Peer on Peer Abuse Policy


Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 states that ‘Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure appropriate action is taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.

These should include individual schools and colleges having: • an effective child protection policy which:

  • should describe procedures which are in accordance with government guidance;
  • refer to locally agreed multi-agency safeguarding arrangements put in place by the three safeguarding partners;
  • include policies as reflected elsewhere in Part two of this guidance, such as online safety, peer on peer abuse and SEND;


Our staff have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.

Our staff are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse). This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

  • abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers;
  • bullying (including cyberbullying);
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse);
  • sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault; (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence);
  • sexual harassment,such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse;
  • sharing self-generated indecent images (also known as sexting);
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element); and
  • upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.

(KCSIE 2021)

At The Link School we are committed to the prevention, early identification and appropriate management of peer on peer abuse.  We continue to ensure that any form of abuse or harmful behaviour is dealt with immediately and consistently to reduce the extent of harm to the young person, with full consideration to impact on that individual child’s emotional and mental health and well-being.

Our policy includes a clear and comprehensive strategy taking a contextual whole-school approach to preventing and responding to peer on peer abuse, which includes a clear understanding to staff, children and young people and their parents about everyone’s responsibility in managing any peer on peer abuse incidents.  This will include both our prevention measures as well as our response to any incidents of harm.

Purpose and Aim

Children and young people may be harmful to one another in a number of ways which would be classified as peer on peer abuse.  The purpose of this policy is to explore the many forms of peer on peer abuse and include a planned and supportive response to the issues.

At The Link School we have the following policies in place that should be read in conjunction with this policy:

Child Protection Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Online Safety Policy

Children Missing from Education Policy

Behaviour and Positive Handling Policy


Framework and Legislation

This policy is supported by the key principles of the Children’s Act 1989 that the child’s welfare is paramount.  Another key document that focuses adult thinking towards the views of the child is Working Together 2018, highlighting that every assessment of a child, should ‘reflect the unique characteristics of the child within their family and community context’ (Working Together, 2018:28). This is clearly echoed by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 through ensuring procedures are in place in schools and settings to hear the voice of the child and to be mindful of the contexts children live in.

You can read our full Peer on Peer Abuse Policy by downloading the PDF below:

  Peer on Peer Abuse Policy  – PDF


Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Springwell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777