Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Education Settings
As you will be aware the Department for Education (DfE) has announced a new helpline to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse in education settings.
The helpline, run by the NSPCC, provides children and adults who are victims of sexual abuse in schools with support and advice including how to contact the police and report crimes. The helpline will also provide support to parents and professionals The dedicated NSPCC helpline number is 0800 136 663. The government has also asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies in state and independent schools in England looking at the extent and the severity of the issue and ensuring schools have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously. The review will conclude by the end of May 2021.
Read the news story: Government launches review into sexual abuse in schools
Helpline for people who have experienced sexual abuse in education settings launched
Ofsted have published the terms of reference for a review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges. The focus is on safeguarding policies and processes, the effectiveness of inspection, implementation and impact of the RSHE curriculum, interagency communication where there are concerns, how the voice of young people who have been harmed is recognised and taken seriously, and support arrangements that are put in place when things go wrong.
What you need to do now:-
Check that your safeguarding policy explicitly includes how pupils can report sexual abuse concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.