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Bullying, E-Safety & Social Policy

Bullying definition

Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

Physical bullying

Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing or damaging property. Physical bullying causes both short term and long-term damage.

Verbal bullying

Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, sexual or racist remarks, or verbal abuse. Verbal bullying can escalate to levels which start affecting the individual target.

Social bullying

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as covert bullying, is often harder to recognise and can be carried out behind the bullied person's back. It is designed to harm someone's social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Social bullying includes:

  • lying and spreading rumours
  • negative facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks
  • playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate
  • mimicking unkindly
  • encouraging others to socially exclude someone
  • damaging someone's social reputation or social acceptance.

Role of WHG in e-policy: As WHG are acting in loco parentis, it is our duty to be aware and involved in all matters relating to a student’s online-safety. Examples of online dangers that we would like to make students aware of are:

Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying can be overt or covert bullying behaviours using digital technologies, including hardware such as computers and smartphones, and software such as social media, instant messaging, texts, websites and other online platforms.

Cyber bullying can happen at any time. It can be in public or in private and sometimes only known to the target and the person bullying. Cyber bullying can include:

  • Abusive or hurtful texts emails or posts, images or videos
  • Deliberately excluding others online
  • Nasty gossip or rumours
  • Imitating others online or using their log-in
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying, and research reveals it has increased to affect 12% of young people in this country.
Childnet's 2016 Cyberbullying Guidance, funded by the Government Equalities Office and European Union, shows schools how to embed cyberbullying in anti-bullying work. 

This Guidance is designed to support staff in preventing and responding to cyberbullying.  The Guidance comprises of four main sections and although this was commission for schools, it is very much relevant to guardians in supporting students who may be suffering from cyberbullying.

  1. Understanding Cyberbullying - http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/1-understanding-cyberbullying1.pdf
  2. Preventing Cyberbullying - http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/2-preventing-cyberbullying1.pdf
  3. Responding to Cyberbullying - http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/3-responding-to-cyberbullying1.pdf
  4. Supporting Staff - http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/4-cyberbullying-supporting-school-staff.pdf

If a student approaches a WHG member of staff or we are notified by parents/agents that a student is a victim of cyberbullying. WHG will handle the concern sensitively and speak to the individual through their Local Guardian. The school will also be involved and if necessary the Police and Social Service if a student is under 16 years old.


WHG strongly advises that students take caution when taking photos and posting them online. Once posted, you lose control over how they are shared.

WHG endorses and advises all staff to read The UK Council for Child Internet Safety publication on Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people.

Remember, it is illegal to take or share photos of anyone under the age of 18 that is deemed to be explicit. For students, we recommend watching the interactive videos, ‘Think you know?’:
If you have any concerns please contact our dedicated Designated Safeguarding Leads:
Students should also be aware of the Student Behaviour Policy:

White House Guardianships

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