The Hereford Academy is only too aware that bullying can be a significant problem for some young people and some young people are in some way involved with bullying at some point in their time at school or outside of school, either as a perpetrator, as a victim, as a bystander or as a witness.
The Hereford Academy has placed a great deal of emphasis on the prevention of bullying. Assemblies and PHSCE lessons have delivered anti-bullying messages such as Cyber bullying, Homophobic, Bisexual, Transgender bullying, racism, disabilities and physical and emotional bullying. Several year groups have participated in the Selfie Project, Lionheart Challenge and have been spoken to by the Police Youth Engagement Officer regarding cyber bullying and keeping themselves safe.
The school has a clear anti-bullying system and process to ensure The Hereford Academy has the use of a robust mechanism when dealing with bullying. The Pastoral team work closely with the students on a daily basis to provide them with support and they are very active and pro-active in their work in gathering intelligence enabling them to set up strategies to eradicate or minimise the bullying. Working closely with the Pastoral team and department heads, the Anti- Bullying Coordinator, Mr Strachan, offers support and guidance as well as delivering conflict resolution, restorative and mediation group sessions to various groups involved in incidents of bullying. The school also has a Family Liaison Officer who works closely with families and provides a safety net through agencies that support our students and families. Further, The Hereford Academy signed up with the Equalities Officer, Neville Meredith, to be a No Prejudice School. The Equalities Officer is available on request, to visit The Hereford Academy and speak to the students and, where required, to resolve any conflict.
We also have a drop in clinic with the school nurse on a Tuesday and employ 2 counsellors from You Time Counselling Services to work with students who are referred for an initial 6 week period.
Bullying itself cannot be characterized as a problem between two individuals. It goes much deeper and wider. There are a number of wide-ranging contributory factors. The SEMH department, set up as part of the Intervention team at The Hereford Academy, and working with the Pastoral team, recognise that there are a variety of social and environmental factors that can shape the attitudes and behaviours of the students.
The SEMH staff work with students on a daily basis and seek to bridge any gaps on social skills and provide the emotional literacy to help combat bullying. We also recognise that the negative experience of bullying can heighten the risk of anxiety and/or depression and increases the student’s vulnerability. The SEMH team deliver the necessary Intervention that will provide the help, support and guidance through a graduated approach to ensure the wellbeing of the young person while also helping them to become more resilient.
The anti-bullying procedure, process and system, the use of Intervention and support teams and services aligned with some punitive measures allows The Hereford Academy to support the health and wellbeing of all of their students.