Just an update. Within 90 minutes of my email about the above to my daughter's preferred tutor, the Pastoral Support teacher had taken my daughter out of lessons and had a chat. She's told my daughter she will be having a word with the girl in question and if it happens again to report it immediately. My daughter was told at this stage they will call in the girl's parents.
I have told my daughter to avoid being on her own with other girl and if they are part of the same group to try not to get too involved with her.
Just to say thanks for your replies and support. I didn't contact the school yesterday as my daughter got in touch just after she got to school asking me not to, due to the fact she wanted to discuss with a couple of other girls in the group to which she and friend A belong. Both friends she has spoken to are aware of what's been happening and say they will go with her today to report the matter. I have emailed the member of staff she wants to discuss it with ahead of that so she is aware parents are on the case as well!
ArtexMonkey, yes, I've already asked my daughter if she's been provoking her. She said no, and I've pointed out if she does feel she's got in wrong she should tell us before it gets taken further in the school. Don't think she would physically go for her anyway, as the other girl is about 15cm taller and 3 stone heavier than her.
'Playfighting' can often be used as an excuse for dominant bullies to escalate violent behaviour, with 'it was a JOKE, omg!!' as a back up excuse if they get called on it. It's not always easy to challenge behaviour like this, even for adults, because of the dissonance between one person laughing, joking, being playful, while also being physically aggressive and intimidating.
I would have a word with your dd first to make sure she's not giving as good as she gets though, because you'll feel a right wally if it turns out they're all doing it and A is covered in bruises as well.
Yes, i would report - this sounds fairly serious, and, importantly, it is not a situation where the girls themselves are sufficiently confident to tell A to stop. The fear of being left ousted and friendless will stop that happening. I wouldn't be happy with the 'hit her for me' thing either - sounds a bit as though 'mock' violence is becoming an accepted way of communicating for them?
Friend A has been hitting some of the girls in their group with a plastic file, sometimes it was in a joking way, other times it was because she didn't like what was said. Another friend B of hers chose told me the same thing and she didn't like it as she felt the girl was taking the opportunity to hurt her rather than having a joke. Also, friend C was pushed against a wall by A last week and hit with said file, friend A keeps taking pens off her in lessons and generally being mean to he. She threatens them with her brother if she doesn't like what they say and pushes them off their seat if she can't sit down.
Last night my daughter walked home with A and another girl. They were joking about something and the other girl said, hit her for me which A did with an umbrella causing a raised red mark on about 40% of her hand which started to go down 30 mins after she came home. My daughter acknowledges it was originally a joke but she feels A has taken the opportunity to hurt her while she has the opportunity. My daughter doesn't want to raise it at school as they are quite a argumentative group and you never know who will be ousted out.
My husband thinks we should raise it, as he feels A shouldn't be hitting someone that hard and neither of us like what she's done to friend C.
Would you see how it goes for a few days, or should we alert the school in the hope they are more likely to listen if someone reports A.