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Publication - Guidance

Respect for All: national approach to anti-bullying

Published: 15 Nov 2017
Part of:
Children and families, Education
ISBN:
9781786521385

The approach aims to build capacity, resilience and skills in children and young people to prevent and deal with bullying.

42 page PDF

1.3MB

42 page PDF

1.3MB

Contents
Respect for All: national approach to anti-bullying
Section 2: Implementing Respect for All

42 page PDF

1.3MB

Section 2: Implementing Respect for All

Your policy development

It is important to ensure that the ethos of anti-bullying is embedded in day-to-day practices that are in step with Respect for All. The message that bullying is never acceptable is always prevalent and continuously and consistently reinforced.

In order for this to be effective, there needs to be ownership of the policy. Where this is achieved, through genuine consultation and involvement, a policy is more likely to be successful in achieving its aims. Indeed, experience has shown that the most effective policies are developed in consultation with everyone they impact upon: children and young people and their parent(s), and staff and volunteers. This should be a values based and inclusive journey that helps all stakeholders understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from local authorities and organisations, (as supported by Article 12 [8] of the UNCRC). The consultations we carried out with children and young people and their parent(s) highlighted a desire to be involved in consultation and co-production at a local level.

" Being able to listen and support anyone being bullied could greatly decrease the amount of bullying in Scotland."
(Age 14, Fife)

What should local and organisational anti-bullying policies include?

An anti-bullying policy is a clear commitment to develop a respectful, equitable and inclusive culture and ethos within an organisation or establishment. Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and promote positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour.

Local authorities and organisations will have different ways of putting the principles of anti-bullying into practice to reflect local environments and culture. However, all organisations providing services to children and young people in the public, voluntary or private sector should develop an anti-bullying policy that reflects Respect for All.

All individual schools, services or clubs should develop policies that reflect the organisational policy. In doing so, public authorities must ensure they meet their legal obligations in relation to equality impact assessment.

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 Respect for All
  • A clear statement that bullying is a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • An explicit commitment to challenge all types of prejudice-based bullying and language (see Appendix 2) - including bullying based on the protected characteristic listed in the Equality Act 2010. Policies that address bullying based on the protected characteristics will, where appropriate, require completion of an Impact Assessment ( EQIA) [9]
  • That schools/organisations may also wish to complete the Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment ( CRWIA). The CRWIA policy development and improvement approach has been made available for local authorities and children's services to adapt for their own uses, if they wish [10]
  • 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
  • The recording and monitoring strategies that will be used for management purposes inline with Data Protection guidelines;
  • That children and young people have a right to express their views in matters that affect them, and for these views to be given due weight. These views should be evidenced in the policy
  • That parent(s) have a right to be included and consulted and this should be evidenced in the policy
  • In what way and how often the policy will be evaluated and reviewed with children and young people and their parent(s) and staff (ideally every three years)
  • A commitment to how staff and volunteers will be trained and supported.

" It can help children get a better education because they won't have to worry about being bullied. It will also stop people being harmed. Also everyone could enjoy social media more."
(Age 11, West Lothian)

Additional support needs

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended) provides a comprehensive legal framework for the provision of additional, targeted support for children and young people who face barriers to learning. Children with additional support needs may experience bullying differently and may be targeted because of their additional support need. In addition, social emotional or behavioural needs which can arise from bullying, may be considered an additional support need if the bullying is having an impact on the child or young person's learning, including those children and young people who are demonstrating bullying behaviour. Pracitioners should fully take into account additional support needs and the principles of inclusion when addressing bullying.

Support and training

There is a need to ensure that all staff and adults have access to high-quality Career-Long Professional Learning which will help improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of children and young people that they work with. Training and skills development are an important part of building adult confidence and capacity to recognise and respond to bullying locally.

We want practitioners to establish open, positive and supportive relationships with children and young people. Support and guidance is available from respect me [11] . respect me can help local authorities, youth organisations and sports clubs review and develop policies; ensure they are in step with Respect for All and reflect current best practice. Anti-bullying information and advice for children and young people and their parent(s) is available on the respect me website.

Different forms of prejudice or the needs of different groups of children and young people, may require additional support or training. This can be sought from a range of organisations and service providers who specialise in representing the views and experiences of groups of young people - including the protection offered under the Equality Act 2010, for example looked after children and young people; and people who share one or more of the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010. See Appendices 1 and 2 for further information.

