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Safeguarding Policy
(incorporating Prevent and Anti-Bullying Policies)

Catalyst Courses runs online courses and workshops and residential summer school courses at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University for students aged 12 to 18 years. Catalyst Courses is committed to keeping children safe and recognises its responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in a safe and nurturing environment.


This policy applies to all children under 18 together with older students on the Catalyst Courses courses, and the entire Catalyst Courses workforce. It is based on legislation from the Children Act, Section 11 (1989/2004), “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (Sep 2019) and “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (July 2018), together with guidance from the Department for Education and the NSPCC.


Policy statement:

At Catalyst Courses we believe everyone has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them. We will make sure that all children and young people have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

Catalyst Courses will:

  • Aim to provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued, respected and listened to, confident they will receive a consistent and supportive response from any adult at Catalyst Courses.

  • Appoint a designated child protection lead, who will ensure that written safeguarding and child protection policies are in place, and regularly reviewed, and to whom staff will report any safeguarding concerns.

  • Treat safeguarding as everyone’s responsibility, by raising awareness with all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.

  • Ensure that all adults in our workforce who have access to children and young people are checked as to their suitability, following correct staff recruitment and selection procedures.

  • Ensure all staff have undertaken safeguarding training approved by Catalyst Courses and follow the safeguarding and child protection procedures in reporting and monitoring children known or suspected to be at risk of harm.

Prevent Policy

Oxford Catalyst recognises its responsibilities under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 to prevent people of all ages being radicalised or drawn into terrorism.

Oxford Catalyst will aim to:

  • Provide a safe and supportive international environment which promotes the Core British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and/or beliefs.

  • Challenge radical or extremist views (be they homophobic, political, religious or racist).

  • Educate its staff in Prevent terminology and the risks of radicalisation and extremism. Any concerns that a student is showing signs of becoming radicalised or involved with an organisation which could ultimately harm the student will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

  • Vet visiting speakers to ensure extremist views are not expounded, nor extremist material distributed.

  • Work in partnership with local authority Prevent coordinators/agencies, sharing information where appropriate.

Anti-Bullying Policy

This policy is based on Department of Education guidance “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” (July 2017), “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (Sept 2019), “Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges” (May 2018) and Childnet’s “Cyberbullying: Understand, Prevent and Respond: Guidance for Schools”.

Oxford Catalyst is committed to developing an anti-bullying culture where the bullying of adults, children or young people is not tolerated in any form, ensuring a positive, safe and stimulating environment in which all students feel cared for, secure and safe to learn. This policy outlines what Oxford Catalyst will do to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying.


Links to other policies

The policy should be read in conjunction with other Oxford Catalyst policies, particularly

  • Complaints policy

  • Privacy policy

  • Equal Opportunities policy

  • Safeguarding (see above)

  • Communications policy


Links to other legislation

There are several pieces of legislation which set out measures and actions for educational establishments in response to bullying, as well as criminal and civil law. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • The Equality Act 2010

  • The Children Act 1989

  • The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997

  • The Malicious Communications Act 1988

  • Public Order Act 1986


Oxford Catalyst Director and Designated Safeguarding Lead, Alex Elliott, is responsible for the policy, its monitoring and review, and for ensuring that Oxford Catalyst Courses applies fair, consistent and reasonable disciplinary measures where required. The policy will be reviewed at least annually and following any concerns or updates to local/national guidance or procedures.

The entire Oxford Catalyst workforce including directors, teaching and non-teaching staff are required to support, uphold and implement this policy.


Students are required to abide by the policy, and their parents/carers to support their children and work in partnership with Oxford Catalyst.

Definition of bullying

Oxford Catalyst recognises bullying as “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally” (Department of Education “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, July 2017). It can include name calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; taking belongings; producing offensive graffiti; gossiping; excluding people from groups and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.


Cyberbullying includes the same unacceptable behaviours expressed online. This can include: sending offensive, upsetting and inappropriate messages by phone, text, instant messenger, through gaming, websites, social media sites and apps, and sending offensive or degrading photos or videos.

Bullying is recognised by Oxford Catalyst as being a form of peer on peer abuse. It can be emotionally abusive and can cause severe and adverse effects on children’s emotional development.


Bullying can happen to anyone, and can take place between young people, staff and/or other individuals and groups, in person or via digital devices. This policy covers all types and forms of bullying including:

  • Bullying related to race, religion, faith, ethnicity, nationality or culture.

  • Bullying related to SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability including the use of disablist language).

  • Bullying related to physical appearance or physical/mental health conditions.

  • Bullying related to gender (sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying)

  • Bullying related to sexual orientation (homophobic/biphobic bullying).

  • Bullying of young carers, children in care, teenage parents or otherwise related to home circumstances.

  • Bullying via technology (cyberbullying)

Ethos and approach

Oxford Catalyst recognises that all forms of bullying, especially if left unaddressed, can have a devastating effect on individuals; it can create a barrier to learning and have serious consequences for mental wellbeing. By effectively preventing and tackling bullying Oxford Catalyst Courses can help to create a safe, stimulating and inclusive environment, which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others and in which students are able to live, learn and fulfil their potential.


Oxford Catalyst will:

  • Monitor and review our anti-bullying policy and practice on a regular basis.

  • Ensure our students are aware how to report bullying, that bullying concerns will be dealt with sensitively and effectively, that students feel safe to learn and that students abide by the anti-bullying policy.

  • Require all staff members and associated agencies to uphold the anti-bullying policy; support them in promoting positive relationships to help prevent bullying.

