5 observations from 22 schools.
The research below was due to be published last weekend.
Following a request from a member, it looks at the anti-bullying approaches in schools that secured Outstanding for Behaviour & Attitudes last year.
But in light of the news of Ruth Perry’s death, it would have been insensitive to share practice from a list of schools who have been recognised by Ofsted.
Looking back, it was the right decision. Since then we have questioned whether we should publish the research at all.
We’ve been asking ourselves three questions to help us decide:
Are school leaders spending time gathering this insight on their own?
Will it save our members time and give them ideas they’ll find useful?
Does it meet a need missing within the current inspection regime?
In short, we believe the answers to all three questions was ‘yes’. So we took the difficult decision to publish it today.
If you want to learn more about our reasoning, I have shared it at the bottom.
Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback on our rationale before publishing this.
We - schools - Are In Beta - always learning (when we seek to find and share practice beneath headlines).
🔬🛑 Anti-bullying policies - what do they look like across 22 schools?
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🔬✅ Anti-bullying policies - what do they look like across 22 schools?
No one deserves to be subjected to bullying. Tackling it is hard. Especially online. It takes up a huge amount of time.
The first step is to codify your approach. But writing an anti-bullying policy is a headache.
What does an anti-bullying policy look like? What sections should it have? How do you know if it will make a difference?
To help answer these questions, Hollie Panther spent a week scouring the websites of 22 secondary schools, downloading policies and analysing how they were written.
Here’s what she found 👇
Want us to research policies for you? Reply to this email to tell us what policy you’re writing.
📝 How schools structure policies - what Hollie explores:
how she approached the problem
school selection criteria
10 observations she made about schools' anti bullying policies
how to access 22+ policy related resources she found
🔎 5 anti-bullying policy observations
The full article shares 10 policy observations from the 22 policies looked at.
Here are five that might get you thinking about what your school does:
⚖️ 4 of 22 schools reference restorative practice when dealing with bullying
📲 15 schools included cyber-bullying in their policies
❤️ 11 schools included details of how they would support victims of bullying
🔎11 schools gave examples of bullying behaviours to illustrate their policies
⚠️ 9 wrote about the warning signs to look out for that might suggest a child is being bullied
To find out how many discussed: victim support, sexual harassment, racism and more…
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Regional Director of Education - Thinking Schools Academy Trust (Chatham, Kent).
Chief Finance and Operations Officer - Woodland Academy Trust (Kent).
Principal - Berrow Primary Church Academy (Somerset).
Deputy Headteacher (Culture & Inclusion) - Esher Church of England High School (Guildford).
Deputy Headteacher (Quality of Education) - Q3 Academy Tipton (Sandwell).
Deputy Headteacher (QofE) - Felixstowe School (Suffolk).
Head of English - Oakbank School (Reading).
Head of English - Colchester Academy (Essex).
Head of English - Felixstowe School (Suffolk).
Head of ICT and Computer Science - Colchester Academy (Essex).
Director of MFL - Ark Boulton (Birmingham).
Head of Science - Ark John Keats (London).
Director of Science - Highlands (Enfield, London).
Head of RPE - Felixstowe School (Suffolk).
SENDCo - Knockhall Primary School (Greenhithe, Kent)
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31 roles at the schools listed above across these subjects:
Maths - Les Quennevais School (Jersey)
Chemistry, Maths, MFL - Newstead Wood School (Orpington, Bromley)
Maths - Q3 Academy Tipton (Sandwell)
Geography, MFL - Felixstowe School (Suffolk).
English, Maths, DT - The Priory Learning Trust (Somerset).
Geography, English and MFL - Ormiston SWB Academy (Wolverhampton).
Maths and Computer Science, Science, DT and Spanish - Cumberland Community School.
Maths Science and English - Forest Gate Community School (London).
Maths, Drama, Music - Oakbank School (Reading).
Maths, English, Geography, DT - Oxford Spires Academy (Oxford).
Science (Physics), Psychology, English - Queensbury Academy (Dunstable).
Interested in these roles?
Send the people who posted them a message to find out more. But first…
On a personal note
On one hand, publishing this data, produced by a flawed regime, risks upholding that regime.
On the other, not publishing it prevents you from benefitting from the time it saves and the insight it provides.
Taking each question at the top in turn, we believe the answers are:
Yes - a leader in the South West asked us if we knew anyone who could share their anti-bullying policy as they’d been tasked with re-writing their own. If they are asking, others will be doing the same work in isolation too.
Yes - this piece of research took us five full working days to complete. Even if only one person reads and uses the research below, that is time well spent. Multiply that by the number who might use it, the potential savings are huge.
Yes - there are many problems with Ofsted. But two are particularly relevant to our decision to publish it today:
the significant, negative impact school context and socioeconomic background have on a school’s chance of achieving a top grading - when we research schools we take a much more holistic approach that considers more than the one word grading. In this instance we’ve focused on schools doing well in the most deprived areas of the country using the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI).
The lack of follow up, support and sharing of practice following an inspection - Ofsted are perfectly placed to share what’s working across the system when they see it in schools, but they don’t. That’s where We Are In Beta comes in. We use signals of success (acknowledging fully Ofsted nor P8 is the be all and end all) to find practice beneath the headline judgements, which can be shared widely to inform discussions around SLT meeting tables.
I hope we have made the right decision. I welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to reply to this email.
Thanks for reading.
@NiallAlcock and the We Are In Beta team.
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