Anti Bullying Policy


Ní neart go cur le chéile

Kilbride National School is a happy school and a place of proud belonging.





Reaching Potential


Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying is not acceptable at Kilbride National School and will not be tolerated.

Kilbride National School Anti-Bullying Policy was originally formulated on January 8th 2007 and has been reviewed on a yearly basis. This policy was devised by the staff of Kilbride National School in conjunction with the Board of Management, the Parent’s Association and the children of Kilbride National School. This policy was approved by the Board of Management and will continue to be reviewed every academic year. 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 school has a central role in the child’s social moral development just as it does in their academic development.  In school, we work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility.  The individuality of each child needs to be accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to education in a disruption free environment.

Aims of the Policy

  • To foster a school ethos of mutual and self-respect.
  • To raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable
  • To outline, promote and raise awareness of preventative approaches that can be used in response to reported incidences of bullying.
  • To develop a programme of support for those affected by bullying behaviour and for those involved in bullying
  • To outline procedures for noting and reporting instances of bullying
  • To outline procedures for investigating and dealing with incidents of bullying

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; involves collaboration among and between staff and pupils and promotes respectful relationships across the school community; encourages the work of the student council in this area.
  • 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 ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour:

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
  • Catch them being good - notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use.
  • Follow-up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour.
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision .
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying ‘hot spots’ and ‘hot times’ for bullying in the school
    • Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision
    • Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils.

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

‘Unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated overtime’.

In other words bullying can be defined as repeated aggression whether it is verbal, psychological or physical, which is conducted by an individual or a group against others.

It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating. It includes behaviour such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, exclusion or extortion by one or more pupils against a victim. Bullying behaviour also includes cyber bullying, abusive calls/texts, abusive emails, and abusive website comments. Bullying behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim often feels a sense of hopelessness.

Isolated instances of aggressive behaviour, which would be dealt with under the Code of Behaviour, would not be described as bullying. However when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing, it is bullying.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

What is psychological bullying?

Psychological bullying is similar to playing mind games and can be particularly intimidating for its victim. Malicious rumours are an insidious form of this bullying which attacks a person’s self-image, while hurtful facial looks expressing aggression and/or dislike are more subtle but equally damaging. This type of bullying is intended to cause severe emotional distress.

  • Psychological bullying includes:
  • Excluding.
  • Isolating.
  • Gossiping.
  • Spreading rumours or lies.
  • Demeaning.
  • Ridiculing.
  • Passing notes or drawings.
  • Writing remarks in public places.
  • Using peer pressure to intimidate.
  • Threatening gestures or looks.

What is verbal bullying?

Verbal bullying is highly personal in nature and leaves its victim feeling angry, frightened and powerless. It is typically directed at the young person’s family, culture, race or religion or indeed at any small thing that makes them slightly different such as a physical trait or perceived academic ability. Due to technological advances, cyberbullying is a new dynamic which engages the internet, mobile phones and other technology to abuse its victims. This includes:

  • Name-calling.
  • Teasing.
  • Jeering.
  • Taunting.
  • Slagging/insulting.
  • Threatening.
  • Dangerous dares.
  • Abusive anonymous phone calls.

What is physical bullying?

What may be written off as “horseplay” or “mess fights” within the context of bullying can often be a disguise or precursor of more serious physical assaults. While both boys and girls participate in physical bullying, boys are more prone to it given stronger tendencies towards physical aggression. Young children especially are vulnerable to extortion bullying where things such as money, possessions, equipment or even food, are demanded from them and threats for not “paying up” are made. This includes:

  • Hitting, beating or punching.
  • Pulling or pushing.
  • Damaging property or possessions.
  • Demanding money or possessions.
  • Forcing into theft.
  • Locking in or out of a space.
  • Throwing objects.
  • Threatening with a weapon.
  • Inflicting bodily harm.
  • Humiliating acts (e.g. “wedgies” or pulling up of skirts).

What is cyber bullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites

  • Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation.
  • Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual.
  • Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name.
  • Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight.
  • Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online.
  • Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images.
  • Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group.
  • Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety.
  • Silent telephone/mobile phone calls.
  • Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls.
  • Abusive text messages.
  • Abusive email.
  • Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles/Snapchat or any other similar media.
  • Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures.
  • Abusive posts on any form of communication technology.

What is Identity Based Bullying?

Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

Homophobic and Transgender

  • Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation.
  • Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation.
  • Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian...used in a derogatory manner.
  • Physical intimidation or attacks.

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community

  • Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background.
  • Exclusion on the basis of any of the above.


This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

  • Malicious gossip.
  • Isolation & exclusion.
  • Excluding from the group.
  • Taking someone’s friends away.
  • “Bitching”.
  • Spreading rumours.
  • Breaking confidence.
  • Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear.
  • The “look”.
  • Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way.


  • Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching.

Special Educational Needs

  • Name calling.
  • Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs.
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying.
  • Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
  • Mimicking a person’s disability.
  • Setting others up for ridicule.

The school acknowledges that there are three parties involved in bullying – those who bully, those who are bullied and those who witness the bullying.  Staff and teachers bear this in mind when dealing with bullying incidences and try to support and work with all parties involved.

Procedures for noting and reporting incidents

Child to Child Bullying

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

  • The Class Teacher(s) initially.
  • The Principal thereafter if necessary.

Prevention of Bullying

  • Teachers try to establish supportive, respectful relationships with students so that if a child is in difficulty, they will be more likely to feel comfortable in approaching a teacher.
  • SPHE programme, including Walk Tall, R.S.E., and Stay Safe Programmes taught consistently at all class levels to build self-esteem and raise awareness about bullying. These are personal safety skills programmes which seek to enhance children’s self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying. Various other social, health and media education programmes can further help to address the problem of bullying behaviour.
  • Teachers reminding students frequently that they can talk to them if they have concerns, including about bullying.
  • “Talk to Teacher” Box in all classes.
  • Posters displayed in corridor, classrooms and cloakroom areas with clear guidance about what steps to take if you are being bullied.
  • Friendship Week
  • Buddy Brigade (mentor system)
  • Guest Speakers including the Community Garda.
  • Kilbride Kid Anti-Bullying Policy, leaflet and tips.
  • Good relationships and communication amongst members of staff means that all teachers and SNAs are aware if a bullying issue arises, and all staff monitor the situation, particularly on the yard.
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures focusing on cyber-bullying by educating pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while online.
  • The work could be extended into many other areas such as Art, Drama, Religious Education, and Physical Education. Co-operation and group enterprise can be promoted through team sports, school clubs and societies as well as through practical subjects
  • Sporting activities in particular can provide excellent opportunities for channelling and learning how to control aggression.  GAA and soccer coaching is offered to some classes from local sporting clubs and teachers are also involved in coaching the school’s soccer, gaelic and athletics teams.

Indications of Bullying

  • Anxiety about attending school.
  • Deterioration in educational performance.
  • Pattern of physical illness.
  • Unexplained changes in mood/behaviour.
  • Visible signs of anxiety or distress.
  • Possessions missing.
  • Increased requests for money.
  • Unexplained bruising.
  • Reluctance to say what is troubling him/her.

These are all signs of a variety of problems as well as bullying.

Procedures for Investigation

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 outlined below.

The primary aim 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). With this in mind the schools procedures are as follows:


(i) In investigating and dealing with bullying, the class teacher(s) will exercise his/her/their professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred, what type if it has and how best the situation might be resolved

(ii) All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the class teacher(s) initially. In that way, pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying, they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly. When a teacher becomes aware that a child is regularly involved in incidents he/she will start a record of such incidents.  The purpose of this record is:

  • To aid memory by recording details of the incident
  • For clarity in assessment of the situation
  • For planning and intervention

Please see the section below on recording.

(iii) Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.

(iv)Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible. All incidents of bullying will be noted, reported, taken seriously and dealt with promptly, appropriately and effectively. If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher immediately and be put in writing.

(v) It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset

(vi)Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents

(vii) Initial investigations of bullying will be done in class where possible but some incidents might be best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved.

(viii) All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way.

(ix) When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the class teacher(s) 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.

(x) 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.

(xi) Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher.

If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred the Principal will be informed.

Should the action taken at this stage prove not to have resolved the issue, the staff will proceed to stage two.


(xii) Where the class teacher(s) has/have 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 school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied

(xiii) It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s).This should be done in incidences where the child is capable of putting their account into writing. This is at the discretion of the class teacher.

(xiv) In cases where it has been determined by the class teacher(s) and Principal that 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. The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils.

(xv) It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school.

(xvi) Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable

(xvii) An additional follow-up meeting with parents of the children involved may take place after an appropriate time to ensure that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily.


(xviii) 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.

(xix) 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.

(xx) It is the duty of the school to provide a safe environment for all the children. Should the above interventions fail and the bullying continue, a programme of appropriate sanctions may be implemented by the Principal in consultation with the parents and Board of Management.Sanctions implemented aim to encourage positive behaviour and support the esteem of the child.  These sanctions may include a period of suspension during which there will be ongoing consultation with the parents to decide on appropriate action(s) to be taken in the best interests of the child.  Suspension for any period of time will be reported in writing by the Principal to the Chair of the Board of Management.

A record will be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on the succeeding teacher will be informed of any problems that existed.


Noting and reporting of bullying behaviour is to be documented using the template for recording bullying behaviour (Appendix 3). All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation. The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour will adhere to the following:

(i) While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the class teacher(s), the class teacher(s) will use his/her/their professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same

(ii) If it is established by the class teacher(s) that bullying has occurred, the class teacher(s) must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved

(iii) The class teacher(s) must use the recording template to record the bullying behaviour which is available on the server.

