10 March 2023
Dear Parents/Carers and families,
At The Coppice Spring Academy, we know students can achieve their full potential only when they feel safe, secure, and supported. To achieve this, we have clear policies around preventing and addressing bullying behaviours.
It has come to our attention in recent days that there have been separate instances in which some of our students have unfortunately, experienced bullying behaviour. Some of these incidents involve emotional bullying conducted anonymously through Internet blogging and/or social networking websites, such as Facebook and Whatsapp and may involve one or two students working together to target specific individuals. We have initiated investigations into these reports, and these will be completed shortly. These investigations will be robust and complete, and the consequences will be in line with our behaviour policy. These behaviours cannot and will not be tolerated.
The consequences that can be suffered by both the victims of bullying and those who have inflicted distress on their peers have been well documented in the media. We are clear that very few students, if any, who engage in these behaviours are fully aware of the horrible short-term and long-term scars of students targeted by bullying behaviour.
At TCSA, PSHE lessons and units have been dedicated to looking at and discouraging these behaviours. In these lessons, students explore healthy decision-making in the context of online communications and relationships. Also, within our ICT lessons there are opportunities for students to learn the behaviours and expectations of safe and responsible digital citizens. We will be regularly sending out resources like the ones attached to better support you as parents/carers to safeguard your children. We have also included a link to the National Online Safety website which enables you, as a parent/carer, to create an account and utilise a variety of training and support resources at your convenience.
As you know, bullying behaviours occur off school grounds and outside of school hours, and to some degree our hands are tied in dealing with those situations, but we still want to be part of the solution. We would strongly advise you to report these online/social media based incidents to the police. It is also important that the images are not sent to the school as this is considered as distribution. We would request that this is discussed within a conversation.
As school staff, we understand the importance of our partnership with you. We urge you to take time to speak about this very important issue with your children so they can be clear that bullying others is not at all innocent behaviour and that it can have devastating consequences to both its perpetrators and victims. Please discuss what it means to be a bystander, and empower them to take a stand when witnessing cruel behaviours.
We need you to be regularly checking in with your children to see if they are experiencing bullying. We need you to ask questions because sometimes children who are experiencing bullying are often reluctant and even fearful to admit they are. We know that children can be quiet, even to their parents or friends, because they fear the bullies, and they fear the bullying will become worse if they bring authority figures into the situation. And, we’ve all read about the consequences that can result when children feel trapped by ongoing bullying. Children who are victims of bullying often carry with them for their entire lives, scars that alter their life paths and profoundly affect their future relationships, achievements and self-image.
We urge you to reach out to us to discuss these issues further or to help you if you are concerned your child is either participating in, being targeted by, or witnessing these harmful behaviours. Please contact your child’s tutor or advocate in the in initial instance.
Mr Jason Minton, Deputy Headteacher
Mrs Lynette Willis, Assistant Headteacher & DSL
Link to the National Online Safety: