In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 the Board of Management of Rutland National School has adopted the following Anti-Bullying Policy which fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2023, which seek to ensure that children are not at risk of harm whilst they are in school.

This Anti-Bullying Policy supports a number of other important school policies including…

  • Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Code of Behaviour 
  • Supervision Policy
  • Acceptable Usage Policy

Key Principles of Best Practice

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 promotes respectful relationships across the school community and is welcoming of difference and diversity 
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour 
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of this Anti-Bullying Policy. 

Definition and Types of Bullying 

In the context of these procedures, bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour (verbal, psychological or physical) conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) which is repeated over time. 

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour do not fall within this definition of bullying and should be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour. However, a once-off offensive or hurtful message or image posted on any social media forum where it may be viewed and shared by other people may be regarded as bullying behaviour.

This policy applies to activities and events that take place…

  • During school time (including break times)
  • Going to/from school
  • On school tours/trips
  • Any time children are in their  school uniform.

Examples of Bullying Behaviour (this is not an exhaustive list)

General behaviours

which apply to all

types of bullying

• Bullying based on any of the nine 

  grounds in the equality legislation 

• Physical aggression or intimidation

• Damage to property or theft

• Name calling/slagging/spreading rumours

• Offensive graffiti

• Extortion

• Insulting or offensive gestures

• Isolation & exclusion

Relational bullying This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying and includes behaviours mentioned above but also ridiculing  family members/ the absence of family  members (which is particularly hurtful and will be considered a more serious form of Bullying under the Code of Behaviour).
Cyber Bullying* • Impersonation: Posting offensive material under another person’s name.

• Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images – 

• Cyber stalking: ongoing harassment and  denigration that causes a person  considerable fear for his/her safety

•Inciteful communication against another pupil.

Parents will be informed if any of the types of bullying behaviour listed above occur. Gardai may be informed if material is presented that is in breach of legislation. TUSLA may also be contacted if material posted raises concerns.

Gender/Sexual identity Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation

• Name calling e.g. gay, queer,  lesbian…used in a derogatory manner

• Physical intimidation, threats or attacks

Race, nationality, ethnicity and Travelling/ Roma community membership  • 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

Sexual • Harassment, inappropriate sexual comments or touching, etc.
Special Educational Needs/ Disability • Name calling, taunting or mimicking because of 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.

• Setting others up for ridicule

*Cyber Bullying

Rutland National School aims to ensure that children are safe from bullying, harassment and discrimination. We are committed to teaching children the knowledge and skills to be able to use IT effectively, safely and responsibly.

Rutland N.S. is cognisant of the fact that a significant amount of bullying behaviour now takes place online.  Children are not allowed to use mobile phones or devices on the school premises or on any school related trips. If children need to bring a mobile phone to school for contact purposes after school, they must hand it up to the teacher (switched off) at the start of the day, and it is returned to them at home time.

Whilst cyber bullying occurs outside school (as children have no access to devices during school hours), parents & guardians are encouraged to inform the school so that we can offer support and advice.



Prevention is a school wide approach. All staff are responsible for implementing this policy

  • All teachers have responsibility for monitoring and supervising pupils in the first instance. Teachers are also responsible for investigating and recording incidents of bullying behaviour which have been brought to their attention.
  • Special Needs Assistants have responsibility for assisting teachers in monitoring pupils on yard but also on corridors and in classrooms.

Education and Prevention Strategies

  • A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.
  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.
  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Pupils are provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  • Our School Shield Statements (Appendix 6) will be regularly reinforced. 
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies such as the Nurture Room, Calm Zone, Care Team and Restorative Practice which help build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils.
  • A Restorative Practice approach to bullying will be taken by the school (Appendix 5) The school encourages a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. It is made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
  • Parents will be encouraged to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied.
  • Implementation of regular whole school awareness measures e.g. annual Anti Bullying postering campaign, regular anti bullying lessons. 


Anti Bullying is covered in the SPHE curriculum through various programmes including…

  • The Walk Tall Programme is a self esteem building programme
  • The Stay Safe programme seeks to enhance children’s skills including their ability to recognize and respond to bullying.
  • The Relationships and Sexuality (RSE) Programme provides opportunities for the children to learn about sexuality and relationships. In 5th & 6th class, the material has particular relevance to identity- based bullying. 
  • The Grow in Love Programme which is taught to pupils from infants to sixth class (unless a family explicitly chooses to opt out) teaches and promotes an attitude of respect for oneself and others
  • The school will promote Safer Internet Day annually and will endeavour to engage a speaker to facilitate a workshop on Cyber bullying bi-annually
  • Teachers will teach one specific Anti-Bullying lesson per month
  • Acceptable Use of IT (Information Technology) contracts for children and parents.
  • Staff regularly engage in CPD related to Wellbeing.


