Bullying/child on child abuse is defined as the persistent:

  • Physical abuse (which may include biting, hitting, kicking, hair pulling, pushing etc.)
  • Sexually harmful behaviour/sexual abuse (e.g. inappropriate sexual language, touching, sexual assault etc.)
  • Verbal or emotional abuse of another child or children (e.g. name calling, laughing at them, excluding them from their play on purpose, saying unkind things including about their size, hair and skin colour, gender, clothes they wear )
  • Social bullying which is done behind someone’s back through spreading rumours or playing nasty jokes as well as cyber bullying which is using digital technology such as computers and smart phones.

There may be many reasons why a child harms another and it is important to understand why a young child has engaged in such behaviour, including accidently before considering the action to be undertaken. At the EYEC, the children are still young and learning boundaries and their age and varied development as well as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities must be taken into account when providing behaviour support.

We can sum up bullying as actions taken by one or more people with the deliberate intention of hurting another person (in any of the above ways).It is often planned and most bullies are aware of the impact of their actions. Bullying is about a pre-meditated act, which relies on a stage of cognitive development in order to think the process through. This policy aims to produce a consistent response to any bullying incidents that may occur. All alleged incidents of bullying will be taken seriously and investigated.

At Imperial College Early Years we foster positive social interactions and are committed to providing an environment that is safe, welcoming and free from bullying where we ensure that any form of abuse or harmful behaviour is dealt with immediately and consistently. Bullying of any form is unacceptable whether the offender is a child or an adult.

At Imperial College Early Years we are aware that bullying affects children and to reduce any extent of harm to the children we give full consideration to the impact that bullying will have on an individual child’s emotional and mental health and well-being. Our Safeguarding and Child Protecting Policy as well as our ethos ensures we are providing a safe, secure environment where children can develop and thrive with competent and knowledgeable staff. We aim to make all those connected with the nursery aware of our opposition to bullying and staff have a responsibility to eradicate bullying within our nursery.

This policy is designed to support the;

  • Imperial College Early Years Behavior Management Policy 
  • Equal Opportunities Policy

The Policy is supported by the key principles of the Children’s Act, 1989 that the child’s welfare is paramount as well as Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2022 which stipulates that:

2. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

3. No single practitioner can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action

At Imperial College Early Years we believe that every child has the right to expect an environment which;

  • Is safe and caring
  • Will praise acceptable behaviour
  • Provides positive role models
  • Encourages children to feel secure
  • Shows an awareness of children’s individual needs
  • Will give clear explanations as to why their behaviour has been unacceptable and will be given help to find out other ways of behaving in a given situation
  • Will encourage dealing with disputes with other children by helping them to voice their dislike for unacceptable behaviour towards them
  • Will be involved in discussions about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and encouraged to express their feelings and think about the feelings of others
  • Will always put the emphasis on the action rather than the child personally
  • Will not humiliate them verbally, emotionally or physically

At Imperial College Early Years we recognise that during children’s play there might be a form of rough and tumble, with media sometimes influencing superhero and weapon play which the children take an interest in and sometimes imitate through their behaviour and play. Our staff are skilled to enable them to differentiate children’s imagination and inappropriate play and behaviour and will only engage in this play if it has a positive outcome for each individual child. A few strategies will be implemented to manage this type of play;

  • Clear boundaries will be set up for the games being played or toys and resources used
  • Discussing the concept of ‘good’ and ‘bad’
  • During planning, although supporting the play, finding alternatives to replace weapon play
  • Working in partnership with parents to ensure they have an understanding of how the play is being managed

The Head of Imperial College Early Years will implement the child on child/anti-bullying policy and ensure that all staff receive relevant training and are aware and know how to deal with any incidents of bullying that they witness or hear about. Equipment, resources and activities will be used to promote anti bullying.

Any incidents of child-on-child abuse or bullying will be brought to the attention of the parents/carers of the child who has been bullying and strategies for managing their behaviour will be discussed. The incident will also be discussed with the parents/carers of the child who has been bullied and reassurance will be offered on how the situation is being dealt with. A record on all the relevant details of any alleged bullying will be written on an incident form.

Parents who are concerned that their child might be being bullied, or who suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying, should contact the Head of Early Years immediately. Parents have a responsibility to support Imperial College Early Year’s anti-bullying policy and actively encourage their child to be a positive member of the Early Years. In support of the Imperial College Early Year’s ethos, parents are expected to help develop their child’s social skills at all times.

Through early intervention every effort will be made to support both parties, including keyperson meetings with parents, SENCO observations, support from Westminster’s Early Years Advisor and other outside professional agencies. If these efforts, strategies, and planned intervention have not shown significant progress or have failed and the behaviour is deemed severe, we will refer to the EYEC’s Terms and Conditions which states ‘Early Years retains the right to exclude the child for antisocial behaviour or disruptive behaviour that the Head of the Early Years considers to be detrimental to the Early Years community or child’ and to the EYEC Feedback, Escalation, and Exclusion Procedure which outlines the process for exclusion.