Cloonakilla NS  Anti-bullying Policy

Cloonakilla NS  Anti-bullying Policy

  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 Cloonakilla NS 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.
  • 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-
    • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
    • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
    • 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-
    • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
    • 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.
  • 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,
  • damage to property or possessions
  • 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 Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

  • The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is predominantly the class teacher. In the absence of the class teacher incidents may be reported to the relevant SEN teacher for the class or the Pricipal./Deputy Principal.

Disclosure: Children are encouraged to tell their teacher, any member of staff or their parents about alleged buulying incidents. Pupils need to know WHO to tell and HOW to tell:

  • Direct approach to teacher at appropriate time
  • Feelings box
  • Get a parent/guardian to tell on your behalf
  • Had up note to teacher at beginning of class
  • All staff should encourage a culture of telling with particular emphsasis on the importance of bystanders.
  • 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 full implementation of the SPHE Curriculum, RSE & Stay Safe Programmes support this policy.

In September the Anti-bullying theme will be addressed as part of the SPHE Curriculum. A class charter will be drawn up in each classroom by the children in conjunction with the class teacher. This class charter will form part of the Anti Bullying Code for the schooland will be displayed in a prominient position within each classroom. Pupils are helped to examine bullying in a calm, rational manner, outside of the tense context of particular bullying incidents. The school newsletter will also inform parents that September is Anti-bullying Awareness Month.

In November the SPHE Curriculum will deal explicitly with cyber bullying and identity based bullying.

Every alternate year pupils will be addressed by an external agency on cyber bullying and safe internet usage. The BOM feels that the main function of the school in regard to cyberbullying is to educate our pupils about same as this mostly occurs outside of school. However, if it affects relationships within the school then it must be addressed in school to some extent.

Homophobic bullying will be dealt with as it arises.

Commencing each January the Stay Safe Programme will be taught from Junior Infants upwards on alternate years in an 8 week block. This programme will seek to enhance children’s self protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying.

The Buddy Programme (Sept – Jan) ensures that Junior Infant children are supported by children from 6th class so that no Junior Infant pupil feels isolated in the playground.

SEN teachers will consider the additional needs of their SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable them to regulate their emotions and to respond appropriately.

Education for all: Whole staff revision of the Anti bullying Policy at the first staff meeting in September ensures all staff members know how to respond appropriately to an alledged allegation of bullying.Parents & Guardians are made aware of the effects of bullying and how to deal with it.

The following policies also support the Anti Bullying Policy:

Code of behaviour

Acceptable User Policy

Yard duty and supervision Policy

Mobile Phone Policy

School Tours Policy

  • 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) :


  1. Parents/Children must bring concerns over bullying to the relevant class teacher. All reports must be investigated and dealt with in a calm, unemotional fashion by the class teacher. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue quickly. The teacher will use his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
  2. Teacher will interview both parties separately at first. Sometimes pupils who are not directly involved will be questioned as often they can provide useful, objective information. If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved will be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements.
  3. If the teacher deems that bullying has occurred the parents or pupil making the complaint may be asked to complete a bullying report form. Sometimes it is helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident. Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and to try and help the school resolve the issue and restore good relations between both parties. (Rather than focussing on apportioning blame).
  4. If the teacher deems that bullying behaviour has occurred the parents of the parties involved will be informed of the matter and the actions being taken by the school will be explained to them.
  5. Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her that he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and every effort should be made to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.
  6. Following consultation with the parents and pupils a plan of action will be drawn up.
  7. The school will give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils.
  8. It will also be made clear to all involved that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his/her parents and the school authorities.
  9.  A follow up meeting will be arranged.
  10. All staff must keep a written record of any incidents of bullying witnessed by them or notified to them on the standard Staff Recording Form of Pupil Bullying Incident. It is good practice to inform the Principal of incidents being investigated.

Follow up and Recording: 

a) In cases where the teacher considers that bullying behaviour has not been adequately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template ( Appendix 3 from DES Procedures) and submitted to the School Principal.

b) In some instances the teacher may decide to record and report the bullying incident immediately to the Principal.  In this case the Principal and teacher will meet both parties separately and a Behaviour Plan of Action will be drawn up. This programme will seek to restore good relations, to monitor progress, to provide mediation and to restore the self esteem of the victim. This plan will be implemented immediately and monitored at regular intervals that are agreeable to all parties following consultation with parents and pupils concerned.

  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately addressed the relevant teacher must take the following factors into account:
  • Whether the bullying has ceased
  • Whether the issues between the parties has been resolved
  • Any feedback from the parties involved

d)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 to the school’s complaints procedure or subsequently the Ombudsman for Children.

e) In cases where a school has serious concerns in relation to managing bullying behaviour the advice of the NEPS will be sought.

f)Serious instances of bullying should, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate

g)Principal brings report to Board of Management meeting.

h)Once per term the Principal will provide a report to the B.O.M. setting out the overall number of bullying cases reported since the previous meeting (Appendix 3) and confirmation that these issues have been dealt with in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

  • 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) :
  • All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self esteem, to develop freindships and social skills and to build resilience.
  • If pupils require counselling or further support the Princial will liase with NEPS or other appropriate agencies to organise same.
  • 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.
  • 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 ___18/9/2023_____________    

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.( See Appendix 4). 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: _Tommy Cormican___________________________________                  

(Chairperson of Board of Management)

Signed: _Mary O’Rourke______________


Date: __18th Sept 2023                         

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the

Anti-Bullying Policy 

To: ____The Parent body of Cloonakilla NS_________________________________

The Board of Management of Cloonakilla NS wishes to inform you that:

  • The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of _18th September 2023. 
  • This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

Signed _Tommy Cormican                                                            Date 18th September 2023 Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed Mary O’Rourke                       


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