Education Scotland, with local authorities, has a role to play to support the implementation of positive relationship and behaviour approaches and embed children's rights in schools.

Anti-bullying training opportunities can be viewed at: www.respectme.org.uk/training/programmes-and-calendar.

Expectations and communication

Everyone (including children and young people and their parent(s)) should have a good understanding and clear expectations of their role in developing and implementing the anti-bullying policy. Schools may have developed specific evidence-based approaches to managing bullying incidents such as 'restorative' or 'solution oriented' approaches. Where this is the case, everyone within the school community (including parents) should be aware of this approach.

The anti-bullying policy and procedures should be communicated and shared to ensure that children and young people and their parent(s) know who they can talk to, what they can expect if bullying occurs and how bullying incidents will be resolved.

" Children may feel bad about themselves and not want to go to school and every child has the right to an education and that would be breaking someone's rights."
(Age 10, West Lothian)

Policy and practice expectations

This grid outlines the common expectations of everyone in preventing and managing bullying as well as what they can expect from others.

Your role

What is expected of you

What you can expect from others

Local authority or an organisation that provides services to children and young people

  • Develop and implement an organisational anti-bullying policy in step with the principles and values that underpin Respect for All and ensure an explicit commitment to challenging prejudice-based bullying
  • Develop and implement an anti-bullying policy in consultation with stakeholders including children and young people and their parent(s) and staff/volunteers
  • Engage and consult with local/community stakeholders
  • Provide access to training and materials to support all those who work with children and young people in the organisations services
  • Ensure parents/carers are provided with information on how to raise a complaint and the escalation process
  • Take action to promote equality and diversity and children's rights and provide training relevant to these areas
  • Monitor and record incidents of bullying
  • Explicitly mention all protected characteristics and other forms of prejudice-based bullying.
  • Support in developing policy and implementing practice
  • Access to resources, professional learning and materials such as those provided by respectme and Education Scotland and those that are in step with Respect for All
  • Support and guidance from a range of organisations and service providers who specialise in representing the views and experiences of groups of young people - including those protected under the Equality Act 2010, looked after children and young people; young carers and people who share one or more of the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010.

Individual schools or services that are part of an organisation or governing body

  • Develop a local anti-bullying policy that reflects the organisational policy including an explicit commitment to challenging prejudice-based bullying
  • Develop and implement practices that promote fairness, inclusion and respect in line with Respect for All and national guidance on promoting positive relationships and behaviour
  • Involve and consult meaningfully with children and young people
  • Involve National (Parent Forum) and consult meaningfully with parent(s) through Parent Forum/Parent Council or other appropriate forums
  • Make parent(s) aware of organisational and local anti-bullying policies
  • Ensure parent(s) are provided with information on how to raise a complaint and the escalation process
  • Ensure there is clear monitoring and recording procedures and everyone in the school or service are aware of these
  • Monitor and review policy and practice on a regular basis
  • Take action to promote positive respectful relationships
  • Take action to promote equality and diversity and children's rights
  • Offer children and young people a range of ways to report bullying or to talk about any concerns they have in confidence
  • Resolve incidents of bullying proactively, using a respectful, proportionate and holistic approach which takes account of the impact of the incident as well as any underlying prejudice or other negative attitudes.
  • The organisation/local authority to provide access to training and materials for staff and volunteers
  • Support from organisation/local authority to deliver the actions that will be required to fully implement the anti-bullying policy
  • Support and resources from your National Agency or Governing Body (such as YouthLink Scotland or SportScotland) to develop and implement your policy and practice
  • Support and guidance from a range of organisations and service providers who specialise in representing the views and experiences of groups of young people - including looked after children and young people; young carers and people who share one or more of the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010.

