Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Safeguarding Update: Sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Following Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse in UK schools that was published on Thursday 10th June 2021, we wanted to share with you some updates on this matter. The report highlighted that young people feel that sexual harassment, unwanted sexual behaviours and online sexual abuse, is so commonplace that they no longer think about reporting it. The problem extends beyond schools with most abuse occurring online or in social situations away from education settings.
The link below will allow to read OFSTED’s report:
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which can occur online and offline. The definitions used by the Department for Education (DfE) are as follows:
• Peer on peer sexual abuse: this includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, up-skirting and sexting.
• Sexual harassment: this includes sexual comments, sexual jokes or taunting, physical behaviours such as deliberately brushing against someone, displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature
• Online sexual harassment: this includes sharing of sexual images, sexual comments and messages, sexual exploitation, coercion and threats
• Sexual violence
We want to assure you that we take all concerns which may be raised involving sexual harassment and sexual violence, seriously. Any allegation of peer-on-peer abuse, sexual harassment and sexual violence will be dealt with in line with DfE guidance and Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2021.
Staff at Caldew School are expected to challenge any form of derogatory or sexualised language or behaviour and have been trained to share any safeguarding concerns raised about a child by reporting this to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead. This is to ensure the child receives appropriate support. We are also continuing to actively encourage all pupils to ‘‘call-out’’ and report any incidents of sexual harassment they may see or experience.
Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment (online or offline) will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This kind of behaviour is never acceptable and it is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support.
We will discuss any concerns about a child with the child’s parents/carers and will normally notify the parents of all the children involved, unless we believe that notifying the parents would increase the risk to the child.
We are aware that we also have a crucial role to play in teaching young people about sexual consent, sexual bullying, healthy relationships and respect for others and we will continue to do this through our Lessons for Life curriculum; form tutor time and year group assembly programme.
What to do if your son/daughter has been a victim of sexual harassment or sexual violence.
Please contact our safeguarding team at Caldew School so that we can support you and your child:
· Designated Safeguarding Lead – Miss Helen Howson Helen.Howson@caldew.cumbria.sch.uk
· Pastoral Manager – Safeguarding – Mrs. Sheila Taylor Sheila.Taylor@caldew.cumbria.sch.uk
· Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr. Paul Hammond Paul.Hammond@caldew.cumbria.sch.uk