policy.

How bullying is prevented

The school raises awareness of the nature of bullying and different types of bullying in PSHE lessons, form time, assemblies and sometimes subject lessons in an attempt to raise awareness of such behaviour. Pupils are told how to report bullying and how it is dealt with. Assemblies address different forms of bullying (including racism and homophobia) in a systematic way. In assemblies teachers openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality. Pupils are taught that using any prejudice-based language is unacceptable. The Pupil Wellbeing Lead and Key Stage Directors review information about bullying regularly and evaluate the effectiveness of the methods used to prevent and tackle it. All teaching staff recognise that bullying and peer-on-peer abuse can be child protection issues that must be addressed.
 

How bullying is dealt with

A pupil who has been bullied will be given support. Time will be made available so that he has an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a form tutor, Head of Year, Pupil Support Manager or another member of staff of their choice. The purpose of this discussion will be to explore what has happened and provide reassurance for the pupil. This may lead to on-going support with the designated member of staff, the school counsellor or school nurse or somebody else. Over time, the goal will be to ensure that self-esteem and self-confidence is restored. Parents will be contacted and, where necessary, given further information and advice.
 
A pupil who has perpetrated bullying will also be given the opportunity to discuss what has happened and how he become involved. The purpose of this meeting will be to ensure that the perpetrator accepts that their behaviour was wrong, knows that the bullying must stop and that they will be closely monitored – and to establish the plan of action for improving their attitude. Occasionally, the perpetrator may also be advised to seek counselling or anger management support.
 
Where appropriate, bystanders (see below) will also be spoken to about how they become involved and what made them speak out (or what prevented them from doing so).
 
All instances of bullying are recorded and reviewed over time to ensure that the bullying behaviour has definitely come to an end (and to help us in develop the school strategy to prevent bullying).

Racism, homophobia and transphobia

We acknowledge that overt and covert racism still exists in schools, workplaces and other institutions and continues to be a source of anger and dismay for us all, requiring proactive attention and a dynamic response. Plans are being put into place to create a Diversity Team, made up of pupils and headed by our new Diversity Prefect, which will be able to advise on the experiences of pupils in the school, conduct research, and help create resources that can be used in school to tackle racism, and make the school as inclusive as possible.
 
The use of homophobic slurs or bullying or abuse based on someone’s gender or sexuality, (or perceived gender or sexuality) is not tolerated. Last year, 20 pupils across all Key Stages undertook training to become Rainbow Ambassadors. They aim to raise awareness of LGBT+ bullying, help deliver anti-bullying messages and advise on how the school can be more inclusive for those in the LGBT community. They shall pass on their training and knowledge to new Ambassadors next year.
 
We feel we have taken many steps in the right direction in recent years, including establishing the anonymous ‘Report a Concern’ page for reporting incidents (including racism, and other hateful and bullying behaviour); pupils are reminded about this on a regular basis. We also hold full and detailed pupil surveys (which address questions of pupil safety and equality) but we there is always more we can do, in particular by talking more to black and ethnic minority pupils about their experiences in the school and considering their recommendations at all levels.
 
An Ofsted visit in February 2020 indicated that “pupils are kind, considerate and have a keen sense of equality”. We believe this is true and it is a strong starting point for further improvement, but we are not at all complacent and continue to be highly self-critical in developing our policy and practice. In May 2021, we had planned to host our biennial mental health conference with delegates from schools the south-east of England, to address disparities in mental health treatment for children from BAME backgrounds in the UK. We are currently assessing a way to make alternate arrangements for this event, which was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Racism, homophobia and bullying are regularly subject to discussion by Key Stage Directors and the wider Learner Development Team and each year we revisit and develop our anti-bullying strategy in school and commit ourselves to further understanding how hateful attitudes and behaviour can be tackled in children and adults.

Wilson’s School

A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
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