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Anti-Bullying Policy

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Anti-Bullying Policy

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  1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Clane has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.


  1. Relationship to Mission

The vision of the school community is:

"To provide a warm and caring environment where students are taught to respect the dignity of each person and to develop their own sense of self worth and self esteem".

All school policies and structures are designed to protect the dignity of eacindividual and meet their learning needs. Bullying in any form obviously goes against this vision and cannot be allowed to continue.

  1. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
  • A positive school culture and climate which-
  1. is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  2. encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  3. promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
  • Effective leadership;
  • A school-wide approach;
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
  1. build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
  2. explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • Supports for staff;
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
  1. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

“Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time”.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • cyber-bullying and
  • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Appendix 2

Bullying of Students with Special Education Needs

Scoil Mhuire is an inclusive school and has students who have learning disabilities and/or communication difficulties. Everybody in the school is very aware that these students can be expecially vulnerable to bullying. It is important therefore to be particularly vigilant at all times.

High acacemic achievers, gifted or talented students can also be affected by bullying. Staff must treat this type of bullying seriously  in the same way as other types of behaviour.

  1. Prevention

The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):


The school will work proactively to ensure as far as it can that bullying does not take place.  Bullying can be prevented by raising awareness of all in the school community about the detrimental effects of bullying.


In order to prevent bullying the school uses a number of strategies:

  1. The school seeks to promote a positive, open school climate at all times
  2. The school seeks opportunities to enhance the self-worth of all its students
  3. Information sessions for First Year students.
  4. A mentoring  system  will be put in place whereby each First Year student is initially  linked to a Senior Student.
  5. Our Prefect training programme incorporates information on bullying
  6. Certain subjects offer opportunities to address issues relating to respect, justice and fair play CSPE.SPHE, RE and PE to name a few .
  7. At Assemblies we regularly stress the importance of reporting matters of concern.
  8. The school provides a wide range of extra-curricular activities that are open to students
  9. The school provides information leaflets for parents and students on bullying . More information is available on request.
  10. The school has posters in prominent areas to heighten awareness about bullying and to encourage students to tell about any bullying they may experience or observe. These posters are placed in every classroom in the school.  They are revised at least every two years and the student body is involved in drawing up new posters.
  11. Students are monitored and supervised at all times while on the premises or engaged in school related activities.

A huge degree of collective vigilance is needed throughout the school and by parents if bullying is to be identified and dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.

The S.P.H.E. teachers will hold an anti- bullying week each year.

  1. Reporting Bullying

All reports of bullying to be recorded in writing, investigated as per the School Code of Discipline. A standard form is available in the office or student journal for that purpose (See appendix 1). Any member of staff, teaching or non-teaching may fill it in.


Bullying thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim feels a sense of hopelessness and futility against the power being exercised by the bully.

It is imperative that all instances of bullying be reported.    This may be done directly by the student, parent or staff member or through the student box in the office.

Parents who suspect their child is being bullied should not feel guilty about the matter and are advised to contact the school as this may help other students as well. This may be done by telephone or letter if coming to the school in person would cause stress to the victim. If a student pleads not to contact the school, stress that the matter will treated with discretion.

Non-teaching staff should report to the Deputy Principal or Principal any incidents of bullying observed by or mentioned to them.

Once the matter has been reported, it becomes possible to take appropriate action.


  1. Investigation Procedure

The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :

The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows:

  • A class teacher


  • Any member of the pastoral care team.


All reports of bullying to be recorded in writing, investigated as per the School Code of Discipline. A standard form is available in the office for that purpose (See appendix 1). Any member of staff, teaching or non-teaching may fill it in.

The following information should be recorded

  1. Name/s of those involved,
  2. Nature of incident, time, and place and the names of witnesses / bystanders.
  3. Any relevant previous history.
  4. Action taken.
  5. Follow up action required.

Serious cases of bullying behaviour should be referred immediately to the Principal, Deputy Principal /Teacher in Charge.

All reports of bullying are noted, investigated and dealt with by teachers within the structure of the Pastoral Care system

On receipt of a report, the victim and bully are to be interviewed separately by member(s) of staff.

A written account of the interview to be kept.

Parents or guardians of victims and bullies to be informed by the Principal or Deputy- Principal sooner rather than later so they are given the opportunity to discuss the matter.

It will be made clear to students that such behaviour is not acceptable, and is in breach of the Code of Discipline of the school.

Incidents of bullying will be investigated as discreetly as possible outside of the classroom situation.

Students complaining of bullying will be encouraged to keep a record.

Resolving a Complaint:

If the school concludes that a student has engaged in bullying behaviour it will be made clear to them that they are in breach of the school’s Code of Behaviour.   The school will seek to get them to see the situation from the point of view of the student who is being bullied.

Appropriate sanctions will be implemented  in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour and may include suspension or expulsion.  Where the school is satisfied that any student has persisted in engaging in bullying behaviour, serious disciplinary sanctions will be considered.

