Schools have a duty of care for students and staff, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College strives
to create a safe and happy environment, believing that all bullying is unacceptable, whether at
home, at school, at work, in the local community or when social networking. We believe that school
should provide a safe, caring and happy place for students to learn and for adults to work. If this is
achieved, the school will be able to develop teaching and learning, whilst fostering an attitude of
responsible behaviour at all times to promote safety, both on the premises and out of school hours.
The policy’s primary objective is to ensure that members of the school community are clear about
their roles and responsibilities and how to manage a bullying incident if it occurs. However, bullying
is not confined to school and this policy aims to make students aware of what action they can take
both now and in their adult lives, whether as victims of bullying or as bystanders.
As students arrive in Year 7 we make it clear to them in class and in assemblies that we are a ‘telling
College’. If we are unhappy or concerned about anything we will tell someone. Form teachers have
a special role in this as they will normally have the primary relationships with the students.
This policy is based on DfE guidance “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” July 2017 and supporting
documents. It also takes into account the DfE statutory guidance “Keeping Children Safe in
Definition & Types of Bullying
“Behaviour by an individual or a group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another
individual or group either physically or emotionally”.
Preventing and Tackling Bullying – Department for Education July 2017
Peer on Peer Abuse
Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take
many forms. This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence
and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or
otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals.
Any allegations of peer on peer abuse will be recorded on My Concern after the allegation has been
investigated and dealt with accordingly.
Students who are victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be
supported by the relevant agencies and networks linked to our College.
There are many types of bullying:
• Finding out what ‘pushes your buttons’
• Manipulative: Students manipulating others
• Conditional friendships: you can hang around with us for our amusement
Verbal bullying incorporates the use of words to carry out an act of bullying. In this type of bullying,
the purpose is to upset another person. It can either be direct i.e. name calling or indirect i.e. talking
about someone behind their back.
Some vocabulary has a strong emotional load and simply using the words in a negative context can
cause hurt and so is bullying. These words include:
• Any racist language
• Any homophobic language
• Any sexist language
• Any language involving reference to SEND (Student Educational Needs and Disability)
• Any negative references to faith or cultural background
This type of bullying involves the use of physical force. This bullying technique may involve the
spitting, shoving, kicking or punching.
Homophobic bullying is when people behave or speak in a way which makes someone feel bullied
because of their actual or perceived sexuality. People may be a target of this type of bullying
because of their appearance, behaviour, and other physical traits or because they have friends or
family who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender or just because they are seen as being
Racist bullying can be identified by the language used, and/or by the fact that victims are singled out
because of the colour of their skin, their ethnic grouping or by their religious or cultural practices.
Bullying based on sexist attitudes that when expressed demean, intimidate or harm another person
because of their sex or gender. These attitudes are commonly based around the assumption that
women are subordinate to men, or are inferior. Sexist bullying may sometimes be characterised by
inappropriate sexual behaviours.
Cyber-bullying takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming
sites. Like other forms of bullying, it is the intentional harming of one person or group by another
person or group, usually repetitive where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.
Preventing and addressing cyber-bullying
To help prevent cyber-bullying, we will ensure that pupils understand what it is and what to do if
they become aware of it happening to them or others. We will ensure that pupils know how they
can report any incidents and are encouraged to do so, including where they are a witness rather
than the victim.
The College will actively discuss cyber-bullying with pupils, explaining the reasons why it occurs, the
forms it may take and what the consequences can be
Teaching staff are also encouraged to find opportunities to use aspects of the curriculum to cover
cyber-bullying. This includes personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, and other
subjects where appropriate.
All staff, governors and volunteers (where appropriate) receive training on cyber-bullying, its impact
and ways to support pupils, as part of safeguarding training (see section 11 for more detail).
The College also sends information/leaflets on cyber-bullying to parents so that they are aware of
the signs, how to report it and how they can support children who may be affected.
In relation to a specific incident of cyber-bullying, the College will follow the processes set out in the
College behaviour policy. Where illegal, inappropriate or harmful material has been spread among
pupils, the College will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the incident is contained.
The Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) will consider whether the incident should be reported to the
police if it involves illegal material, and will work with external services if it is deemed necessary to
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or
others, or sends sexually explicit messages.
