Bystander Programme


The Active Bystander Programme is crucial for fostering an inclusive and respectful society which is at the core of our Attleborough Academy values. Education on these topics helps students recognise and challenge harmful stereotypes, promoting empathy and equality.  

By understanding the impact of prejudicial language and behavior, students are better equipped to build healthier relationships and contribute positively to their communities. Additionally, addressing these issues in school can reduce incidents of bullying and discrimination, creating a safer learning environment. Ultimately, this education prepares students to be more socially responsible and aware adults. 

Whilst the premise of the programme has stemmed from wider UK Education and Policing initiatives to directly tackle sexism and misogynistic language, this has been expanded at Attleborough to encompass all forms of discrimination. This means students have a standardised ‘script’ which they can use to challenge any type of unacceptable behaviours.

How we intend to deliver this at Attleborough 

We aim to reach this goal by encouraging staff and students to challenge unacceptable, prejudice language and actions, using a common language. This will be delivered through Academy assemblies, PSHCE lessons and the pastoral programme. Although the following ‘script’ might not be strictly adhered to, this gives everybody a format that they can rely on and gives a consistent message across our community.

  1. Stop
    Pause the person with a simple response such as, “It’s not okay to say that” or “You may not have meant to be unkind, but what you said is actually quite hurtful.” 

  2. Explain and Educate
    Be clear about why this is disrespectful and hurtful and why they should not be saying or doing it. You should also try to keep your explanation general rather than using the person who it was aimed at as an example. 

  • Organisational response
    “The school doesn’t tolerate (sexist) language like that. The school policy says we are all responsible for making this a safe place for everyone. That kind of language is sexist and makes others feel unsafe. That is inappropriate/sexist behaviour/language". 
  • Questioning response
     What makes you think that? What do you mean by that? Let’s talk about why people think like that. How do you think that comment will make the women around you feel? What if it were aimed at your sister/mother?​
  • Confronting response
     Language like that is not acceptable. A lot of people would find that offensive. Sexist language is as insulting as racist or homophobic language.
  • Personal response
    I’m not happy with what you have said. I find the language really offensive. I don’t agree with that because...
  • Interception response
    Not directly challenging those who are not being tolerant but intervening with something to draw the student receiving abuse away from the incident to then later report as a follow up action. ​This is an action for students to take should they feel confident enough to step in but not directly challenge the unacceptable behaviour. 
  1. Support
    If there was someone on the receiving end of the comment, show support for them. This does not mean making a point of how upset they are, as we have no way of knowing what others are really feeling and shouldn’t assume. However, you could check in with a simple “Are you okay?” afterwards.

  2. Report
    Report the incident to a teacher or trusted adult so that they are aware and can handle the situation properly. If you don’t feel comfortable with others knowing that you reported the incident, you can always ask to remain anonymous. Use the Report Button on the student homepage. Staff are to add information to MyConcern as this can then track any repeating patterns for individuals or thematic issues.

Further support for parents on Sexism and Sexual Harassment can be watched here


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