BERT Bronze Award Logo

Brackenfield SEND School has achieved Bronze BERT award status.

For more information on this please click the link below to see the information leaflet.

BERT Award Leaflet

The BERT award is about supporting everyone in the school community to build effective relationships.

Please remember if you are worried about anything or need any advice or support with puberty changes or behaviours such as masturbation or grinding please email Early help are able to provide support such as social stories, packs and sign post you to further advice if needed.


 (NHS advice and guidance)

Masturbation is completely normal and extremely common. It is meeting a natural sensory need. People of all ages masturbate and it’s often the first sexual experience they have. Not everybody enjoys masturbating and there’s no reason to do it if you don’t want to.

Masturbation is when you get sexual pleasure from touching your genitals, usually with your hand. You can masturbate yourself or a partner. Masturbation usually leads to an orgasm but doesn’t always.

Generally, men and boys masturbate by rubbing or moving their hand up and down their erect penis. Women and girls may use their fingers or hand to rub the area around their clitoris or vagina.

Masturbation and touching of private parts becomes inappropriate when done away from the bedroom and a private place. This is dealt with at school as harmful sexual behaviour please see the procedure below.

Masturbation within the curriculum

Teaching and learning about masturbation will only take place with parental consent (withdrawal option). Masturbation will be covered for boys and girls where appropriate for the individual; this will be on a 121 basis or in single sex groups. This will be judged on a case by case basis, and will likely cover the following:

  • What masturbation is
  • Where we can masturbate (in private)
  • How to keep yourself safe and preventing injury- personal hygiene
  • How to keep yourself safe- exploitation

In most cases, lesson content will be share with parents/ carers prior to delivery, to ensure parents feel informed to support their child at home.

Inappropriate and sexual behaviours

Harmful sexual behaviours (HSB) are developmentally inappropriate sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people which is harmful or abusive.

Peer-on-peer sexual abuse is a form of HSB where sexual abuse takes place between children of a similar age or stage of development. Child-on-child sexual abuse is a form of HSB that takes place between children of any age or stage of development.

Problematic sexual behaviour (PSB) is developmentally inappropriate or socially unexpected sexualised behaviour which doesn’t have an overt element of victimisation or abuse.

For more information please click here for NSPCC advice.


Procedures for dealing with harmful and problematic sexual behaviours

When a harmful or problematic sexual behaviour is displayed by a pupil related to their genitals, a Functional Behaviour Assessment and Sensory Toolkit will be completed to establish whether the behaviour/ sensory need can be met through other sensory input. A and harmful sexual behaviour risk assessment will also be completed and shared with parents to mitigate risk and protect and support anyone involved. This includes all pupils, from 3 years upwards, as any touching of private parts is considered inappropriate away from a private place.

There are a number of aspects to consider when considering the appropriate strategy to support the young person displaying this behaviour; impact on behaviour and frustration, cognitive understanding to reach climax and frequency/ location of behaviour. All aspects will be considered and addressed as part of the young person’s behaviour support plan completed in conjunction with the senior leadership team and parents.

Where masturbation or sexual behaviours can be avoided in school, the pupil understands this and the impact on behaviour/ pupil wellbeing is not significant- pupils will be directed to masturbate at home.

For pupils with more complex needs, who lack cognitive understanding and who’s behaviour and mental health are significantly impacted by the need to masturbate- pupils will be directed to a private space (usually a locked toilet cubicle).  This is an absolute last resort to ensure the safety of the individual. This is not a long-term solution and the team around the child will be consulted to attempt to stop this behaviour as soon as possible in school.

Every incident of inappropriate touching of private parts will be reported through My Concern and logged as ‘sexual activity’. This will be the only type of incident reported under this category, therefore we will have an accurate understanding of this within school.  Parents must be informed if there is an incident within school; this applies to any reportable incident.


Puberty and Menstrual Education

Puberty, health and relationships are taught to all pupils at an appropriate level to help them to understand their own bodies and skills to keep themselves safe. This is taught as an embedded approach each week as part of our good health and friends, relationships and community sessions.

Menstrual education can be very scary for young girls, particularly when developmentally their learning is delayed. Therefore we have an extensive range of resources to prepare girls for this change in their body. This is delivered alongside communication with home, to ensure anything learned and discussed in school can be followed up. There are practical resources, including a life size vulva model which menstruates. Knickers and period products to apply as well as social stories to demonstrate how you might feel when on your period.

To ensure sessions are meaningful and in context, we use a range of realistic learning aids, make and female anatomical models, stories (social stories and Kings princesses ducks and penguins series), role play and sensory stories using dolls.

Advice and Guidance for parents:

It is important our families can access the right support and advice when it comes to relationships, puberty and sex education. Please see below a list of useful websites:

The Internet Watch Foundation have put together some parental advice about making sure your home doesn’t have an open door to child sexual abusers. Please Click Here to access.

If you have any concerns please email and a member of the family support team will be in touch.

Useful Links:

Learn and Thrive – including relationship and sex education

Consent Video:

Why using the correct words are important.: