|Help for non-English speakers
If you need help to understand the information in this policy, please contact the school on 9311 9325
Western English Language School is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment for newly arrived refugee and migrant children, where bullying will not be tolerated.
The purpose of this policy is to:
When responding to bullying behaviour, Western English Language School aims to:
Western English Language School acknowledges that school staff owe a duty of care to students to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm, which can include harm that may be caused by bullying behaviour.
This policy addresses how Western English Language School aims to prevent, address and respond to student bullying behaviour. Western English Language School recognises that there are many other types of inappropriate student behaviours that do not meet the definition of bullying which are also unacceptable at our school. These other inappropriate behaviours will be managed in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct and Student Wellbeing & Engagement and Inclusion and Diversity Policy
This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions.
In 2018 the Education Council of the Council of Australian Governments endorsed the following definition of bullying for use by all Australian schools:
Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.
Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records)
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.
Bullying has three main features:
There are four main types of bullying behaviour:
Bullying can be a form of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or other type of social prejudice when the behaviour is targeted at an individual or group because of a personal characteristic, such as race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Bullying can be:
Cyberbullying is direct or indirect bullying behaviours using digital technology. For example, via a mobile device, computers, chat rooms, email, social media, etc. It can be verbal, written and include images, video and/or audio.
Many distressing and inappropriate behaviours may not constitute bullying even though they are unpleasant. Students who are involved in or who witness any distressing and inappropriate behaviours should report their concerns to school staff and our school will follow Student Wellbeing & Engagement policy and Student Code of Conduct
Mutual conflict involves an argument or disagreement between people with no imbalance of power. In incidents of mutual conflict, generally, both parties are upset and usually both want a resolution to the issue. Unresolved mutual conflict can develop into bullying if one of the parties targets the other repeatedly in retaliation.
Social rejection or dislike is not bullying unless it involves deliberate and repeated attempts to cause distress, exclude or create dislike by others.
Single-episode acts of nastiness or physical aggression are not the same as bullying. However, single episodes of nastiness or physical aggression are not acceptable behaviours at our school and may have serious consequences for students engaging in this behaviour. Western English Language School will use its Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy to guide a response to single episodes of nastiness or physical aggression.
Harassment is language or actions that are demeaning, offensive or intimidating to a person. It can take many forms, including sexual harassment and disability harassment. Further information about these two forms of harassment, including definitions, is set out in our Inclusion and Diversity Policy Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at Western English Language School and may have serious consequences for students engaging in this behaviour. Western English Language School will use its Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy to guide a response to students demonstrating harassing behaviour, unless the behaviour also constitutes bullying, in which case the behaviour will be managed in accordance with this Bullying Prevention Policy.
Western English Language School has a number of programs and strategies in place to build a positive and inclusive school culture at all WELS campuses and outposts. We strive to foster a school culture that prevents bullying behaviour by modelling and encouraging behaviour that demonstrates acceptance, kindness and respect.
Bullying prevention at Western English Language School is proactive and is supported by research that indicates that a whole school, multifaceted approach is the most effect way to prevent and address bullying. At our school:
For further information about our engagement and wellbeing initiatives, please see our Student Wellbeing and Engagement policy.
Bullying complaints will be taken seriously and responded to sensitively at our school.
Students who may be experiencing bullying behaviour, or students who have witnessed bullying behaviour, are encouraged to report their concerns to school staff as soon as possible.
Our ability to effectively reduce and eliminate bullying behaviour is greatly affected by students and/or parents and carers reporting concerning behaviour as soon as possible, so that the responses implemented by Western English Language School are timely and appropriate in the circumstances.
We encourage students to speak to classroom teachers, homegroup teachers, Multicultural Education Aides and leadership. However, students are welcome to discuss their concerns with any trusted member of staff including SRC members, teachers and wellbeing staff.
Parents or carers who develop concerns that their child is involved in, or have witnessed bullying behaviour at Western English Language School should contact:
Braybrook P-10 Campus: Laurence Guttmann ph: 9311 9325
Wyndham Campus: Tania Halela ph: 0466 365 037
Manor Lakes Campus: Alison McQuade 0402 282 747
Footscray Campus: Iona Tataio ph: 0400 961 854
St Albans Campus Rose Calafati 0409 390 297
Melton Campus Rebecca Burns 0458809327
Or by email to email@example.com
When notified of alleged bullying behaviour, school staff are required to:
The Site Coordinator, Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Wyndham Campus, Melton Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray and St Albans Campus are responsible for investigating allegations of bullying in a timely and sensitive manner. To appropriately investigate an allegation of bullying, the Site Coordinator, Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Wyndham Campus, Melton Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray and St Albans Campus may
All communications with the Site Coordinator, Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Wyndham Campus, Melton Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray and St Albans Campus in the course of investigating an allegation of bullying will be managed sensitively. Investigations will be completed as quickly as possible to allow for the behaviours to be addressed in a timely manner.
The objective of completing a thorough investigation into the circumstances of alleged bullying behaviour is to determine the nature of the conduct and the students involved. A thorough understanding of the alleged bullying will inform staff about how to most effectively implement an appropriate response to that behaviour.
Serious bullying, including serious cyberbullying, is a criminal offence and may be referred to Victoria Police. For more information, see: Brodie’s Law.
When the Site Coordinator, Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Wyndham Campus, Melton Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray, Melton Campus and St Albans Campus has sufficient information to understand the circumstances of the alleged bullying and the students involved, a number of strategies may be implemented to address the behaviour and support affected students in consultation with the Principal and Department of Education and Training specialist staff .
There are a number of factors that will be considered when determining the most appropriate response to the behaviour. When making a decision about how to respond to bullying behaviour, Western English Language School will consider:
The Site Coordinator or Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Wyndham Campus, Melton Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray and St Albans Campus may implement all, or some of the following responses to bullying behaviours:
Western English Language School understands the importance of monitoring and following up on the progress of students who have been involved in or affected by bullying behaviour. Where appropriate, school staff will also endeavour to provide parents and carers with updates on the management of bullying incidents. The Site Coordinator, Assistant Principal or Welfare Coordinator at the Braybrook Campus, Melton Campus, Wyndham Campus, Manor Lakes Campus, Footscray and St Albans Campus is responsible for maintaining up to date records of the investigation of and responses to bullying behaviour.
This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:
The following websites and resources provide useful information on prevention and responding to bullying, as well as supporting students who have been the target of bullying behaviours:
This policy will be reviewed every 2 years, or earlier as required following an incident or analysis of new research or school data relating to bullying, to ensure that the policy remains up to date, practical and effective.
Data will be collected through:
Proposed amendments to this policy will be discussed with SRCs, parent groups, School Council.
|Policy last reviewed||27 July 2023|
|Consultation||2022 School Review, School Council|
|Next scheduled review date||June 2025|
This policy has a mandatory review cycle of 2 years.