These procedures detail the steps that will be taken if a volunteer/parent/child approaches anyone in the organisation with an accusation of bullying or if volunteers witness a bullying incident.
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:
- Verbal Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional AbuseIsolated or one-off incidents of intentional negat
Abusive behaviour, including a one-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.
The club will take accusations of bullying outside the club (including online), between children who know each other through the clubs activities, as seriously as accusations of bullying made during club hours.
- The club will aim to prevent all incidents of bullying before they occur
- The club will largely achieve this prevention by adhering to its volunteer to child ratios allowing volunteers to intercede quickly before abusive behaviour becomes sustained.
- The club will also promote a respectful culture and make clear all bullying is unacceptable through its published anti-bullying statement.
Potential ways reports of bullying will be received
- A child may approach a member of staff
- A parent might report incidents of bullying
- An incident of bullying might be witnessed by a volunteer
Volunteer action upon receipt of accusation of bullying
- All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant volunteer
- The primary aim for the relevant volunteer in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame)
- In investigating and dealing with bullying, the volunteer will exercise his/her judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved
- Regardless if the volunteer believes the situation has been resolved, the volunteer should prepare a child safeguarding reports form and submit the form to the lead child protection officer within 24 hours
- The lead child protection officer will inform both sets of parents that it is suspected a bullying incident has occurred and remind the children that bullying will not be tolerated
In cases of more serious accusations or repeated offences:
- The club will carry out a more detailed investigation
- Parents and children are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the club in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;
- Incidents should be investigated outside the main playing area to ensure the privacy of all involved;
- All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all children concerned.
- When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant volunteer 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 they may face from the other members of the group after interview
- In cases where it has been determined by the relevant volunteer that serious bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents 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 club policy). The club should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the club and the support for the bullied children;
- Where the relevant volunteer 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 club’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the child being bullied;
- In the following months after the case has been resolved the lead child protection officer should try to determine whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed taking the following factors into account:
a) Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
b) Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
c) Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable;
d) Any feedback received from the parties involved and their parents
- The club treats incidents of online bullying between children who know each through the organisation as seriously as any other form of bullying.
- The lead child protection officer will, where possible, attempt to contain bullying content circulated online by either asking the person responsible to remove the contact or contacting the host to take down the content.
Role of the Lead Child Protection Officer
- The lead child protection officer will keep records of all reports made and establish if any previous reports were made. The reporting forms will be stored electronically.
- The lead child protection officer will inform both parents if a bullying report is received
- In more serious cases, the lead child protection officer shall lead any investigation into bullying. This may involve interviews with both children and parents.