It is the policy of Rosemont Afterschool to promote positive behaviour management and self-discipline. We value each child as an individual and aim to engage the children in activities which interest them, praising and encouraging them for all levels of achievement. We strive to work with parents to promote acceptable behaviour and ask that children and staff try to be respectful and considerate to each other.
Corporal punishment will never be inflicted on any child in the afterschool. Practices that are disrespectful, degrading, exploitive, intimidating, emotionally or physically harmful or neglectful will never carried out in respect of any child or staff member.
This policy will be made available and communicated to all staff, parents and relevant stakeholders. A digital version will be made available on the website: www.rosemontafterschool.ie and a hard copy is available for parents/guardians to read in reception and in the After School Office. All staff will receive on-going training in the management of behaviour.
Positive Behaviour Management Procedure
Some behaviour strategies that may be used are:
Classroom rules will be clearly explained to children using age appropriate vocabulary they can understand. Homework room rules will be displayed on posters on the boards.
Clearly explain consequences of negative behaviour to the child with a view to promoting respect for ourselves, each other, our surroundings and property.
Redirect a situation where tension is building up.
Empower children by giving them the vocabulary and opportunity to solve their own disputes
Adults never take sides, judge or assign blame - even if we know exactly what has happened. We are always independent and must listen to each child involved. Encourage both sides to explain what happened and give the children time to work out a compromise.
If a child persists with unacceptable behaviour they may be moved to a different activity. Children must never be asked to sit doing nothing.
Review, and re-prepare if necessary, the child's environment regularly – inappropriate behaviour may occur because the child is bored or frustrated - activities may be too easy or too difficult for him.
Try to ignore negative behaviour as much as possible and focus on positive behaviour.
Parents will be informed of any continuing problem behaviour displayed by their child. In these cases, the staff and parents will plan and implement a positive behaviour programme. This programme will be reviewed, evaluated and modified if necessary on a weekly basis.
Procedure if a child elopes
If a child leaves the service unaccompanied without authorisation, the child will be persued by the manager and encouraged to return to the service.
Contact will immediately be made with the parents.
A staff member will follow the child either by foot or by car as appropriate to ensure that the child is still supervised.
When staff can physically intervene
Use of corporal punishment is strictly forbidden and staff will never physically intervene unless it is to act in the best interest of the child. Physical intervention is:
· Used only as a last resort
· Ensures no pain is inflicted on children
· Incident record is completed
· Parents/Guardians are advised
· Is an approved evidence method in very specific cases
In accordance with the requirements of Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2019, Rosemont After School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the after 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.
This policy applies to activities and events that take place:
· During after school time
· During Camp time
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 After School’s behaviour management policy.
However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on 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.
All staff should be vigilant for signs of bullying.
The following signs/symptoms may suggest that a pupil is being bullied
· Anxiety about travelling to and from school
· Unwillingness to go to school or refusal to attend
· Deterioration in educational performance
· Pattern of physical illness
· Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour
· Visible signs of anxiety or distress
· Spontaneous out of character comments
· Possessions missing or damaged
· Increased requests for money or stealing money
· Unexplained bruising or cuts or damaged clothing
· Reluctance and or refusal to say what is bothering him/her.
These signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. If repeated or occurring in combination those signs do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the pupil.
Rosemont After School reserves the right to take action, where necessary, against bullying perpetrated outside the school, which has any negative impact within the service.
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.
· Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
· Physical aggression
· Damage to property
· Name calling
· The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
· Offensive graffiti
· Insulting or offensive gestures
· The “look” i.e. staring at another student in a provocative manner, for example, in a threatening, condescending or menacing way.
· Invasion of personal space
· A combination of any of the types listed.
· Denigration: Spreading rumours, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation.
· Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual
· Impersonation: posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name.
· Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight.
· Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online.
· Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images.
· Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group.
· Cyber Stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety.
· Silent telephone/mobile phone call
· Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
· Abusive text messages
· Abusive email
· Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles
· Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
· Abusive posts on any form of communicative technology
Rosemont After School is a “tech-free” service, meaning that no children are permitted to use laptops, phones, tablets, iPods or any other electronic devices. This is to minimize the risk of cyber bullying.
The Board of Management of each school in developing its anti-bullying policy must develop the policy in co-operation with both teaching and non-teaching school staff under the guidance of the Principal and in connection with parents and pupils. In this way, the development of school-wide strategies for dealing with bullying is illustrated to everyone concerned.
