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Agenda and minutes

The Former Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families' Services
Wednesday, 17th October, 2012 9.00 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Hannah Etheridge, Democratic Services Officer, Committee Services 

Items
No. Item

40.

Declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest to record. 

41.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 19th September, 2012. pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 19th September, 2012, were considered. 

 

Resolved: -  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families’ Services be agreed as an accurate record for signature by the Chairman. 

42.

Anti-Bullying Model Guidance. pdf icon PDF 27 KB

 

  • Anti-Bullying Development Officer to report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report presented by the Anti-Bullying Development Officer, Schools and Lifelong Learning, Children and Young People’s Services, which outlined revisions to the framework document that was provided to schools in relation to their anti bullying policy. 

 

The revised policy framework replaced the version that had been distributed to schools in May, 2009.  Feedback from Rotherham’s schools suggested that they valued the model guidance they had received.  A Task Group of Local Authority Officers had undertaken to revise the model guidance for schools.  Schools were able to adopt or adapt the document, should they wish to write their own anti-bullying policy, the model guidance contained a checklist of the statutory features required.  These had been provided by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and were contained within Appendix A of the submitted report. 

 

The 2012 revised model guidance to schools made specific reference to homophobic and cyber bullying, including ‘sexting’.   

 

The Cabinet Member noted that all schools were required to have an anti-bullying policy, although it did not need to be a stand-alone document, and could be incorporated into the school’s behaviour policy, for example.  It was a requirement that the behaviour policy made reference to the anti-bullying policy.

 

The Anti-Bullying Development Officer confirmed that advice to schools had emphasised the importance of maintaining communication with parents and children and young people following receiving allegations of bullying.  A number of complaints to the Local Authority had resulted from families not receiving follow-up information from schools after making an allegation. 

 

Discussion ensued on the proposed model guidance, and the Cabinet Member and Advisers made a number of observations: -

 

  • Definition of bullying – did the model guidance make explicit reference to the in-balance, or perceived in-balance of power involved? ;
  • School staff and governor training  - to be added to the school’s obligations section;
  • Importance of recognising the different requirements of pupils with Special Educational Needs (including behavioural and social);
  • Role of children and young people in developing the guidance;
  • How did the role of those who received reports of bullying in schools work, and how were the referrals handled in schools;
  • Did the guidance make specific reference to acknowledging that children and young people who demonstrated bullying behaviours may also be victims of bullying and abuse?

 

Future areas for development for the Anti-Bullying Development Officer included: -

 

  • Developing guidance materials for teachers on recognising signs of bullying and abuse in children and young people;
  • Developing strategies in conjunction with Human Resources and Trade Union Representatives around the bulling of staff, and in particular, issues relating to cyber bullying through social networking websites. 
  • Working in partnership with Social Care around the potential for bullying through ‘sexting’ to become sexual exploitation.

 

Resolved: -  (1)  That the content of the revised anti-bullying model guidance document be noted.

 

(2)  That the document be circulated to all Rotherham Schools with the revisions suggested.   

 

(3)  That the document be circulated to the Chairs’ and Vice-Chairs’ of Governing Bodies Forum. 

43.

Date and time of the next meeting: -

Minutes:

Resolved: -  That the next meeting of the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families’ Services be held on Wednesday 7th November, 2012, to start at 9.00 am in the Rotherham Town Hall.