They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops – any device that allows you to share
media and messages.
Creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young
person is breaking the law if they:
• take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
• share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same
• possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their
permission for it to be created.
Any cases of sexting will be passed onto the DSL to investigate and possible referrals to the police.
Sexual Violence and sexual harassment
Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur online and offline (both physically and verbally),
and are never acceptable. All victims will be taken seriously and offered appropriate support.
Sexual harassment refers to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that occurs online or offline.
Sexual harassment violates a child’s dignity and makes them feel intimidated, degraded or
humiliated, and can create a hostile, sexualised or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment includes:
• Sexual comments.
• Sexual “jokes” and taunting.
• Physical behaviour, such as deliberately brushing against another pupil.
• Online sexual harassment, including non-consensual sharing of images and videos and
sharing sexual images and videos (often known as sexting), inappropriate comments on
social media, exploitation, coercion and threats – online sexual harassment may be isolated
or part of a wider pattern.
Children can, and sometimes do, commit sexual violence. The DfE uses the definitions of sexual
violence provided in the Sexual Offences Act 200
• Rape: A person (A) commits an offence of rape if: he intentionally penetrates the vagina,
anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, B does not consent to the penetration
and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
• Assault by Penetration: A person (A) commits an offence if: s/he intentionally penetrates the
vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of her/his body or anything else, the
penetration is sexual, B does not consent to the penetration and A does not reasonably
believe that B consents.
• Sexual Assault: A person (A) commits an offence of sexual assault if: s/he intentionally
touches another person (B), the touching is sexual, B does not consent to the touching and A
does not reasonably believe that B consents.
Consent is given when a person agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that
choice. Consent may be given to one kind of sexual activity but not another. Consent can be
withdrawn at any time and each time an activity occurs.
Harmful sexual behaviour may include:
• Using sexually explicit words and phrases.
• Inappropriate touching.
• Sexual violence or threats.
• Full penetrative sex with other children or adults.
The Brooks sexual behaviours traffic light tool will help the College make decisions about whether
sexual behaviour is harmful or natural.
As a College we should:
• Make it clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment are never acceptable and will
never be tolerated – it is not an inevitable part of growing up.
• Not dismiss or tolerate sexual violence or harassment as “banter” or “part of growing up”.
• Challenge behaviour such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia. Tolerating such
behaviours risks normalising them – they are potentially criminal acts.
• Understand that sexual violence and sexual harassment can be driven by wider societal
factors, such as everyday sexist stereotypes and language.
Where a child discloses safeguarding allegations of a sexual nature against another pupil in the same
setting, the DSL should refer to the West Midlands Safeguarding Children procedures website
(section 3.3) and seek advice from the Family Front Door or Community Social Worker before
commencing its own investigation or contacting parents. This may mean, on occasions, that the
school is unable to conduct its own investigation into such incidents. All such incidents will be
recorded using our child protection recording forms on MyConcern.
Reports of incidents of sexual violence or sexual harassment will be responded to in line with Part 5
of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 and the DfE guidance ‘Sexual violence and sexual
harassment between children in schools and colleges’.
Signs and symptoms
The acronym STOP – SEVERAL TIMES ON PURPOSE can be used to help identify bullying and STOP can
also be used to tackle bullying – START TELLING OTHER PEOPLE
A student may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. To those who know the
student this may simply be a feeling that ‘things aren’t quite right’. All staff, and as far as possible
parents, should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
• is frightened of walking to or from the school;
• does not want to go on the school/public bus;
• always asks to be driven to school;
• changes their usual routine;
• is unwilling to go to school;
• begins to truant;
• becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence;
• starts stammering;
• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away;
• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares;
• feels ill in the morning;
• begins to do poorly in school work;
• comes home with clothes torn or books damaged;
• has possessions which are damaged or “go missing”;
• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully);
• has dinner or other monies continually “lost”;
• has unexplained cuts or bruises;
• comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen);
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable;
• is bullying other children or siblings;
• stops eating;
• is frightened to say what’s wrong;
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above;
• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone;
• is nervous or jumpy when a cyber message is received.
Encouragement to tell
It is important that we create an atmosphere in the college where students who are being bullied, or
others who know about it, feel that they will be listened to and believed, and that action taken will
be swift but sensitive to their concerns.
