What if bullying is happening at break or lunchtimes?
Many schools involve pupils in setting up buddying schemes and play teams, creating safe places and having structured play activities. The B&NES Play team based at the Hollies in Midsomer Norton can help with advice on good ideas for play. (01225 396240). We have produced a training session for School Meals Supervisory Assistants, Teaching Assistants and other supervisory staff with brief guidance notes.
What if someone is being bullied on the school bus?
There is often a lot of anxiety about children and young people who travel by school bus as this represents an unstructured time where no members of staff are present. Possible solutions might be: involving young people in discussions and decisions about appropriate behaviour and what sanctions might apply; setting up a contract with pupils; having bus prefects, bus teams; involving bus companies and setting up agreements with drivers.
The law: bullying outside school premises
Headteachers have a specific statutory power to discipline pupils for poor behaviour outside of the school premises. Section 89(5) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives headteachers the power to regulate pupils’ conduct when they are not on school premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of school staff (this legislation does not apply to independent schools). This can relate to any bullying incidents occurring anywhere off the school premises, such as on school or public transport, outside the local shops, or in a town or village centre.
Where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. The headteacher should also consider whether it is appropriate to notify the police or anti-social behaviour coordinator in their local authority of the action taken against a pupil. If the misbehaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.