Revised Anti-Bullying Policy

Scoil Mhuire Anti Bullying Policy November 2023 


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 Scoil  Mhuire 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 and was ratified  by the Board in November 2023. 


1. This Policy is Fully Compliant 

2. Key Principles of Best Practice 

3. What is Bullying – Our Definition 

4. Who is Responsible For Doing What 

5. Our Strategies for Education and Prevention 

6. Our Procedures re Bullying Behaviour 

7. Our Programme of Support for Pupils 

8. Cyber Bullying and Key Measures 

9. What the Board of Management Confirms 

10. The School Will Act To Stop Any Harassment 

11. When The Board Approved This Policy 

12. Where You Can Find This Policy 

13. How We’ll Review This Policy 

1. Full Compliance 

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 Scoil Mhuire 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.  

2. Key Principles of Best Practice 

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: 

o is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on  inclusivity;  

o encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of  

bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment;  

o promotes respectful relationships across the school  


∙ 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: 

o build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and  

o 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) 

∙ On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying  policy.     

3. The Definition of Bullying 

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, extortion, isolation, and persistent name  calling, 

∙ cyber bullying  

∙ 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 our 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.  

4. Who Is Responsible For Doing What 

The Principal will ensure that all staff (teachers and SNA’s) are familiar with this policy.

During the 1st term of every academic year the Principal will set up a review group to review this policy. For 2023/24 this group is the Principal, Conor Egan, Jade Morris and Karen Nugent.

The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying allegations are as follows:    

∙ The relevant class teacher and / or the relevant teacher on yard  duty with the assistance of an SNA(s) is necessary.  

5. Our Strategies for Education and Prevention. (see section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools for further details)

A schoolwide approach  (involving school management, staff, parents and pupils) to deal with the problem of bullying behaviour is a key element of effective practice. Bullying behaviour affects not only those immediately involved. It can affect everyone in the classroom, in the school and ultimately, in the wider community.

The school, as appropriate, will seek to involve and receive support from the other partners in community education i.e. those members of the wider community who come directly in daily contact with pupils. This could include the wider parent body, the Parents’ Association, traffic wardens, ancillary staff, local shopkeepers and local library staff. In certain cases, however, it may be necessary for the school to  seek the assistance of other local persons and formal agencies such as NEPS, HSE social workers, community workers, Gardaí, local sports organisations etc.

  1. The school’s anti-bullying code (see appendix 1) will be displayed in every class from 2nd up and in public areas. This can be referred to by class teachers regularly throughout the school year.
  2. Emphasis throughout the school on nurturing children’s talents through provision of a diverse range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities and pursuits.
  3. Positive reinforcement of participation and achievements through the year e.g. displays. Posting on website and general recognition. Emphasis on generating positive self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  4. School-wide awareness raising on all aspects of bullying, to include pupils, parents/guardians and the wider school community. Such school-wide awareness raising may include, for example: reference to positive behaviour and relevant strategies via school newsletters / website / meetings; occasional displays; occasional guest speaker (e.g. Garda talk on cyber-bullying and internet safety); Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for staff; discussions with children at Assembly time in class and on an informal occasional basis. This list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive – school-wide awareness raising will take a variety of forms as opportunities and needs present themselves, and as time and resources permit, bearing in mind the overall priorities and resources of the school as they evolve.
  5. Twice a year the children from 2nd to 6th will complete an anonymous online survey to ascertain the level of bullying in the school, if any.
  1. On an annual basis, parents are reminded of the following: the importance of parental supervision re their child/rens use of social media; the minimum age for children using Social Media platforms is currently 13 years of age; the importance of familiarising themselves with anti-bullying material/information made available by the school – this may include websites, emails or talks, depending on available resources and opportunities.
  1. Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors and school in general, school tours and extracurricular activities. Non-teaching , ancillary and support staff will be made aware of this policy and will be expected to report issues to relevant teachers.
  1. The school’s anti-bullying policy is drawn to the attention of children (in an age appropriate way) and parents each year. It is also circulated to parents of incoming pupils and is available on the school website.
  1. A culture of telling, which includes emphasis on the importance of bystanders, is promoted. This culture is reinforced by teachers through the SPHE programme. Through encouraging this culture of telling, pupils will gain confidence in “telling”. The confidence factor is of vital importance. It is made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
  2. Simple and age-appropriate restorative practice procedures are drawn on in resolving conflicts e.g. yard incidents.
  1. Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.: speaking directly to a teacher or SNA, getting a parent to tell on their behalf, ensure that bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place or using a worry box if appropriate. 
  1. Focus on building self-esteem, resilience, overall emotional wellbeing, self-respect and respect for others through the three strands of Social & Personal Health Education (SPHE) programme Me; Myself and Others; Myself and the Wider World. Supporting this through the routine dealings of the school.
  1. Teachers may use other elements of the Primary Curriculum, such as Drama, to explore themes related to bullying/ anti-bullying.
  1. Implementation of the Stay Safe Programme in all classes each year.
  1. Clear protocols around in-school usage of internet, mobile phones and ICT in general – refer to our Internet Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) – including an emphasis on careful monitoring of access to technology within the school.
  1. Internet safety guidance and tips for parents.
  1. Inclusive approach re Special Educational Needs. Strong emphasis on an atmosphere of mutual respect.
  1. Supplementary programmes may be used with children with SEN – according to need e.g social stories, “Friends for Life”. The school will specifically consider the additional needs of pupils with SEN with regard to programme implementation and development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.
  1. A bank of anti-bullying resources is retained and developed in the school for teacher use in preventing bullying and addressing it. 
  2. Child Protection procedures are adhered to in the school – refer to our school’s Child Protection Policy – available at