No telling protects the bully or bullies and gives the message that they can continue, perhaps
bullying other too.
There are two options available to students in order to report a bullying incident. The first option is
to report bullying immediately to a member of staff. This member of staff will support the student in
the first instance but will most likely refer the matter to the relevant Head of Year who will take
ownership of the investigation, actions, sanctions (if appropriate) and follow up with parents.
The second option is to report bullying via our website. If you click on the link on the right hand side.
This is a service that can be accessed 24 hours and day. The account will be checked every day and is
suitable for students who lack the confidence to approach staff in person or would like to report an
issue from home. Any student experiencing bullying is encouraged to report the incident(s)
immediately so that swift and precise action can be taken.
Responding to reports about bullying
The school will take the following steps when dealing with concerns about bullying:
• If bullying is suspected or reported, it will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff
who has been made aware of it.
• A clear account of the concern will be recorded and given to a senior member of staff (Head
of Department/Head of Year) or a member of the SLT.
• The investigating member of staff will interview everyone involved and keep a detailed
record. This will be held in line with the school’s data protection policy/practice.
• Parents and other relevant adults will be kept informed.
• Where bullying occurs outside school, any other relevant schools or agencies will be
informed and advice/support obtained.
• Punitive measures will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties involved.
• School currently adopts a practice of Restorative Justice practice. Restorative justice is an
approach to problem solving and resolving conflict by encouraging all people involved to
take responsibility for their actions. Restorative justice emphasises the importance of
feelings and their effect on relationships. It enables those who have been harmed to convey
the impact of the harm to those responsible, and for those responsible to acknowledge this
impact and take steps to put it right.
Pupils & Staff
Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by:
• Discussing what happened.
• Discovering why the pupil became involved
• Establishing the wrongdoing and need to change
• Informing parents to help change the attitude of the pupil
• The use of special interventions and/or referrals to other agencies where appropriate.
• Counselling session in house if required
Staff who have been bullied will be supported by:
• Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their
• Providing reassurance that the bullying will be addressed
• Offering continuous support.
• Restoring self-esteem and confidence
• The use of specialist interventions and/or referrals to other agencies e.g. educational
psychology, where appropriate.
• Help and advice on how to remove online material.
• Most concerns about bullying will be resolved through discussion between home and school.
However, where a parent feels their concerns have not been resolved, they are encouraged
to use the formal Complaints Procedure.
• Where a pupil is involved in bullying others outside school, i.e. in the street or through the
use of internet at home, parents will be asked to work with the school in addressing their
child’s behaviour, for example, restricting/monitoring their use of the internet or mobile
• Referral of the family to external support agencies will be made where appropriate.
The following disciplinary steps can be taken for students who bully:
• Group or 1 to 1 work to explain the negative effects of bullying to the perpetrators and their
cohort in the John Bosco Room.
• Official warnings to cease offending
• Exclusion from certain areas of the school premises
• Confiscation of mobile phones, in line with our Acceptable use (internet safety) policy
• Fixed term exclusion
• Permanent exclusion
Examining electronic devices
College staff have the specific power under the Education Act 2006 (which has been increased by the
Education Act 2011) to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images or files on pupils’
electronic devices, including mobile phones, iPads and other tablet devices, where they believe
there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.
When deciding whether there is a good reason to examine or erase data or files on an electronic
device, staff must reasonably suspect that the data or file in question has been, or could be, used to:
• Cause harm, and/or
• Disrupt teaching, and/or
• Break any of the College rules
If inappropriate material is found on the device, it is up to the staff member in conjunction with the
DSL or other member of the senior leadership team to decide whether they should:
• Delete that material, or
• Retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of College discipline), and/or
• Report it to the police
Any searching of pupils will be carried out in line with the DfE’s latest guidance on screening,
searching and confiscation.
Any complaints about searching for or deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic
devices will be dealt with through the College complaints procedure.
School’s role in tackling bullying outside of school premises
The school recognises a need to deal with issues that occur outside the school environment that
impact on people within the school community. When reasonable and appropriate to do so, the
school will use its disciplinary powers to address pupils’ conduct when they are not on school
premises and are not under the lawful control or charge of a members of school staff.
