Group Policies

Please read each of the following policies


Attendance Policy

This policy reflects the ethos of 259 Stephen Hill Scout Group and has been formally adopted by the Leaders and Group Executive Committee.

We are a very active Scout Group who strives to keep young people engaged in all activities that we do, with many camps and extra activities during the year. As we are so active, we have a large waiting list of young people wanting to attend.

As a result, we have to enforce a Group Policy on Attendance. As a minimum, we would expect 80% attendance during the term. Whilst we appreciate that young people are busy and have other activities and commitments, it is also not fair on those waiting patiently on the waiting list for a place that is not fully utilised by a current member.

If members are not going to attend, then parents/guardians need to inform us in advance. Apologies can be given by phone, text or email. This should be done at the earliest possible time.

Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy

Rationale

When you join Scouts you make your promise, and part of that promise is to keep to the Scout Law. The third Scout Law is “A Scout is friendly and considerate” and the seventh Scout Law is “A Scout has self-respect and respect for others”. You have to try your best to keep to the Scout Laws, and whilst at Scouts, this means that you have to show respect to both the Scouts at the Troop and the helpers and Leaders. We encourage children to take responsibility for their own actions, developing self-discipline, respect for themselves, others and the environment. This creates a happy, caring group, which enables effective skills and learning to take place. We do not tolerate bullying, name calling or put downs to any member of the Scout Group. We support children in such instances to consider their actions and the feelings of others.



Aims of the policy

  • Scout rules are shared, explained and understood by all members of the Scout Group and are consistently upheld. This translates to leaders challenging racist, homophobic or bullying language and deliberate unkindness.
  • Emphasis is placed on encouraging positive behaviour and explaining clearly the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. This is modelled by all leaders.
  • Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour, to ensure they are sensible, trustworthy and polite, and implement/practice our Group Rules set out below:


    • We DO have respect for everyone as individuals, whatever their differences.
    • We DO take bullying seriously - it's not 'just a bit of fun'.
    • We DON'T accept bullying behaviour in any form.
    • We DO report any bullying we see, whoever it's aimed at.
    • We DO take someone seriously if they tell us they're being bullied, and we also don't watch others being bullied without doing something
    • We DON'T just put up with bullying. We DO make sure something is done about it.


Sanctions

There are 3 levels of misbehaviour:

  1. Low level disruption during the activity, rough play and disrespectful behaviour.
  2. Consistent disruption and disregard of instructions/guidance to improve. Inappropriate use of language, unking or unthoughtful behaviour.
  3. Violence, racist, homophobic behaviour, deliberate vandalism, stealing and bullying (repeated unkindness).


Leaders will always make a professional decision and adopt the most appropriate strategies to deal with the situation. Typically, instances will be escalated as follows:



Use of a Verbal Warning, clearly explaining what behaviour is unacceptable and the positive outcomes of maintaining the expected behaviour. A verbal warning will be given for low level disruption (1). Two verbal warnings will result in a yellow card.

A yellow caution card may be issued if the request is ignored, to remind the child non-verbally that their behaviour is unacceptable and disrupting the enjoyment of others. A yellow card will be filled out and the behaviour incident recorded. Yellow cards are kept for the remainder of the half term (unless it is issued in the last three weeks), after which the scout will have a "clean slate". A yellow card will be given for consistent disruptions (2), only after the verbal warning. Two yellow cards in a half term will result in a red card.

A red card may be issued if the behaviour continues with the explanation that the child had been asked repeatedly to settle the activity at hand. Parents will be formally informed. A red card will be given straight away in any instance of repeated unkindess (3), even if the scout has not been given two yellow cards.

Consistent inappropriate and bad behaviour will ultimately result in parents being asked in to discuss their child's behaviour which could result in the child being asked to leave.



Appeal

If the scout feels they have been unfavourably issued a yellow or red card, then they have the right to appeal the decision with the Group Scout Leader. Any appeal must be made within five days of the sanction being given.



The Leadership Team reserve the right to ask any Scout to leave the group as a result of inappropriate behaviour.



Rewards

Emphasis is placed on encouraging positive behaviour, rather than admonishing inappropriate behaviour.

We encourage positive behaviour by a range of various non-verbal cues.



Green cards will be given out by Leaders to Scouts who are ably keeping and demonstrating they are following the Scout Laws, and to Scouts whose behaviour needs celebrating. Scouts who have received a green card will be rewarded at the end of each term by way of a special event or activity.



Anti-Bullying Policy

Definition

Bullying is where one person (or group) is deliberately and knowingly hurting another, mentally and / or physically, for fun or “just because they can”. Bullying is not usually a “one off” incident but happens on repeated occasions. The victim has their confidence so undermined that they allow this to continue and feel powerless to stop the torment.

Sadly, bullying happens in all walks of life –for adults as well as children and can be motivated by any of a number of influences including (but not exclusive to:) racism, sexism, physical disability or religious prejudices. 259 Stephen Hill Scout Group takes a very dim view on any forms of bullying.

Bullying is not:

  • A child 'falling out' with another and having a disagreement;
  • A child bumping into another during an activity;
  • Playing boisterously or loudly, or a 'one off' angry outburst.


Aims and objectives:


These are to:

  • Promote positive social behaviour and attitudes;
  • to reduce the number of racist and homophobic name calling incidents;
  • keep incidents of bullying to a minimum;
  • intervene effectively when bullying does happen;
  • help children feel confident enough to disclose any incidents of bullying, to a responsible adult.


Protocol

We are very sensitive to bullying and make it a priority to support children as soon as we find out about any issues. We work with the children to develop their self-esteem and resilience which, in turn, equips them with the skills to be tolerant of others. All members of the Scout Group will be encouraged to report incidents of bullying to the Section Leader and Group Scout Leader. Appropriate action will be taken:

  • ‘Aggressor’ and ‘victim’ are listened to.
  • All parties, which may include parents, are brought in and given the opportunity to share their views of the incident. Usually when a child is found to be bullying another child, the 'bully' will be told to leave the group.

Benevolence Policy

This policy reflects the ethos of 259 Stephen Hill Scout Group and has been formally adopted by the Leaders and Group Executive Committee.

259 Stephen Hill Scout Group prides itself on being able to offer members a full and active programme of activities at Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Many of the events and activities are included within the membership fee. However, it is necessary to ask parents and carers to contribute towards the regular camps that take place. The Group are keen for all members to have the opportunity to attend these as they are great fun and contribute towards some of the badges they can gain.

The group would therefore like to inform all parents and carers that if they are unable to send their scout on an event/camp due to financial reasons, they can contact either the Parent Liaison Officer or any other member of the Scout Group. Your enquiry will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. If you would prefer, you can contact the District Commissioner.

You can also make payments for the camps in instalments to help spread the cost of the event.

There is also provision through the Sheffield Scout Resources Charity for a grant payment towards the cost of an activity. The Alex Oats Fund considers applications on an individual basis where financial hardship has been identified. The Group Scout Leader would be happy to give you more information about the application process.