6. Our Procedures Re Bullying Behaviour 

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: 

a. Since the failure to report bullying can lead to a continuation or a  deterioration of bullying, the school and parents encourage  children to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour.  This can be with the class teacher, the teacher on yard duty at the  time, Special Needs Assistants, and the principal or with parents.  This is a “telling school” as defined in the Stay Safe Programme.  Children will therefore be constantly assured that their reports of  bullying either for themselves or peers will be treated with 


b. An allegation of bullying behaviour will be noted and recorded by  the class teacher or the teacher on duty/yard duty, using the green template form (appendix 2) which is available on the staffroom noticeboard. 

c. The allegation will be investigated – what, who, when, where,  why?

d. An effort will be made to resolve any issues and to restore as far  as practicable, the relationships. 

e. The teacher will conduct an investigation into the bullying allegation. He / she will then consult with the Principal / Deputy Principal / bullying review group to determine  whether bullying has occurred and as to how it can be resolved.  At this point the green form (Appendix 2) will have been completed by the class teacher.

f. Parents and pupils are required to cooperate with any  investigation. 

g. The principal / deputy principal will then speak with the class and  conduct a questionnaire using the ABC (Anti Bullying Campaign)  resources. This is used as a part of the investigation process. 

h. If a group is involved, they will be met both individually and as a  group. Each member will be asked for his/her account of what  happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone  else has said.  

i. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful  information in this way, and will be expected to assist the  investigation. 

Children should understand there are no innocent bystanders  where bullying is concerned. 

J.    Incidents of bullying, or a pattern of bullying behaviour which has in  the opinion of the teacher after an investigation been proven and hasn’t been adequately or appropriately  resolved within 20 school days will then be recorded on the DES  template (appendix 3) and shall be reported to the principal / deputy principal.  The teacher will also use the DES recording template where  he/she considers the bullying behaviour to constitute serious  misconduct. 

k. The child against whom the allegation has been made will be asked to reflect on his/her behaviour  and its consequences for himself/herself and for the person who is  the victim. 

l. Parents will be made aware of this behaviour and requested to  come and discuss it with the teacher/principal with a view to  solving the problem. If necessary the child against whom the allegation has been made will be asked to  sign an undertaking that “this behaviour will not reoccur.” 

m. The situation will continue to be monitored to ensure that the  problem has been resolved. Actions taken will be recorded in a  template for recording anti- bullying behaviour.Records will be  reviewed and analysed.

n. The code of behaviour will be invoked in circumstances where it is  deemed prudent by the relevant teacher and school principal. 

o. If a case remains unresolved the matter will be referred to the  school’s Board of Management. The Board will also be briefed in  relation to the number, if any, of templates which have been  completed. 

p. 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, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints  procedures;  

q. In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints  procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the  parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for  Children. 

7. The School’s Programme of Support 

The school’s Programme of Support for working with pupils affected by  bullying is as follows: 

1. Regular reference to the Shield Statements (Anti Bullying  Statement)….during class lessons and assemblies.  

2. Circle time. 

3. Friends for Life programme 

4. Our support teachers will facilitate self-esteem building with a pupil if needed. Work with small groups will also  be facilitated. 

5. Through the means of curricular and extracurricular activities (e.g. representing the school through sports, concerts, choirs etc) to  develop positive self worth.  

6. Developing pupil’s awareness of identity-based bullying and in  particular trans-phobic bullying, i.e. the “Growing Up” lesson in  SPHE. Particular account will also be taken of the important role  pupils with Special Educational Needs have to play. 7. 

8. Cyber Bullying 

Cyber bullying includes (but is not limited to) communicating via  electronic means with the objective of causing hurt, fear, 

embarrassment, humiliation, alarm and/or distress to one or more  persons, or being reckless as to whether or not such harm could occur.  