  • Recognise that some individuals may be more vulnerable to bullying and its impact than others (eg students with SEND) and will need appropriate support if required.

  • Intervene by identifying and tackling bullying behaviour appropriately and promptly.

  • Recognise the potential impact of bullying on the wider family of those affected; report back to parents/carers regarding their concerns on bullying; deal promptly with any complaints in line with our complaints policy.

  • Seek to learn from good anti-bullying practice elsewhere and utilise support from external agencies where appropriate.

  • Challenge practice and language (including ‘banter’) which does not uphold Oxford Catalyst’s values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others.

  • Encourage individuals to use technology, especially mobile phones and social media, positively and responsibly; regularly update and evaluate our practice to consider the developments of technology and provide up-to-date advice regarding positive online behaviour.

  • Provide a range of approaches for students, staff and parents/carers to access support and report concerns.

  • Implement appropriate disciplinary sanctions; the consequences of bullying will reflect the seriousness of the incident, so that others see that bullying is unacceptable.

  • Use a variety of techniques to resolve the issues between those who bully, and those who have been bullied.

  • Make staff aware of all forms of bullying and how to take appropriate action, following Oxford Catalyst’s Anti-Bullying Policy, including recording and reporting incidents. 


Students will:

  • Always show kindness and respect to members of the Oxford Catalyst Courses.

  • Be willing to work closely with other students in a supportive and encouraging manner.

  • Be open to other opinions and perspectives.

Parents/Carers will:

  • Support Oxford Catalyst’s policies and be aware that Oxford Catalyst does not tolerate any form of bullying.

  • Notify Oxford Catalyst of any issues which may be affecting their child.

  • Check their child’s understanding of e-safety.

Reporting bullying

Students should report any incident of bullying to a member of staff immediately. All incidents will be investigated without delay.


Responding to bullying

The following steps may be taken when dealing with all incidents of bullying reported to Oxford Catalyst:

  • The member of staff to whom the incident has been reported or who witnessed the incident will deal with it immediately.

  • Oxford Catalyst will provide appropriate support for the person being bullied, making sure they are not at risk of immediate harm and involving them in any decision-making, as appropriate.

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead or another member of leadership staff will interview all parties involved.

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will be informed of all bullying issues where there are safeguarding concerns.

  • Oxford Catalyst will speak with and inform other staff members, where appropriate.

  • Oxford Catalyst will ensure parents/carers are kept informed about the concern and action taken, as appropriate and in line with safeguarding and confidentiality policies.

  • Sanctions may be implemented in consultation with all parties concerned.

  • If necessary, other agencies may be consulted or involved, such as the police, if a criminal offence has been committed, or other local services including early help or children’s social care, if a child is felt to be at risk of significant harm.

  • A clear and precise account of bullying incidents will be recorded by Oxford Catalyst. This will include recording appropriate details regarding decisions and action taken.


In responding to cyberbullying concerns, Oxford Catalyst will:

  • Act as soon as an incident has been reported or identified.

  • Provide appropriate support for the person who has been cyberbullied and work with the person who has carried out the bullying to ensure that it does not happen again.

  • Encourage the person being bullied to keep any evidence (e.g. screenshots) of the bullying activity to assist any investigation.

  • Take all available steps where possible to identify the person responsible. This may include: identifying and interviewing possible witnesses; contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary.

  • Work with the individuals and online service providers to prevent the incident from spreading and assist in removing offensive or upsetting material from circulation. This may include: making reports to a service provider to remove content if those involved are unable to be identified or if those involved refuse to or are unable to delete content; confiscating and searching students’ mobile phones or electronic devices, in accordance with the law and Childnet’s cyberbullying guidance; requesting the deletion of locally-held content and content posted online if they contravene Oxford Catalyst’s Mobile Phone and Social Media policy.

  • Ensure that sanctions are applied to the person responsible for the cyberbullying; Oxford Catalyst will take steps to change the attitude and behaviour of the bully, as well as ensuring access to any additional help that they may need.

  • Inform the police if a criminal offence has been committed.

  • Provide information to Oxford Catalyst’s staff and students regarding steps they can take to protect themselves online. This may include: advising those targeted not to retaliate or reply; providing advice on blocking or removing people from contact lists; helping those involved to think carefully about what private information they may have in the public domain.


Supporting students

Students who have been bullied will be supported by:

  • Reassuring the student and providing pastoral support.

  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a course tutor, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or a member of staff of their choice.

  • Being advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence and discussing how to respond to concerns, as appropriate.

  • Working towards restoring self-esteem and confidence.

  • Engaging with staff and parents/carers to provide ongoing support, making sure that key information about bullying (including policies and named points of contact) is available to them (including via the Oxford Catalyst website).

  • Where necessary, working with local/national/international organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance.


Students who have perpetrated bullying will be helped by:

  • Discussing what happened, establishing the concern and the need to change, and providing appropriate support regarding their behaviour or actions.

  • Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the student.

  • If online, requesting that content be removed and reporting accounts/content to service provider.

  • Sanctioning as deemed appropriate; this may include official warnings and exclusion from Oxford Catalyst Courses.

  • Where necessary, working with local/national/international organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance.


Policy review

Oxford Catalyst Director and Designated Safeguarding Lead, Alex Elliott, is responsible for the policy,
and will ensure that it is reviewed at least annually and following any concerns or updates to local/national guidance or procedures.

Useful links to supporting organisations





Race, religion and nationality




Sexual harassment and sexual bullying

Additional links can be found in “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” (July 2017)


Oxford Catalyst, October 2019

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