Communication will be maintained with parents and guardians at all stages in the process.

Students who are bullied or who are involved in bullying behaviour may need assistance on an ongoing basis. The teaching staff and the Pastoral care team may be able to offer some assistance but it may be necessary in some cases for parents to seek outside help.  If the problem persists, the perpetrator may be required to seek professional help.


Where disciplinary action is imposed parents have the right to appeal.

  1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :

Victims of bullying may need counselling and assistance on an ongoing basis. The pupils carrying out the bullying may also need help to find other ways of meeting their needs without violating the rights of others.

Counselling and follow – up action for both victim and bully will be available. The Chaplain has a key role in this area. Tutors may also talk to students to encourage good behaviour. The help of outside agencies may also be sought.

  1. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

  1. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

  1. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________   [date].


  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
  1. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists).  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.


Signed: ____________________________________                   Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                                                    (Principal)


Date: ______________                                                                     Date: __________________


Date of next review: _______________



bullying REPORT FORM 

Scoil Mhuire Community School Clane                                    Date:     ___________


Name of Pupil being bullied: __________________________   Tutor:  ___________


Year Head :   ___________                     Parents Contact Ph.No.   _________________

Location of Incident (s) ___________________________________________

Names and Class(es) of Pupils engaged in bullying behaviour

Name of Person  reporting:    _______________________________

Incident Reported :








Number of Occurrences:    ___________ Times :     _______________________


Witnesses/Bystanders: 1. ________________________ 2. ____________________


3 ___________________________


Other Relevant Information :






Action Taken: __________________________________________________________




Parents contacted


Follow up Action Required :




Signed  Relevant Teacher:  _________________________Date___________________

Appendix 2


Verbal Abuse

This can take the form of name-calling or “slagging”, uncomplimentary remarks, malicious rumours and lies, teasing and whispering campaigns.

Physical Abuse

This can take the form of pushing, shoving, kicking, beatings, “mess fights” or severe physical assault.



This can take the form of aggressive body language, silent gestures “the look” or noises (licks or sighs).

Isolation / Exclusion Bullying

This can take the form of deliberate isolation from peers, and is often carried out by former friends.



This can take the form of demands for money, lunches, books and school items.


Telephone Calls/Text Messages

This may take the form of anonymous calls at any time.


Cyber Bullying

This involves using the Internet ofr mobile phones to send hurtfull messages or posting information to damage peoples repution  and friendships. Cyber bullies can be class mates,online acquaintance, and even anonymous users,but most often they do know their victims.

Damage to Property

This takes the form of damage to books, clothing, lockers, bikes, etc.


Threats to family members.


Physical Abuse:

This can take the form of pushing / shoving, any physical assault or any unwanted physical contact.

Verbal Abuse:

This can take the form of threatening / abusive language over the telephone, in a letter or in person.

Threatening Behaviour:

This can take the form of any aggressive body language.




The following signs and symptoms may suggest that a pupil is being bullied:


  • Anxiety about travelling to and from school.
  • Unwillingness to go to school. Mitching.
  • Deterioration in school performance.
  • Loss of interest and concentration in school.
  • Becoming isolated in the class.
  • Pattern of minor physical illnesses.
  • Unexplained changes either in mood or behaviour.
  • Visible signs of anxiety or distress i.e. sleep or eating problems.
  • Reluctance or refusal to discuss the problem.
  • Possessions missing or damaged.
  • Increased requests for money.
  • Unexplained cuts or bruising or damaged clothing.
  • Beginning to bully other smaller children.


These signs do not necessarily mean a pupil is being bullied.

However, if there is a repetition, or if they occur in combination, they should be investigated and reported to relevant authority.




  • Pupils who are being bullied may develop feelings of insecurity and extreme anxiety and thus may become more vulnerable.
  • Self-confidence may be damaged with a consequent lowering of their self-esteem.
  • While they may not talk about what is happening to them, their suffering is indicated through changes in mood and behaviour.
  • Bullying may occasionally result is suicide.
  • It if therefore important to be alert to changes in behaviour, as early intervention is desirable.




Appendix 3

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy



To: _____________________________________


The Board of Management of ____________________ wishes to inform you that:


o The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of _______________ [date].



o This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. (See Appendix 4)








Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________

Appendix 4

Department of Education Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullyingpolicy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose.  

Yes /No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the

requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?

Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to theparents’ association?

Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?

Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and

procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and proceduresin their day to day work?

Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?

Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?

Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?

Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been

implemented been examined?

Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in

accordance with the policy?

Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?

Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying includingthose addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?

Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling ofbullying incidents?

Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with theschool’s handling of a bullying situation?

Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?

Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recordingtemplate) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?

Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation thatrequire further improvement and is an action plan in place to address areas for improvement.

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________





Appendix 1


  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.

  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.

  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.

  • Catch them being good - notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.

  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.

  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.

  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.

  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.

  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use. Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.

  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.

  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.

  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.

  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.


  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.

  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for bullying in the school.
  1. Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision.
  2. Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils.





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