The school will:
• Raise awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion in PSHE, tutorial time,
assemblies, subject areas and informal discussion, as appropriate, in an attempt to eradicate
• Give care and support to create and maintain a safe learning environment where all pupils
feel safe, secure and valued and know they will be listened to and taken seriously in line with
the school ethos.
• Participate in local and national initiatives such as Anti-bullying Week
• Seek to develop links with the wider community that will support inclusive, anti-bullying
• Consider the use of specific strategies, e.g. peer mentoring or counsellors on amore regular
basis subject to available resources.
• Refer to the Staff Code of Conduct on our school website where an adult in our community
believes that he/she is being bullied by another adult.
If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the nature or swiftness of a response made by the School
following a reported incident of bullying, he/she may wish to make a complaint. The complaints
procedure for a case of bullying follows the guidance in the School’s Complaints procedure found on
Links to legislation
There are a number of pieces of legislation which set out measures and actions for schools in response to bullying as well as criminal law. These may include:
• The Education Act 2006
• The Education and Inspection Act 2006;
• The Equality Act 2010;
• The Children Act 1989;
• Protection from Harassment Act 1997;
• The Malicious Communications Act 1988;
• Public Order Act 1986;
• The Computer Misuse Act 1990.
It is the responsibility of:
• The Governing Body to take a lead role in monitoring and reviewing this policy;
• Governors, Head Teacher, senior managers, teaching and non-teaching staff to be aware of
this policy and implement it accordingly;
• The Head Teacher to communicate the policy to the school community and to ensure that
disciplinary measures are applied fairly, consistently and reasonably;
• Staff to support and uphold the policy;
• Parents/carers to support their children and work in partnership with the School;
• Students to abide by the policy.
In implementing this policy all staff must pay careful attention to the need to ensure that their
actions do not discriminate adversely against any groups of students or individual students, or
appear to discriminate.
All actions must be taken in accordance with the School’s equal opportunities policies
Monitoring and review
A designated member of the Senior Leadership Team will keep and consider reports on serious
incidents, and make a termly report, with statistics, to the Head Teacher. The Head Teacher will
consider the reports with the Leadership Group to determine what can be learned from the
incidents and how they were handled with a view to improving School’s strategies.
The Head Teacher will make an annual report to the Full Governing Body.
The governing body will review the policy every three years or more frequently if the governing body
considers it is necessary.
Appendix – Supporting Organisations and Guidance
• Anti-Bullying Alliance: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
• Beat Bullying: www.bullying.co.uk
• Childline: www.childline.org.uk
• DfE: “Preventing and Tackling Bullying. Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies”,
and “Supporting children and young people who are bullied: advice for schools” March
• DfE: “No health without mental health”: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nohealth-without-mental-health-a-cross-government-outcomes-strategy
• Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk
• Kidscape: www.kidscape.org.uk
• MindEd: www.minded.org.uk
• NSPCC: www.nspcc.org.uk
• PSHE Association: www.pshe-association.org.uk
• Restorative Justice Council: www.restorativejustice.org.uk
• The Diana Award: www.diana-award.org.uk
• Victim Support: www.victimsupport.org.uk
• Young Minds: www.youngminds.org.uk
• Childnet International: www.childnet.com
• Digizen: www.digizen.org
• Internet Watch Foundation: www.iwf.org.uk
• Think U Know: www.thinkuknow.co.uk
• UK Safer Internet Centre: www.saferinternet.org.uk
• EACH: www.eachaction.org.uk
• Pace: www.pacehealth.org.uk
• Schools Out: www.schools-out.org.uk
• Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk
• Homophobic Bullying: https://www.bullying.co.uk/general-advice/what-is-homophobicbullying/
• Changing Faces: www.changingfaces.org.uk
• Mencap: www.mencap.org.uk
• DfE: SEND code of practice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-ofpractice-0-to-25
Racism and Hate
• Anne Frank Trust: www.annefrank.org.uk
• Kick it Out: http://www.kickitout.org/
• Report it: www.report-it.org.uk
• Stop Hate: www.stophateuk.org
• Show Racism the Red Card: http://www.theredcard.org/
• Crimestoppers: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/keeping-safe
Other Useful Sites
• Worcestershire Your Life Your Choice Website: https://ylyc.worcestershire.gov.uk