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At Sullivan Upper School we believe all forms of bullying behaviour are unacceptable.



At Sullivan Upper School we believe all forms of bullying behaviour are unacceptable. This policy reflects the school aim of maintaining a safe, caring, and happy environment for all pupils and adults.



This policy is informed and guided by current legislation and Department of Education Guidance including the Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (Northern Ireland) 2016:

  • provides a legal definition of bullying;

  • places a duty on the Board of Governors to put in place measures to prevent bullying behaviour, in consultation with pupils and parents;

  • requires schools to record all incidents of bullying behaviour and alleged bullying incidents;

  • sets out under which circumstances this policy should be applied, namely:

  • in school, during the school day;

  • while travelling to and from school;

  • when under control of school staff, but away from school (eg school trip);

  • when receiving education organised by school but happening elsewhere (eg in another school in the Area Learning Community);

  • requires that the policy be updated at least every four years.



  1. We believe that everyone in our school community has a role to play in taking a stand against bullying and creating a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for all.

  2. We believe that all forms of bullying are unacceptable and are committed to a preventative, responsive and restorative anti-bullying ethos across the whole school.

  3. We believe that every child and young person should be celebrated in their diversity.

  4. We value the views and contributions of our pupils and we will actively seek these views and we will respect and take them into account.



The Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (NI) 2016 provides the following legal definition of bullying:


(1)     In this Act “bullying” includes (but is not limited to) the repeated use of:

(a)        any verbal, written or electronic communication,

(b)        any other act, or

(c)        any combination of those, by a pupil or a group of pupils against another pupil or group of pupils, with the intention of causing                   physical or emotional harm to that pupil or group of pupils.

(2)     For the purposes of subsection (1), “act” includes omission.


This can be summarised as follows:


Bullying is behaviour that is usually repeated, which is carried out intentionally to cause hurt, harm or to adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.


Whilst bullying is usually repeated behaviour, there are instances of one-off incidents that the school will consider as bullying.


When assessing a one-off incident, to make a decision on whether to classify it as bullying, the school shall consider the following criteria:

  • severity and significance of the incident;

  • evidence of pre-meditation;

  • impact of the incident on individuals (physical/emotional);

  • impact of the incidents on wider school community;

  • previous relationships between those involved;

  • any previous incidents involving the individuals.


Any incidents which are not considered bullying behaviour will be addressed under the Positive Behaviour Policy.


Bullying is an emotive issue; therefore, it is essential that we ensure we use supportive, understanding language when discussion these matters. For that reason, we will not refer to a child as ‘a bully’, nor will we refer to a child as ‘a victim’. Instead, we will refer to the child describing the situation surrounding that child, for example:

  • a child displaying bullying behaviours;

  • a child experiencing bullying behaviours.


We encourage all members of the school community to use this language when discussing bullying incidents.


We aim to promote a strong anti-bullying ethos within the school and the wider school community. We aim to prevent bullying and create a safe environment by taking preventative measures.



Pupils Reporting a Concern

Pupils are encouraged to raise a bullying concern with any member of staff (teaching and non-teaching). ANY pupil can raise a concern about bullying behaviour, not just the pupil who is experiencing this behaviour. Pupils can raise concerns by any of the following;

  • verbally - talking to a member of staff;

  • by writing a note to a member of staff;

  • by sending an email to a member of staff;

  • by sending an email to


Parents/Carers Reporting a Concern

Parents/Carers are encouraged to raise concerns about alleged bullying behaviour with the school at the earliest opportunity by contacting the Form Teacher. Parents/Carers are reminded of the need to encourage their son/daughter to react appropriately to bullying behaviour and to not do anything to retaliate or to ‘hit back’.



Pupils should feel assured that all bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively. 


When responding to a bullying concern, school staff shall implement interventions aimed at responding to the behaviour, resolving the concern and restoring the wellbeing of those involved.  Where appropriate, school staff may implement sanctions for those displaying bullying behaviour.


Any action taken regarding a pupil cannot be disclosed to anyone other than that pupil and his/her parents/carers.



The school will centrally record all relevant information related to reports of bullying concerns, including:

  • how the bullying behaviour was displayed (the method);

  • the motivation for the behaviour;

  • how each incident was addressed by the school;

  • the outcome of the interventions employed.


Records will be kept on the online SIMS Behaviour Management Module, which is part of the C2k system in schools. Access to these records will be restricted and only provided to those members of school staff with a legitimate need to have access. All records will be maintained in line with relevant data protection legislation and guidance and will be disposed of in line with the school’s Retention and Disposal of Documents Policy. Collated information regarding incidents of bullying and alleged bullying behaviour will be used to inform the future development of anti-bullying policy and practice within the school.




Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum

Telephone: 028 9087 5006


Parent/Carer tool kit


Anti-Bullying Network


Anti-Bullying Alliance



Telephone: 020 78235430



Telephone: 0800 800 5000



Telephone: 08001111


Parenting NI

Telephone: 0808 8010 722



Telephone: 0808 808 8000


The Centre for Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP)




Police Service of Northern Ireland

Telephone: 101



Free 24/7 text messaging support service

Text: shout to 85258 


The full anti-bullying policy is available at


The Education Authority has produced a useful guide for parents/guardians:

ABSIT Parent Guide - Primary/Post Primary

ABSIT Parent Leaflet - Primary/Post Primary

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