What is bullying?
"Bullying is both behaviour and impact; the impact is on a person's capacity to feel in control of themselves. This is what we term as their sense of 'agency'. Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out. This behaviour happens face to face and online". Respect for All 2015
All children and young people have the right to come to school and feel respected, included and safe.
Bullying behaviours can include (amongst others):
- Being called names
- Being hit, tripped, pushed or kicked
- Having belongings taken or damaged
- Being ignored, left out
- Abusive messages/images on social media
Stirling’s schools and nurseries value cultures where:
- Children’s rights are at the forefront
- Diversity is fostered
- Respectful relationships, built on mutual trust and understanding, are developed
Local guidance includes an explicit commitment to addressing all forms of bullying including prejudiced based. Prejudiced based bullying includes incidents which have been motivated by difference.
These differences could be due to the protected characteristics as well as reasons not listed in the Equality Act including:
- Additional Support Needs
- Asylum Seekers and Refugees
- Physical Appearance
- Gender Identity
- Gypsy Travellers
- Care Experienced
All schools and nurseries have their own anti-bullying policies that endorse the national values and vision and describe how they promote a nurturing culture and ethos where bullying behaviours are not tolerated.
Stirling’s approach to anti-bullying has been refreshed is in line with the national policy: Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People.
Bullying behaviour and promoting positive relationships is taken very seriously by all nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools. All establishments have a policy in place to describe how they promote an inclusive culture and to set out how bullying incidents and restoring relationships are approached.
Children and young people often use Stirling Council services outside of school (clubs, libraries etc), therefore “Stirling’s Approach to Respect for All: Preventing and Challenging Bullying Behaviour provides guidance for all Stirling Council services who have contact with children and young people.
The Scottish Government guidance, Respect for All, describes out how important respectful, positive relationships are in making sure bullying behaviour cannot thrive.