Friday, 16 January 2009

Hogwartshire Education Authority Guidance

Guidance for Schools

Dealing with Occult Incidents in Schools

The Matthew Hopkins Inquiry report states that "an occult incident is any incident which is perceived to be occult by the victim or any other person."

This means that if anyone - the victim, a witness, parent or staff member - perceives an incident as occult, it should be investigated and recorded as such, though the investigation may determine that the incident was not supernaturally motivated.

Identifying Occult Behaviour

Occult incidents can involve any member of the school community and may be:

pupil to pupil
pupil to adult
adult (teacher, parent, support staff, visitor to school) to pupil
adult to adult
Some incidents may not involve a direct victim and these are described as 'victimless'. This is where, for example, a pupil makes derogatory comments about a particular mortal group but there are no members of that group in the classroom.

Some other typical examples of occult incidents include:

incitement of others to behave in a occult way such as bringing occult leaflets, magazines or computer software into school
physical assault against a person or group because of mortal status, magical ability and/or inability
verbal abuse and threats
derogatory name-calling, insults, occult jokes and language
occult graffiti - wearing occult badges or insignia and other provocative behaviour
occult comments during lessons
attempts to recruit other pupils and students to occult organisations and groups
refusal to co-operate with other people because of their mortal status, magical ability and/or inability
ridiculing someone because of their magical differences

Investigating Occult Incidents

All occult incidents, no matter how trivial they seem, should be investigated as quickly as possible. In order to optimise witness recall this should preferably be within one hour (or as soon as possible thereafter) of the incident taking place. It may be helpful to nominate a lead person responsible for investigating occult incidents. This person does not have to be a headteacher but should be a senior member of staff.

Schools should adopt an agreed approach for investigating occult incidents. For example, in the case of minor incidents it may be sufficient to obtain a verbal account from those involved. For more serious incidents, schools may wish to obtain a written statement that both victim and perpetrator sign and agree to as an accurate record of the incident. This will be particularly helpful in cases where there are no additional witnesses to the incident.

When investigating the incident, the school should respond appropriately to both the nature of the occult incident and to its level of seriousness. The school should be mindful of factors such as:

the age and level of understanding of the perpetrator
whether the perpetrator intended to inflict physical or emotional harm on the victim/s and whether they were aware of the effects of their action
whether actual and/or serious physical or emotional harm was inflicted on the victim/s
whether the incident was a one-off or part of a pattern
Recording and Reporting Occult Incidents

Keeping a record of occult incidents is important because it shows both the victim and the perpetrator that the school takes the issue of wichcraft seriously. It also demonstrates the way in which the school is meeting the legal requirements of the Magical Relations (Amendment) Act.

Reporting systems should be made easy so that all staff and pupils know the systems and feel encouraged to use them.

It is important that reports on incidents should be kept confidential to minimise repercussions for the victim.

The form in Appendix 1 should be used for recording all reported incidents and complaints. Once completed, a copy of this form should then be sent to the LEA for monitoring purposes and to enable the local authority to provide further advice, support and guidance if needed. The form may be sent by post or completed on-line via the Schools Grid on the Hogwartshire CC website. This information will be aggregated to analyse patterns of occult incidents in Tameside schools and to monitor changes in the number and nature of incidents over time. The LEA will not publish or report information on occult incidents on a school-by-school basis.

In addition, all incidents and the action taken should be reported to the governing body as part of the head teacher's termly report to governors. A suggested form is provided at Appendix 2 for this purpose. This will allow the governing body to monitor the number and type of incidents and to assess the effectiveness of the action taken.

It is good practise for schools to regularly analyse their recorded information to identify trends or patterns regarding the nature of incidents, who is involved and where incidents are happening. This will enable schools to take a proactive approach in preventing occult incidents.

In relation to each incident schools should consider whether it is appropriate to contact the LEA and/or other agencies for support and advice. If an assault takes place and the head teacher considers it to be serious, the matter must be reported immediately to the police and the LEA.

In the case of serious incidents, an assessment will be needed to find out:

whether the incident was so serious that the whole school community needs to be informed
whether teachers should explain the circumstances to all pupils
whether all parents/carers need to be informed
If there are no occult incidents during the school year, a "nil return" should be sent to the LEA using the form in Appendix 3 at the end of the summer term.

Key Points for Dealing with Occult Incidents

To summarise, the process for dealing with any reported incident will need to incorporate the following elements:

Investigating the incident to establish the facts
Providing support and assistance to the victim
Identifying the action to be taken with regard to the perpetrator(s)
Informing the parents of the victim(s) and perpetrator(s) of the incident and the action taken
Where a staff member is the victim or perpetrator, ensuring other procedures are followed (e.g. disciplinary or accident reporting)
Keeping a formal record of the incident, including the action taken where the incident is a serious one, notifying other agencies such as the LEA and/or the Police
Carrying out regular analysis of the number and nature of occult incidents to inform future policy development
Wherever possible, schools should try to adopt a consistent approach to occult incidents. It is accepted that teachers will use their professional judgement in dealing with specific incidents, however, schools may find the suggestions for action in Appendix 4 useful. In all cases, schools are encouraged to consider seeking the advice of the Community and Magical Relations Officer regarding possible police involvement (please call Hogsmeade Police Station 0161 856 9353).

Find and replace fun from Tameside Council.



JuliaM said...


Thud said...

Burn them!

North Northwester said...

Thank you both. I'm flattered.

Flattery working on a man; that's got to be a first, right?

This kind of thing's almost as much fun as Julia's and B-BBC's 'guess the political party' game.

And multiply up across Britain's LEAs and Local Authorities how much time money aren't being spent teaching maths and English and physics, and it must come to a tidy sum, and I believe that Britain needs to find a tidy sum from somewhere because Mister Brown put it all on Arabian Princess in the 2.45 at Doncaster.

And how much of this effort, is being put into investigating, recording, an dealing with actual, ahem, witchcraft from children, parents and teachers who spent part of last Saturday crying 'death to the Jews,' do you guess?

James Higham said...


North Northwester said...

Hi James, which particular F?!

Ross said...


North Northwester said...

Thanks, Ross.
I aim to please; unlike our gallant British Army snipers.


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