It is extremely important that all concerned have a good understanding of the policy aims and content if the policy is designed to have effective strategies to deal with problems when they arise.
These are some of the main aims of an anti – bullying policy:
· To create a positive school climate and culture that includes and welcomes all paths of life.
· To create a school spirit which is open, supportive, and encourages pupils to disclose and discuss bullying behaviour.
· To raise awareness to the entire school community including school management, after school assistant/managers, pupils, parents and volunteers that bullying is not tolerated.
· To make sure that children are being supervised and monitored through all aspects of school activity.
· To provide procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying behaviour.
· To take note, report and provide procedures for bullying behaviour.
· To expand a programme of support for those affected by bullying and those who are involved as well.
· Facilitating ongoing evaluation effectively of the school’s anti-bullying policy.
· Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any after school assistant/manager in the school. Pupils with access to an SNA may wish to tell the SNA and parents may want to tell the SNA.
· All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with by the manager.
· Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, to the manager.
On receipt of a report the manager will take a three step approach to dealing with the allegation of bullying:
The manager speaks to individuals concerned to establish a chain of events and whether bullying has occurred. In the case of suspected bullying the manager will keep written records of the case.
If it is established by the manager that bullying has occurred, the manager must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore as far as is practical the relationships of the parties involved. The after school assistant/manager will establish a plan of action on how to resolve the issues within the next 20 school days.
This period of time gives the child who has been engaging in bullying behaviour the opportunity to change his/her behaviour.
If it is established by the manager that bullying has occurred, parent(s), guardian(s) of all parties concerned, will be contacted by the manager, to inform them of the incident, findings and the plan of action for the next 20 school days.
When the 20-school-day period has elapsed, the manager will determine whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed. In doing so the manager, must as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
· Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased.
· Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable.
· Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable.
In cases where the manager considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately resolved by the children within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded and the Principal must be informed.
Should the manager require the support of the Principal and/or Deputy Principal at any time in the procedure, the manager should discuss the case with the Principal/Deputy Principal. Where appropriate, the Principal/Deputy Principal can proceed with the case. The manager shall be included in all further stages of the procedures.
The purpose of these procedures is to resolve the bullying behaviour so that it stops, rather than to apportion blame.
· If it is deemed necessary that sanctions be implemented, the manager shall refer to the school’s code of behaviour.
· A behaviour plan is implemented for the child who has been deemed to be bullying.
· Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
· In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of Approach
· In investigating and dealing with bullying, the (relevant) after school assistant/manager will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
· Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible.
· After school assistant/managers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach.
· Where possible, incidents should be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved.
· All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way.
· When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the manager should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
· If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements.
· Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the after school assistant/manager; it may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
· In cases where it has been determined by the manager that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy ). The school should give parent(s) /guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils.
· Where the manager has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspectives of the pupil being bullied.
· It must also be made clear to all involved each set of pupils and parent(s) /guardian(s) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/ guardian(s) and the school.
Follow up and recording
In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed, the manager must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
· Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased.
· Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable.
· Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable
· Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s) or the School Principal or Deputy Principal.
· Follow up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
· Where a parent/guardian is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent/guardian must be referred as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
· In the event that parent(s) /guardian(s) have exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and are still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/ guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Recording of Bullying Behaviour
· It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.
· The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:
· Code of behaviour and Anti – Bullying folder.
· Every After School assistant/manager will have a folder in their room entitled “Code of Behaviour and Anti- Bullying”. This folder will move with the children. It will be passed on from after school assistant/manager to after school assistant/manager. A copy of the records will be given to the Principal.
· All incidents of serious and gross misbehaviour (as defined in our code of behaviour) and (bullying as defined in this policy) will be recorded. There will be three templates in the folder – one for recording serious/gross misbehaviour, one for recording bullying behaviour and one for recording meeting with parents (see appendix 3 for these forms).
Informal (pre-determination that bullying has occurred)
· All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. All incidents must be reported to the manager.
· While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the manager, the manager must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same.
· The manager must inform the Principal of all incidents being investigated.
Formal – determination that bullying has occurred
· If it is established by the manager that bullying has occurred, the manager must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
· The storage of all records retained by the manager will be kept in a special folder in a locked filing cabinet.