(iv)Two copies of these recordings will be made. One will be given to the Principal and the other will be kept in the relevant class’s anti-bullying folder. This folder should also contain any informal notes made by the class teacher. The folder will be passed from one class teacher to the next class teacher. This is to ensure that any bullying behaviour in one academic year is tracked in following academic years.

Bullying by Adults

In the case of intra-staff bullying, Kilbride National School will adopt the procedures outlined in Section C (c2) of the INTO booklet: ‘Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations’.  A copy of this document is available for free download on the INTO website.

In the case of Teacher – Child bullying, a complaint should in the first instance be raised with the teacher in question by the parent/guardian of the child if possible and then if necessary referred to the Principal.  Where it has not been possible to agree a framework for resolution, the matter should be referred in writing by both parties to the Board of Management for investigation.

In the case of Parent – Teacher bullying, the Principal should be informed in the first instance, and if deemed necessary the Board of Management should subsequently be informed in writing for investigation.

In the case of Parent/Visitor to the school – Child bullying, the complaint should be referred in the first instance to the child’s class teacher and subsequently to the Principal if unresolved. Any complaints must be put in writing. The Board of Management will be notified.

In the case of Principal – Parent/ Child bullying, the matter should be raised with the Principal if possible, or referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Outside Agencies

The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach. Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/support programme works in all situations. Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals to appropriate outside agencies in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed.

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.

Availability of Policy

This policy upon ratification has been supplied to all parents, has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website, is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

Review of 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 parents, school personnel, published on the school website, will be readily accessible to parents and pupils on request 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.

This Policy was adopted by the Board of Management of Kilbride National School on the 14th March 2014. This policy was reviewed in the academic year 2018/2019 and will be reviewed in the academic year 2019/2020.

Supports Available:


Ní neart go cur le chéile

Appendix 1

Pre-Determination of Bullying Report Form

  1. Name of pupil

Name: _____________________          Class: __________________

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



  1. Type of Alleged Bullying Behaviour - tick relevant box(es)
Physical aggression Cyber-bullying 
Damage to property Intimidation 
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious gossip 
Name calling   
Other (specify)   
  1. Brief Description






  1. Details of actions taken





Signed ______________________________         Date ________________

(Class Teacher)

Signed ______________________________         Date ________________

(Other Teacher, where relevant)


Ní neart go cur le chéile

       Appendix 2:

Determination of Bullying Report Form

  1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name: _____________________          Class: __________________

  1. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour


  1. Source of bullying concern/report -tick relevant box(es)
Pupil concerned 
Other pupil(s) 
  1. Location of incidents -tick relevant box(es)
  1. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern



  1. Type of Bullying Behaviour - tick relevant box(es)
Physical aggression Cyber-bullying 
Damage to property Intimidation 
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious gossip 
Name calling   
Other (specify)   
  1. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact






  1. Details of actions taken





Signed ______________________________         Date ________________

(Class Teacher)

Signed ______________________________         Date ________________

(Other Teacher, where relevant)


Ní neart go cur le chéile

Class Observation Form

Teacher:  ________________    Class : ________    Date:  ______

TimeName of Pupil/sBehaviourDirected towards






















Ní neart go cur le chéile

Is it Bullying?  


 Consider …..YesNo
1Is the behaviour repeated?   Only repeated incidents can be regarded as bullying.   Once off incidents fall under the Code of Behaviour.   However see 2 below.  
2Have there been any offensive or hurtful public messages or images placed on a social networking site or other public forum?   Can the bullying image, statement or message be viewed or repeated by other people?  
3Is the behaviour planned?  
4Is there unwanted negative behaviour inflicted on the victim?  
5Is the unwanted negative behaviour of a physical, verbal or Psychological character?  
6Is the behaviour inflicted by one person, or is there a group involved?  
7Is the victim deliberately targeted?  
8Do the behaviours involve deliberate exclusion, isolation, malicious gossip or other forms of relational aggression?  
9Are the behaviours targeting an aspect of the victim’s identity?   For example physical, verbal or psychological aggression which is directed at their sexual orientation, their race, religion, ethnicity or traveller background.  
10Are the behaviours targeting the victim because they have Special Educational Needs?  


Ní neart go cur le chéile

Questions for the Pupil Engaged in Bullying Behaviour

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking about at the time?
  • What have your thoughts been since?
  • Who has been affected by what you did?
  • In what way have they been affected?
  • What do you think needs to happen next?

Questions for Pupil who is Bullied

  • What happened?
  • What were your thoughts at the time?
  • What have your thoughts been since?
  • How has this affected you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen next to make things right?