5. Peer on Peer abuse/Allegations of abuse made against other children
What is peer on peer abuse?
Above information is based on information in Practitioner Briefing: What is peer on peer abuse? MsUnderstood Partnership (2015)
Actions the school will take
The school deals with a wide continuum of children’s behaviour on a day to day basis and most cases will be dealt with via school based processes. These are outlined in the following policies:
The school will also act to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse by ensuring the establishment provides a safe environment, promotes positive standards of behaviour, has effective systems in place where children can raise concerns and provides safeguarding through the curriculum via PSHE and other curriculum opportunities. This may include targeted work with children identified as vulnerable or being at risk and developing risk assessment and targeted work with those identified as being a potential risk to others. See Section 3: Safe Environment – children are safe and feel safe.
Action on serious concerns
The school recognises that children may abuse their peers physically, sexually and emotionally; this will not be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. The school will take this as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult, and address it through the same processes as any safeguarding issue. We also recognise that children who abuse others are also likely to have considerable welfare and safeguarding issues themselves.
Peer to peer abuse may be a one off serious incident or an accumulation of incidents. Staff may be able to easily identify some behaviour/s as abusive however in some circumstances it may be less clear. In all cases the member of staff should discuss the concerns and seek advice from the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
When an allegation is made by a pupil/student against another pupil/student, members of staff should consider if the issues raised indicate that the child and /or alleged perpetrator may have emerging needs, complex/serious needs or child protection concerns and follow the process outlined in Section 4. Taking Action on Concerns.
Any suspicion or allegations that a child has been sexually abused or is likely to sexually abuse another child (or adult) should be referred immediately to Children’s Social Care or the Police.
Particular considerations for cases where peer on peer abuse is a factor include:
See DSCBs Safeguarding Children Procedures, in particular:
Whenever there is an allegation of abuse made against a child, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and other appropriate staff will draw together separate risk assessments and action plans to support the victim and the perpetrator. Where Children’s Social Care is involved or an early help assessment commenced, this will be agreed as part of a multi-agency plan.