Abusive behaviour, Bullying and Harassment Policy

With more than 50 different nationalities passing through the school every year, ELC Bristol is a special place with a truly international and multicultural environment. We expect everyone to be tolerant of each other.

Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behaviour in order to intentionally hurt another person either in a physical or mental way.

Harassment is any unwanted conduct related to race, age, religion etc that could either violate a person’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive atmosphere for a person, even if this effect was not intended by the person responsible for the conduct.

Conduct may be harassment whether or not the person intended to offend. Something intended as a ‘joke’ or ‘banter’ may offend another person. Behaviour that a reasonable person would realise could offend a student or employee will always constitute harassment without the need for the student or employee having to make it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable.

Bullying and harassment are both forms of abuse and the school takes this very seriously and the Safeguarding team have put in place the following policy:

The school will not tolerate any form of harassment or bullying or physical violence either between students, between staff or between students and staff.

Acts of bullying or harassment can include:

  • Offensive songs, remarks, jokes, emails or gestures
  • Display of offensive posters, publications and graffiti
  • Unwanted physical contact or advances
  • Offensive remarks about a person’s dress or appearance
  • Offensive remarks about a person’s race, gender, marital status, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or age
  • Shouting, abusive or intimidating language
  • Spreading malicious rumours, allegations or gossip
  • Excluding, marginalising or ignoring someone
  • Intrusion by pestering, spying or stalking
  • Copying memos that are critical about someone to others who do not need to know
  • Deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading, taking credit for his/her work or through constant criticism
  • Removing areas of responsibility and imposing menial tasks
  • Cyber-bullying: that is, the sending or posting of harmful, cruel or offensive text or images by email, internet, social networking websites or other digital communication devices.

(This list comes from an agreement between Further Education Colleges and Unite/UNISON)

A single incident can amount to harassment if it is sufficiently serious. Harassment also occurs where, on the grounds of the student or employee’s rejection of or submission to unwanted conduct of the kind specified above, a person treats the student or employee less favourably than he or she would have treated them had they not been rejected or submitted to the unwanted conduct.

In a case of harassment or bullying, the person affected should raise the matter immediately with one of the Directors or, in their absence, either with the Principal, Vice-Principal or Director of Studies – whoever they feel most comfortable talking to. This member of staff will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

If an incident has occurred, and it is considered advisable to inform other members of staff, provided the person who reported the incident agrees, they will be informed and the incident will be documented and filed in their student or staff file. The partners will ensure that the information is communicated to the appropriate people.

After cases of harassment, the partners will always follow up to ensure the person affected is supported.

The school displays a ‘Respect’ poster in the entrance hall, a Respect + Prevent page in the student file and this policy is outlined in the teachers' manual.

This policy will be reviewed annually or as and when necessary.

Updated January 2023