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Anti bullying policy

Virtue take all signs or allegations of possible bullying seriously. Disruptive, threatening or inappropriate behaviour of any kind, including bullying, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Virtue are fully committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of all children and young people in our care. We understand that children’s wellbeing can be seriously impacted by bullying behaviour. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Raising awareness of children and young people’s wellbeing, recognising what needs to be done and the requirement to act on this when a child or young person needs our help and support is crucial. It is our shared responsibility to make sure that children and young people know that:

  • Yes, they are right to speak up
  • Yes, they will be listened to and taken seriously
  • No, it will not affect their place in a team or selection for an event or a competition, regardless of whether representing their club or their country

If bullying does occur, all club members should be able to challenge this
behaviour, to pass on concerns and to know that incidents will be dealt
with promptly and effectively. You should tell the Virtue welfare team, coach or an adult you trust.

Virtue will

  • Respect the rights of children as paramount
  • Work together to develop positive relationships amongst children and adults which are mutually respectful, responsible and trusting; and promote their emotional health and wellbeing
  • Seek to prevent, reduce and respond effectively to bullying behaviour, through the implementation of this policy and guidelines
  • Require members of staff, officials, volunteers and members to adopt and abide by this policy
  • Provide access to training and support for member clubs, coaches, officials and volunteers to adopt best practice to prevent, reduce and respond to bullying
  • Address the needs of children who are bullied as well as those who bully within a framework of respect, responsibility, resolution and support
  • Respond to any concerns raised including by children who have experienced poor practice/misconduct or abuse caused by an adult’s bullying behaviour
  • Highlight bullying based on prejudice and perceived differences, to ensure our practices are effective in dealing with these issues
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy and guidelines and include children’s views in this process

Bullying can be

  • Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. threatening gestures)
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  • Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
  • Homophobic – because of, or focussing on, the issue of sexuality
  • Transphobic – because of, or focussing on the issue of a trans person’s identity
  • Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
  • Cyber – all areas of social media misuse including abuse by text messaging and calls, misuse of camera and video technologies

Prevention

  • Cultivate an ethos where there’s an anti-bullying culture, it is especially important that adults are good role models for children
  • Create an open environment
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help those being bullied to speak out and tell a coach, the safeguarding team or adult they trust who can support them
  • Virtue have written polices/codes of conduct, which include what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members, of which this anti-bullying policy is one part
  • All club members and parents should sign to accept the club’s policies and procedures upon joining the club
  • Ideally the club safeguarding officer should raise awareness about bullying, why it matters and also the consequences

Procedures For Dealing With Concerns

  • Bullying behaviour may become apparent in a number of ways:
  • Through observation
  • A child may tell you
  • A third party may have reported an incident, or may have a strong suspicion
  • You may have a suspicion

It is important to remember: that it is not your responsibility to
decide whether or not a child is being bullied but it is your
responsibility to act if you have concerns.

WHAT TO DO

Take all signs, allegations and reports of bullying seriously, whether online or offline/face to face, and take action to ensure the child is safe. Reassure the child being bullied that it is not their fault and that it is okay to tell
Tell them that you can be trusted and will help them, although you can’t promise to keep what you have been told to yourself but you will only share it with people who need to know so that they can help. Listen to what the child says and take what they say seriously. Make sure you clearly understand what the child has said, especially if they have learning or physical difficulties which may affect their ability to communicate or, if English is not their first language, so you can pass on the information to the appropriate individuals. Explain what will happen next, and how they are going to be kept informed.