Someries Infant School and Early Childhood Education Centre recognises that children are vulnerable and capable of abusing their peers. We take such abuse as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult. This includes verbal as well as physical abuse. Peer-on-peer abuse will not be tolerated or passed off as part of ‘banter’ or ‘growing up’.
We are committed to a whole-school approach to ensure the prevention, early identification, and appropriate management of peer-on-peer abuse within our school and beyond.
In case where peer-on-peer abuse is identified, we will follow our child protection and safeguarding procedures, taking a contextual approach to support all children who have been affected by the situation.
We recognise that peer-on-peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways, including:
- child sexual exploitation (CSE)
- sexting or youth-produced digital imagery
- abuse in intimate relationships
- children who display harmful sexual behaviour
- gang associated and serious violence (county lines)
- technology being used for bullying and other abuse behaviour
We also recognise that these behaviours can occur online as well as face-to-face.
Some of these behaviours will need to be handled with reference to other policies in school, such as our behaviour policy, child protection and safeguarding policy and online safety policy.
Our procedures concentrate on peer-on-peer abuse in the context of sexual harassment and sexual violence and are compliant with the statutory guidance on peer-on-peer abuse as set out in the Department for Education’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and should be read in conjunction with the Luton Safeguarding Children Board’s child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures and any relevant practice guidance issued by it.