Independent/Voluntary services, activity or youth clubs or those who provide a service for children and young people

  • Develop an anti-bullying policy with stakeholders that are in step with the principles and values that underpin Respect for All and which is appropriate to the context or setting. This includes an explicit commitment to challenge prejudice-based bullying
  • Involve and consult meaningfully with children and young people and their parent(s)
  • Develop practices that promote fairness, inclusion and respect
  • Develop practices that promote positive relationships and choice
  • Take action to promote equality and diversity and children's rights
  • Ensure parent(s) are provided with information on how to raise a complaint
  • Monitor and record incidents of bullying
  • Offer children and young people a range of ways to report bullying or to talk about any concerns they have in confidence
  • Develop communication plans to share policy and practice expectations with all stakeholders
  • Listen and take children and young people seriously
  • Access to training and resources from respectme and other agencies/organisations that provide anti-bullying support
  • Support and guidance from a range of organisations and service providers who specialise in representing the views and experiences of groups of young people - including those protected under the Equality Act 2010, looked after children and young people; young carers
  • Support and resources from your National Agency or Governing Body (such as YouthLink Scotland or SportScotland) to develop and implement your policy and practice.

Individuals

What is expected of you

What you can expect from others

Children and young people

  • Treat people with respect and not engage in bullying behaviour
  • Be aware of anti-bullying policies and practices in schools/clubs/groups attended
  • Where safe and appropriate, challenge bullying behaviour
  • Share concerns with peers/trusted adults if appropriate to the individual
  • Work collaboratively to help ensure bullying cannot thrive.
  • Share concerns with peers/trusted adult/named person (where available).
  • Schools, clubs and all children's services' should have an anti-bullying policy and approaches to prevent and respond to bullying that are in step with Respect for All
  • Be treated with respect and ensure your rights are protected and fulfilled
  • Be included and involved when developing policy, approaches to bullying, and what happens when affected by bullying
  • Be listened to and have concerns taken seriously
  • Have choices on how you respond and options on where and how to report (in person, online or helpline)
  • Receive guidance and direction to a range of services or resources that can meet individual specific needs or concerns. These could relate to any individual or protected characteristic.

Parent(s)

  • Be aware of anti-bullying policies and practice in any school/clubs/groups attended by their child or young person
  • Work collaboratively to help ensure bullying cannot thrive
  • Share concerns about their child as early as possible with appropriate teacher/practitioner/coach
  • Engage through school Parent Forum/Parent Council or other appropriate forums to contribute to and learn about anti-bullying practice
  • Treat people with respect
  • Promote positive respectful relationships
  • Listen and take children and young people seriously
  • Sharing concerns about their child as early as possible with appropriate teacher/named person person (where available)/practitioner/coach.
  • Schools, services and clubs attended by their children and young people should have an anti-bullying policy and approaches to prevent and respond to bullying that are in step with Respect for All. This should be communicated clearly to parents through local communication channels (including local relevant websites and social media)
  • Be made aware of and involved in developing any new policies and practices
  • Be included and involved when developing policy, approaches to bullying, and what happens when affected by bullying
  • Be listened to and have concerns taken seriously and to be treated with respect
  • Be signposted to a range of services or resources that can meet individual specific needs or concerns. These could relate to any individual or protected characteristic
  • Be made aware of the complaints process and also the escalation process at establishment and local authority level and know how to make a complaint at appropriate stages.

Staff and volunteers

  • Understand both local and organisational anti-bullying policy and procedures
  • Be aware of the values and principles of Respect for All and act in accordance with them in terms of preventing and responding to bullying behaviour
  • Act in accordance with the relevant professional standards and codes of conduct, e.g. Common Core CLD/youthwork/volunteer adult SSSC, GTCS, etc.
  • Act as positive role models to establish open positive and supportive relationships
  • Listen and take children and young people seriously
  • Engage with parent(s)
  • Share concerns appropriately within your organisation/service and seek support where appropriate
  • Take action to promote equality and diversity and children's rights
  • Work collaboratively to help ensure bullying cannot thrive
  • Treat people with respect.
  • Opportunities to undertake a range of appropriate training on anti-bullying, promoting positive relationships and behaviour, equality and diversity and children's rights
  • Support, resources and materials from the local authority, organisation, Education Scotland, Youthlink Scotland, Sportscotland and respectme etc.
  • Support when responding to bullying and support when developing approaches
  • Be included and involved in the development of anti-bullying policies and practices
  • Support and guidance from a range of organisations and service providers who specialise in representing the views and experiences of groups of young people - including looked after children and young people; young carers and people who share one or more of the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010.

