1. Policy Statement
The British Council School has 5 values and these underpin everything we say and do in our work with our pupils. We expect all members of the school community to adhere to and demonstrate these values in how they behave and communicate towards one another.
Protecting children from abuse is at the heart of our organisational values. We take our duty of care extremely seriously as reflected in our zero tolerance safeguarding policy. In valuing children we are committed to placing them at the centre of all our work.
The British Council School aims to ensure that all members of the school community feel welcome, safe and happy and therefore are able to enjoy learning, make progress and reach their full potential. The structure, curriculum and policies of the school are designed to support the development of young people who live and work by these values.
The British Council School policy towards bullying issues is Zero Tolerance. No child will be prevented from learning or be made to feel unsafe in our school as a result of abuse between peers (bullying). All members of the school community are expected to implement the British Council School Anti-Bullying Policy.
This policy is inextricably linked to 3 other British Council School policies:
- Behaviour policy and Code of Conduct
- Child Protection policy
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy
2. Policy Objectives
- To develop an anti-bullying ethos in the school through the school values
- To prevent bullying by raising awareness with all members of school community ensuring they have a clear understanding of what bullying behaviour is
- To ensure that all members of the school community know and understand the school policy on bullying and follow the established procedures when bullying is suspected or reported
- To ensure that all pupils are confident to report bullying if they feel they are being bullied or they witness bullying towards another student.
- To involve students actively in developing the anti-bullying ethos in the school.
Students are entitled:
- to feel welcome and safe and not be made to feel unhappy by others;
- not to be frightened by others;
- not to be touched in an inappropriate manner;
- not to be teased about birth, gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, opinion, mental capacity, religion and belief, education, economic status, personality or any other personal or social circumstance or condition;
- not to be made unhappy by unpleasant comments, notes, letters, text messages, e-mails, phone calls, any form of gossip, or by any other means.
3. Definition of Bullying
Bullying is behaviour which consists in physical, verbal or psychological aggression from a student or students towards another student and/or this student or these students place themselves in a position of superiority. This behaviour is repeated, continued over time and deliberate.
Bullying can take many forms, but have these elements in common:
- hurtful behaviour which is deliberate
- hurtful behaviour which is repeated
- hurtful behaviour which is continuous in time
- hurtful behaviour which can take the form of physical, verbal or psychological aggression
- hurtful behaviour from which it is difficult to defend oneself
- the bully places himself/herself in a position of superiority
It can take the form of name-calling, threatened violence, actual violence, intimidation, isolation, ridicule, or other action such as spreading unpleasant stories and gossip, sending hurtful or intimidating text messages, e-mails, comments on social media and telephone calls. Communications technology (texting, e-mails, messaging, social network sites, blue tooth) has also enabled a remote potentially anonymous channel for bullying, popularly referred to as “Cyber-bullying”.
All bullying is designed to make the victim feel threatened, humiliated and unsafe. Not all negative interactions between students can be deemed as bullying and the school works hard to ensure that students understand the difference between bullying and ‘falling out’ or arguing.
All members of the School Community are expected to treat all potential bullying cases with utmost confidentiality ensuring that all children’s rights are protected.
4. Preventing Bullying
The school is committed to the ongoing development of an anti-bullying ethos throughout school with students, staff and parents.
5. Reporting Bullying
Students and parents should report any suspicion of bullying immediately to any of the designated people below:
- Family Leader
- Key Stage Manager
- Deputy Head of Section
- Head of Section
School Staff will report concerns immediately to the Safeguarding Focal Point.
6. Responding to bullying
All reported incidents of bullying will be taken seriously and investigated by the Wellbeing and Safeguarding Committee (Comisión de Convivencia) in a caring and confidential manner. Action to be taken will be decided by the Committee. The anti- bullying protocol is detailed as part of the corresponding procedures.
7. Additional information
The British Council School is a private school and is fully independent. Our policies and procedures also take into account best practice in UK and Spain as well as British Council expectations.
Adopted: March 2021 Revision: October 2023