Cyber bullying includes the use of mobile phones and the internet with  the objective of upsetting someone.  

It may take the form of general insults or impersonation, defamation  or prejudice-based bullying.  

Unlike other forms of bullying a once-off posting can constitute  bullying. 

While this policy addresses issues related to cyber bullying of students  (i.e. situations in which one or more students are the victim[s] of bullying), the policy also applies to teaching and other school staff. 

This policy applies to activities and events which include but are not limited to the following: 

∙ During school time (including break times) 

∙ Going to and from school 

∙ School tours/trips 

∙ Extra-curricular activities 

  • Activities outside of the school which might have a negative effect on the wellbeing of any pupil

Key Measures re Cyber Bullying 

∙ A speaker will be invited annually into the 3rd to 6th classes to inform the  children about the dangers of reckless online activity and in particular  about cyber bullying. 

∙ A code of advice will be developed, periodically reviewed, and  communicated to help students protect themselves from being  involved in bullying (as perpetrator or as victim) and to advise them on  reporting any incidents. 

∙ Students will be informed about cyber bullying in the course of their  education at the school. 

∙ Lessons on cyber bullying on an age appropriate level will be taught by  teachers 

∙ Parents will on a biennial basis be invited to a talk on cyber bullying. 

∙ Parents will be provided with information and advice on cyber  bullying. 

∙ Parents and students are advised that the digital age of consent in  Ireland is 16. 

∙ Teachers will investigate record and report all incidents of cyber bullying. 

∙ Scoil Mhuire endeavours to block access to inappropriate web sites,  using firewalls, antivirus protection and filtering systems and no pupil  is allowed to work on the Internet without a member of staff present. 

9. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils  

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. 

10. Prevention of Harassment  

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.  

11. Date This Policy Was Adopted  

This policy was updated by staff in November 2023. The parents were emailed a copy of the policy for their views also. It is due for ratification at the  Board meeting in November 2023: 

Date: ________________ 

12. Availability of This Policy 

This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on  the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of  this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if  requested. 

13. Review of This Policy 

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of  Management once in every school year. 

Written notification that the review has been completed will be made  available to school personnel, published on the school website, and  provided to the Parents’ Association.  

A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if  requested, to the patron and the Department.  

Signed: ____________________ Signed: ___________________________  (Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)  

Date: ______________________ Date: ____________________________

Appendix (1): Scoil Mhuire Anti Bullying Code

Our Child-Friendly Version of our anti – Bullying Statements

  1. Bullying can happen, anywhere.
  2. We at Scoil Mhuire have thought about this. We have a plan to limit and stop bullying. Our plan is on our website.
  3. We do what we say in our plan. We work together to stop bullying. We make a record of bullying events. Every now and again we try to improve our plan.
  4. Scoil Mhuire’s students, parents, staff, and community shared ideas to create the plan, and will keep talking together to make sure the plan works.
  5. We at Scoil Mhuire love and appreciate that we’re all different and equal.
  6. We all – staff and students – keep our eyes and ears open for bullying and we take action to stop it.
  7. We all – staff and students – keep learning how best to respond to bullying. We must keep trying to improve.
  8. In class we talk about bullying with the whole class at least once a term. We also learn about how to deal with situations through SPHE. We look for the good in everyone. We aim to build each other up and never knock anyone down.
  9. Any child at Scoil Mhuire can talk to a trusted adult at Scoil Mhuire about their feelings and worries. Adults will listen to and support every child. 
  10. All children including bystanders can report any bullying behaviour to any adult at Scoil Mhuire  

Appendix (2): Allegation of Bullying Report Form

Allegation of bullying, or initial suspicion of bullying (an isolated incident or more, which could lead into bullying)

Date of first report
Name of person reporting
Name of alleged victim
Name of alleged aggressor
Nature of harassment

Details of particular incidents

Has anything like this happened before?

Outcome of conversation

Signed Date

Appendix (3): Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour  1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group  

Name: ___________________________ Class: ______________________________ 2. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour 

3. Source of bullying concern/report 4. Location of incidents  Tick Relevant Box(es) (Tick relevant box)(es) 

Pupil Concerned
Other Pupil 

School Bus 

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern 

6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box[es])* 

Physical Aggression Cyber bullying 
Damage to property Intimidation 
Isolation / Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (Specify) 

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant  category 

Homophobic Disability /SEN  relatedRacist Membership of  Traveller community Other (Specify)

8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact 

9. Details of action taken 

Signed: _________________________ (Relevant Teacher) Date: ___________________ Date Submitted to Principal/ Deputy Principal: _____________________________