Newton Abbot College is a nationally recognised school for its anti-bullying work. In 2016, the College was awarded the status of 'Showcase School' by the Diana Award, a charity set up as part of the legacy of Princess Diana, to reduce the instances of bullying in education environments.
The College was chosen as one of only three schools and Colleges nationwide; recognition of which the College remains extremely proud year on year. The showcase film made by The Diana Award goes some way to explaining the huge amount of work that goes into the College’s anti-bullying programme each academic year.
Students and staff travelled to Facebook headquarters in London in July 2016 to officially receive the award, meet their fellow showcase schools for the year and celebrate the College’s incredible achievements.
How does the College Deal with Bullying?
The College is aware that instances of bullying can, and sometimes do, occur within the student cohort. We believe that the answer to reduction in bullying behaviour lies in collective responsibility and investment by the entire student body. The College has in place an extremely proactive, diverse and educational anti-bullying policy that is underpinned by a group of Year 11 prefects, who form the Anti-Bullying Team. Their work throughout the academic year ensures that the instances of genuine bullying behaviour are kept extremely low.
Every year, in November, the College hosts its annual Anti-Bullying Week. The Anti-Bullying Team, under the leadership of a Head of House, delivers a series of assemblies that highlight the issues of bullying, through the mediums of poetry, drama, music and song. Throughout the week, students in Years 7-11 are invited to sign up to pledges to actively vilify bullying behaviour and publicly declare their commitments to its prevention.
The Befrienders Club is aimed at helping students who may be facing issues of social isolation and difficulties in making lasting relationships within peer groups. Meeting on a weekly basis, the group allows students of all years to come together, share activities and chat, as well as helping encourage them to form lasting friendship bonds with fellow students. The group is run by specially trained members of the Anti-Bullying Team and a dedicated member of staff.
The Buddy System
The College’s ‘Buddy’ system is designed to offer one-to-one peer-to-peer support for any student who feels they may need it. Assigned to a single other student from the Anti-Bullying Team, buddies have regular meetings to check-in and confidentially discuss any issues they may be experiencing. The buddy system offers students an opportunity to talk to someone of their own age, sharing relevant experience and advice.
The College is proud to work with Local Heroes, a scheme that works in alliance with the Police to specifically target hate crimes, both in College and the wider community. The Local Heroes scheme was so successful in College that it was presented with the prestigious Silver Award in July 2015. The College continues to collaborate closely with Local Heroes and will be working towards their Gold award.
The Anti-Bullying Team receive regular training from representatives from the Diana Award to help identify the different types of bullying that can occur and how they can tackle any arising issues in the College environment.
What Do I do if I Suspect My Child is Being Bullied?
What is Newton Abbot College’s Policy on Bullying?
The College’s approach to bullying is prescriptive in its approach to individual cases. Blame is not apportioned to any one party and mediation and reconciliation is encouraged as a first resort. Parental involvement is essential in underpinning the anti-bullying pledge outside of College hours and a positive solution is sought before sanctions are enforced.
If however, these methods fail, the College’s stance on bullying is clear: it will not be tolerated in the College’s learning environment. Students’ emotional well-being and happiness will not be undervalued or risked at any time. As a result, temporary or permanent exclusion will be enforced to those students who continue to display bullying behaviour.