Approaches to preventing bullying

Bullying takes place in the context of relationships. Promoting respectful relationships, repairing relationships where appropriate and ensuring we respond to all forms of prejudice will help create an environment where bullying cannot thrive. There are a range of strategies and programmes being used throughout Scotland that can improve relationships and behaviour, promote equality and challenge inequality, and develop emotional wellbeing to help prevent and address bullying. These focus on:

  • Anti-bullying professional learning
  • Recognising and Realising Children's Rights
  • Restorative Approaches
  • Creating inclusive and supportive learning environments
  • Solution Oriented Approaches
  • Nurturing Approaches
  • Mentoring and peer support (including Mentors in Violence Prevention [ MVP])
  • Curriculum for Excellence.

These are all supported by opportunities for Career Long Professional Learning ( CLPL).

Bullying in Scotland 2014 [12] told us that the most successful interventions are embedded within a positive ethos and culture with children and young people using a wide range of coping strategies.

Children and young people value choice when responding to bullying. They need to explore a range of options that may suit them, as what works for one person may not work for another. Adults can support children and young people to make informed choices about how to respond to bullying.

A person who has been bullied does not feel in control of their life and may not feel free to exercise choice. By supporting children and young people to make choices, this helps restore their sense of agency; develop their resilience; and establish positive relationship approaches that they will need for the rest of their lives.

Children and young people need to have choices on how they share and report bullying and bullying concerns.

The children's and young people's consultation told us that the most important actions that adults (in schools, youth groups, colleges, after school clubs, sports clubs etc.) undertook were to:

  • Take children and young people seriously when they talk about bullying
  • Know about the anti-bullying plan/policy
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour
  • Think about how to stop bullying before it happens
  • Ensure all children and young people are included, engaged and involved and have the opportunity to participate in school and community events.

Word Cloud

Young Ambassadors
Young People's Sport Panel
Equality
UNCRPD
Partnership
Prevention Nurturing Approaches
Action on Sectarianism
Equity
Early Intervention
Fairness
Active Schools
Flexibility
National Youth Work Strategy
Mentoring
Better Relationships, Better Learning, Better Behaviour
Solution Orientated Approaches
UNCRC
No Knives Better Lives
GIRFEC
Non-discrimination
Curriculum for Excellence
Participation
Inclusion
Ethos
Life Survival and Development
Young decision makers
Impact
Attainment Challenge
Wellbeing
Culture
Mentors in Violence Prevention
Support
Individual Circumstances
Active Girls/Fit for Girls
Action on Prejudice
Restorative Approaches
Recognising and Realising Children's Rights
Respect
Community Sport Hubs
Young People As Leaders
Collaboration
Engaging

The Parental Focus Group [13] told us that there was often an assumption that parents were aware of relevant organisations/resources. Parents would like to see more signposting from schools about useful and appropriate support options. Parents suggested that the best ways to share information was through school emails, website, social media, Parent Council/Parent Forum, Induction or Transition Days.

Labelling

Labelling children and young people as 'bullies' or 'victims' can be disempowering and unhelpful in changing their behaviour or supporting their recovery from being bullied. Labelling an action as bullying is a more effective way of motivating a child to change their bullying behaviour. This approach should be reflected in policy and underpin practice.

Adults dealing with bullying behaviours are expected to be able to distinguish between a person and their behaviour. Any bullying behaviour must be challenged, however, all people (including those causing bullying) should always be treated with respect. This does not diminish the seriousness nor impact of bullying behaviour; rather, it is an essential way of maintaining the adult's focus and response on the behaviour that is problematic. This is a solution-oriented approach that is designed to help people change the way they behave without being stigmatised.

Staff and volunteers, rather than labelling them, can help children and young people change by telling them that the behaviour is bullying and that what they did is not acceptable. This approach should be reflected in policy and underpin practice. [13]

Responding to bullying

Each bullying incident should be reviewed individually and a number of different practices may be adopted before finding one that is effective. Ideally, organisations, establishments and services should develop preventative approaches and strategies to address bullying when it occurs. The approach we use in Scotland means that our responses are rooted in and clearly reflect the values of fairness, respect, equality and inclusion.

Bullying is a combination of behaviour and impact and should be addressed appropriately as outlined in Section 1.

In our consultation, young people told us that they want all adults to take children and young people seriously when they talk about bullying.

Children and young people also want to be informed of actions that are being taken to support them if they are affected by bullying.