The primary aim for the relevant teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve the issues and to restore the relationships of the parties involved.

Rutland NS Code of Behaviour is at the core of our Anti-Bullying procedures and should be referred to when sanctioning the perpetrators of Bullying. 


  • Pupils are encouraged to report bullying behaviour as soon as possible.
  • Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to the attention of any teacher in the school.
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher in a professional manner.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as the secretary, special needs assistants (SNAs), caretaker, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.


  • It is important that all recording of bullying incidents is done in an objective and factual manner. Records are kept in compliance with the new General Data Protection legislation. 
  • All staff keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them.
  • We have an incident book for use by the teacher on yard supervision. The Principal also has an Anti Bullying folder to record serious incidents of bullying or repeated behaviours 
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • The relevant teacher must inform the Principal of all incidents being investigated.


When investigating and responding to bullying concerns/allegations, the relevant teacher exercises professional judgement to:

  • Determine whether bullying has, in fact, occurred and, if so,
  • How best it can be resolved

All investigations are conducted in an objective manner, seeking factual information through posing open questions and with due regard for fair procedures and the rights of all pupils concerned.

The relevant teacher will use the Bullying Investigation Form (see Appendix 3) to record incidents using the headings who, what, where, when and how. This will aid the identification of patterns of behaviour. 

The teacher will inform the Principal of behaviour that has occurred 

  • on more than one occasion or 
  • once off behaviour deemed very serious.

Stages of Investigation

Formal Stage 1

Determination That Bullying has Occurred

  • In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents/guardians of both parties involved will be contacted at an early stage to inform them and explain the disciplinary actions being taken and the supports which the school will provide. 
  • The child (or children) in question and their parents will be given a formal verbal warning that their behaviour is bullying behaviour
  • They will be advised that should a further incident occur, they will move to formal stage 2 (see below)
  • Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing both parties together at a later date in a restorative session, if the victim is amenable. This is done with the intention to resolve the issue and restore the relationships.
  • Parents & guardians will be advised to keep incidents and consequences confidential
  • The teacher will monitor the situation between the pupils in question and should advise relevant teachers & SNAs so they can monitor them on yard

Formal Stage 2

Determination That Bullying is Still Happening. 

  • If an incident occurs again, the child is placed on a 20 day anti-bullying notice period
  • If an incident occurs within this 20 day period, the teacher must report it immediately to the Principal/Deputy and the child will automatically be suspended 

The Principal will request that the teacher completes the Recording  Bullying Behaviour Template. (Appendix 4) which will be reported on at the next school Board of Management meeting.


In the aftermath of a bullying case and as a part of the follow up process, the relevant teacher will look at the following factors:  

  • Has the bullying behaviour ceased?
  • Have the issues between the parties been resolved as far as is practicable?
  • Have the relationships between the parties been restored as far as is practicable?
  • What feedback has been received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal?
  • Are follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved required?

The School’s Programme of Support

The school may access the following supports for pupils affected by bullying (both victims and those involved in bullying behaviour)

  • Close monitoring of pupils (those bullying and those being bullied) throughout the school day in the weeks following an incident of bullying

     Provision of opportunities in/outside class to participate in activities designed to raise self-esteem, to develop friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience (as per SPHE programme)

  • Code of Behaviour (DFL System) – Pupil of Week, Most Improved awards
  • Entry into Golden Book for good behaviour etc
  • Class Circle Time  as part of  SPHE
  • Placed on target list for school Care Team (at risk pupils)
  • Referral to City Connects for an ISR
  • Social groups will be provided where possible for children deemed at risk as part of the SEN provision in the school
  • Possible placement in the school Nurture Room

                Referral to School Completion Programme for project work 

     Referral for Art Therapy which is provided in the school

  • Individual Behaviour – School Support Plans
  • Restorative Practice Conversations (Appendix 5)

1.What happened?

2.What were you thinking at the time?

3.What have you thought about since?

4.Who has been affected and in what way?

5.How could things have been done differently?

6.What do you think needs to happen next?

Complaints procedures for Parents/Guardians

  • Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
  • In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the travelling or Roma community.

Policy Ratification

This policy was originally adopted by the Board of Management on April 24th 2014 and is reviewed annually as per Department of Education guidelines. A major review was conducted in February 2024.

Availability of Policy

This policy has been made available to school personnel and published on the school website.

Appendix 1- Information for Parents 

If your child tells you that they are being bullied:

  • Remain calm and ask questions – who, what, why, where, when. Keep a log of incidents to 

   help you get a sense of how serious the problem is.

  • Talk to your children; let them know that they can talk to you; keep the channels of   

   communication open. Many children with a little help and support can overcome this  

   problem quickly. 

