This policy aims to ensure that all those connected to Peterborough United Football Club are protected from any form of bullying behaviour. Whilst we cannot guarantee there will be no bullying of any kind whatsoever, the ongoing and long-term aim of the policy is to reduce the number of people who may experience bullying through increasing awareness of this behaviour, its causes and consequences in the players, staff, parents and carers and visitors. It will also help people find and put into practice a series of solutions to the problem of bullying. This policy will ensure that individual cases of bullying will be dealt with consistently and in a constructive and fair manner when they occur.
Bullying is when one or more people physically, emotionally or psychologically hurt or cause harm to a person who is in a weaker position than him/her, and so is less able to defend himself/herself. Bullying usually happens over a period of time and consists of a series of different incidents. Bullying is a behaviour in which an individual(s) make choices about how to act in order to damage others.
Peterborough United Football Club will challenge such choices wherever they are encountered and sanctions, depending on the severity of the offence, will be enforced against those who bully. People are expected to act in principled and reflective ways. The causes of bullying are complex and those who bully often cite their own experiences of bullying when trying to explain their behaviour. Whilst staff will be sympathetic and supportive, it is not a justification for bullying others and will not exempt bullies from taking responsibility for their actions.
Types of bullying:
● Tripping someone up
● Stealing/damaging someone’s belongings
● Insulting a person’s family
● Threats of physical violence
● Spreading rumours
● Constantly putting a person down
● Exclusion from a group
● Insulting language/gestures based on a person’s actual or perceived ethnic origin and/or faith
● Racially motivated violence
● Sexually insulting language/gestures
● Unwanted physical contact
● Insulting language/gestures based on a person’s actual or perceived sexuality
● Homophobic violence
● Bullying by text message
● Bullying on the internet (in chat rooms, on bulletin boards and through instant messages services
● Hate websites
Peterborough United Football Club takes any form of bullying very seriously, deems bullying as
unacceptable behaviour and will not tolerate it. All members of staff will remain vigilant at all times to
recognise any signs of bullying.
Principles for handling bullying:
● All reports of bullying are to be taken seriously
● Staff will work with the person to ensure that they feel safe
● Staff will work with the bullies to change the bullying behaviour
● Staff will work with all parties involved to support and encourage a solution to the bullying
● Asking a person to not attend a Peterborough United activity is a last resort. If particularly serious victimisation, abuse, intimidation or physical bullying against any other person belonging to the Football Club is reported and/or witnessed, those people who carried out the bullying will be dealt with in line with the Club’s behaviour policy. This may include being asked not to attend any Football Club activity while the allegation is being investigated and solutions are sought. If the solutions have no effect, or if the bullying was so severe that it would be harmful to the rest of the Football Club to allow the person to return, he/she may have their contract terminated, receive a Stadium or Training Ground ban
Commitment from the Club:
● Use any opportunity to discuss aspects of bullying, and the appropriate way to behave
towards each other.
● Deal quickly, firmly and fairly with any complaints, involving parents/carers where necessary.
● Review the Anti-Bullying Policy and its degree of success.
Recording of incidents:
1. Report bullying to any Peterborough United staff who will raise a cause for concern with a member Safeguarding Team.
2. All incidents of bullying will be recorded by a member of the safeguarding team and kept in a secure location. The safeguarding team will be responsible for maintaining these records and analysing any apparent patterns.
Example of disciplinary steps:
● Step 1 - the bully(ies) will be warned officially to stop offending
● Step 2 – where necessary and appropriate the bully(ies) parents/carers will be informed and a meeting arranged with a member of the safeguarding team
● Step 3 – if step two is not necessary a meeting will be arranged with a member of the safeguarding team, and were necessary, Academy Manager and or CEO
● Step 4 – the bully(ies) will be asked not to attend a Peterborough United event for a fixed period (usually 1 week).
● Step 5 – implementation of the Football Disciplinary Process with the Board of Directors which may result in the termination of contract, Stadium or Training ground ban
NB: serious incidents will result in the police being informed and the Football Club will allow them to carry out an investigation against the bully(ies).
Written by Kayleigh Stent – Academy Safeguarding/Player Care Manager
Authorised and signed off by Liz Elsom – Club Welfare Officer