Therefore when responding to incidents or accusations of bullying the approach should be to ask:

  • What was the behaviour?
  • What impact did it have?
  • What does the child or young person want to happen?
  • What do I need to do about it?
  • What attitudes, prejudices or other factors have influenced the behaviour?

Children and young people who are exhibiting bullying behaviour will need help and support to:

  • Identify the feelings that cause them to act this way
  • Develop alternative ways of responding to these feelings
  • Understand the impact of their behaviour on other people
  • Repair relationships.

We need to help children and young people who demonstrate bullying behaviour by providing clear expectations about behaviour as well as providing a range of ways to respond. This can include taking steps to repair a relationship, and where appropriate, supporting them to make amends. We need to challenge prejudice and offer the opportunity to learn and change behaviour. Consideration should be given to any factors that may impact upon a child or young person's wellbeing, including whether any additional support for learning is required.

It is important the details of the approach used to prevent and address bullying is clearly outlined in the anti-bullying policy.

Responses to bullying should focus on developing resilience and promoting positive relationships - guidance on this can be found at Education Scotland. [14]

Recording and monitoring bullying incidents

For everyone who works with children and young people accurate recording of bullying incidents ensures that an appropriate response has taken place. It is crucial that organisations monitor the effectiveness of their policy and practice, and review and update their policy on a regular basis. Monitoring bullying incidents is essential and helps organisations identify recurring patterns thereby encouraging early intervention. This can help identify training ( CLPL) needs for everyone working with children and young people.

For children and young peoples organisations recording systems must include information on:

  • The children and young people involved, as well as staff or other adults
  • Where and when bullying has taken place
  • The type of bullying experienced, e.g. name-calling, rumours, threats etc.
  • Any underlying prejudice including details of any protected characteristic(s)
  • Consideration of personal or additional support needs and wellbeing concerns and
  • Actions taken including resolution at an individual or organisational level.

The recording, monitoring and analysis of bullying is best carried out by an organisation where it can be understood and acted upon.

Data should not be analysed in isolation. The local context, professional judgment, and other relevant information should be considered alongside the statistical evidence.

All organisations should make parents, carers, children and young people aware of their complaints procedures including any review or appeal process.

Approaches to monitoring and recording should also take into consideration children and young people rights outlined in the UNCRC including Article 12: Children and Young People have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously, and Article 16: Children and Young People have the right to a private life. For more information go to: www.cypcs.org.uk

It is expected that organisations will use a digital recording system where possible and adhere to Data Protection principles.

Further support and training is available from respectme [15] .

Schools

How Good is Our School? 4 ( HGIOS4), has a strong focus on inclusion and equity. The framework includes quality indicators on 'Personalised Support' and 'Ensuring Wellbeing Inclusion and Equality', and it references bullying, including prejudice-based bullying as well as considerations for all protected characteristics.

In addition, Scotland's National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education prioritises the need for improvement in children and young people's health and wellbeing. By recording and monitoring bullying incidents at a local level, local authorities and schools will be able to identify trends or themes emerging and where improvement can be made to support the wellbeing of all children and young people.

Additionally, it is of key importance that relevant local authority and school staff are appropriately trained to build confidence and capacity to recognise and respond to bullying locally. The Scottish Government will ensure that any new process will have minimal impact on teacher workload and bureaucracy.

We recognise that streamlined and uniformed recording and monitoring by local authorities and schools will help to identify key measures and actions that can be undertaken to address incidents of bullying.

We are working with local authority representatives, teacher organisations and key stakeholder bodies to develop a universal approach to recording and monitoring incidents of bullying in Scottish schools.

In support of this we will develop additional guidance to complement Respect for All which will set out the approach for local authorities and schools to adopt for recording and monitoring incidents of bullying. Once agreed this guidance will be kept under periodic review and evaluation to ensure that local authorities and schools are consistently following the agreed approach.

The existing SEEMIS system used by schools, which includes a 'Bullying and Equalities' module, would be an appropriate tool for schools and local authorities to use. We will explore with SEEMIS and local authorities appropriate updates to the module to assist ease of use and data capture.

" Bullying is wrong. No-one should have to fear for their safety or dignity. Bullying can destroy lives and ruin someone's confidence not just in their childhood but for the rest of their lives."
(Age 9, North Ayrshire)


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