  • Teaching a child to say “No” in a good assertive tone of voice will help deal with many 


  • Children should not be encouraged to engage in violent behaviour. Teaching children to be 

    more assertive and to tell is far more positive and effective.

  • In cases of Cyberbullying don’t lose your temper; above all don’t threaten to take their 

   phone or internet access away – this will just  guarantee that they will never tell you 

   anything again.

  • Parents should approach their child’s teacher by appointment if the bullying is school 

   related. It is important to understand that bullying in  school can be very difficult for 

   teachers to detect because of the large numbers of children involved. Teachers will 

   appreciate bullying being brought to light. School bullying requires that parents and  

   teachers work together for a resolution.

  • Remember many children with a little help will overcome this problem

   very quickly.

What If Your Child Is Bullying?

  • Don’t panic. This may be a temporary response to something else in the child’s life e.g. new 

  baby, death in the family, problems in the home. Give your child an opportunity to talk  

  about anything that could  be upsetting him/her.

  • Don’t punish bullying by being a bully yourself. Hitting and verbal attack will only make  

  the situation worse. Talk to your child and try to find out if there is a problem. Explain how 

  the victim felt and try to get  your child to understand the victim’s point of view.

  • Bullies often suffer low self-esteem. Use every opportunity you can to praise good,  

  considerate, helpful behaviour. Don’t only look for negatives.

  • Talk to your child’s teacher and find out more about their behaviour in school. Enlist the 

   teacher’s help in dealing with this. It is important that you both take the same approach.

Appendix 2 – Information for Pupils

If you are being bullied online

  • Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced.
  • Don‛t ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent or call an advice line.
  • Try to keep calm. If you are frightened, try to show it as little as possible. Don‛t get angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue.
  • Don‛t give out your personal details online – if you are in a chat room, do not say where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. All these things can help someone who wants to harm you to build up a picture about you.
  • Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then you can show them to a parent or teacher as evidence.
  • If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender
  • There is plenty of online advice on how to react to cyber bullying, for example,;;  and  have some useful tips.

Text/video messaging

  • You can easily stop receiving text messages for a while by turning-off incoming messages for a couple of days. This might stop the person texting you by making them believe you‛ve changed your phone number
  • If the bullying persists, you can change your phone number. Ask your mobile service provider about this.
  • Don‛t reply to abusive or worrying text or video messages.
  • Your mobile service provider will have a number for you to ring or text to report phone bullying. Visit their website for details.
  • Don‛t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don‛t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence.

Useful Websites

Appendix 3 – Information for staff – Anti Bullying Stages

Stage 1 – First incidentRecord 

Actions taken by teacher
  • Records incident
  • Informs parents
  • (Reports to Principal if very serious /deliberate/harmful once off incident


Stage 2 – Further incident- Report 

Actions taken by teacher
  • Records incident
  • Informs parents
  • Reports incident to Principal/Deputy 
Actions taken by Principal
  • Meets with child and parent (separately and together) to give formal verbal notice that the child’s behaviour is bullying behaviour
  • Parent and child are notified that should the behaviour occur again (with the same child) the child will be placed on a 20 day notice period


Stage 3Further incident – Record & Report

Actions taken by teacher
  • Records incident
  • Reports incident to Principal
  • Teacher completes Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour
Actions taken by Principal
  • Informs parent and child that child is on a 20 day notice period and that should there be a further incident the child will be automatically suspended
  • Informs Board of Management using template  

Stage 4 Further incident – Record & Report

Actions taken by teacher
  • Records incident
  • Reports incident to Principal
Actions taken by Principal
  • Informs parents of incident verbally
  • Informs parents of suspension in writing
  • Suspends child
  • Informs Board of Management


This template is a brief outline of actions & responsibilities. The consequences at various stages will vary depending on the age of the child & nature of incident(s). At all times a restorative approach will be taken. 

Appendix 4 

Bullying Investigation Form


Additional Information to note  

Appendix 5 – Template for recording bullying behaviour                                           (for Board of Management report)        

  1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

Name _________________________________________Class__________________


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



3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))*     4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*  
Pupil concerned     Playground   
Other Pupil     Classroom  
Parent     Corridor  
Teacher      Toilets  
SNA     Canteen  
Other     Reception  
  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. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:


Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community  Other (specify)


  1. Is the pupil(s) engaged in bullying on the school SEN register? ___________________________


  1. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact 


  1. Details of actions taken 


Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________


Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________

Appendix 6

Restorative Questions for Dealing with Bullying Incidents

Questions for the alleged perpetrator

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking and feeling at the time?
  • What have your thoughts been since the incident?
  • Who has been affected by your actions and in what way?
  • How could things have been done differently?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

Questions for the alleged victim of the bullying behaviour

  • What did you think when you realised what happened?
  • What have your thoughts been since the incident?
  • How has this affected you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?