Welcome to this week’s edition of the newsletter – I hope those of you who were on half-term last week managed to get at least some rest.
Yesterday (June 10) Ofsted published its Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges. Although this focuses on schools and colleges in England, abuse knows no boundaries, and BSA believes that the findings of the review are relevant and pertinent to all BSA member schools worldwide:
- School and college leaders should create a culture where sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are not tolerated, and where they identify issues and intervene early to better protect children and young people.
- In order to do this, they should assume that sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are happening in their setting, even when there are no specific reports, and put in place a whole-school approach to address them.
The report goes on to make ten further recommendations for schools. as well as others for multi-agency partners, government and the inspectorates. Actions for schools include reinforcing a culture where sexual abuse and sexual harassment are not tolerated, strengthening the RSHE curriculum and providing high-quality training for teachers delivering RSHE, more support for DSLs, closer working with local safeguarding partnerships and appropriate training for all staff and governors. The review included speaking to over 900 children and young people, and it reveals how prevalent such abuse is. For some children “incidents are so commonplace that [children] see no point in reporting them”. Indeed the issue is so widespread that it needs addressing for all children and young people. BSA urges member schools, therefore, to heed the review’s call that we should “act as though sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are happening, even where there are no specific reports.