Whilst not a serious problem in Dover Grammar School for Boys, no school is completely free of bullying.
The principles of the school’s strategy towards bullying are in the Aims of the School and in the Behaviour Policy. The central emphasis is on personal responsibility and on respect for other people.
The Heads of Key Stages lead the teams of Form Teachers in the care of the boys. The school does not distinguish between its work in the ‘pastoral’ and the ‘academic’. The staff know the boys well as individuals.
Every incident of bullying which comes to the notice of staff is tackled not just in terms of punishment for any violence, but also in terms of the root causes in the relationships amongst the boys.
The Prefects are on duty around the school at all times outside lesson times. They look out for problems and call on staff assistance where appropriate. Boys can approach them if they feel nervous about speaking to a member of staff. Each member of Year 7 has a Prefect Mentor who meets with him regularly to discuss how he is getting along and to offer help and advice.
The Personal, Social and Health Education programme includes awareness of bullying. It is put across that bullying is not just a matter of physical violence or threat but includes unkindness and intimidation of all kinds. There is discussion of what boys should do when they encounter bullying. They are encouraged to report all incidents where they feel unkindness or threat are involved in school or out.
There is constant reference to the matter in the morning Assembly (held every day for every boy). The school’s aims, particularly the central ones of personal responsibility and respect for other people, form the basis of Assembly.
The School Council forms a direct line to the Headteacher for all concerns of boys. Policies which concern the boys as directly as, for instance, the Behaviour Policy, are reviewed by the Council as a matter of course.