Last week, the National Education Union (NEU) and UK Feminista, a feminist pressure group, launched their report regarding sexual harassment of girls in schools, in the Houses of Parliament. This follows the debate by MPs in Parliament last month, about sexual harassment and violence in schools.
Many of the findings and recommendations of the report echo those of the Women and Equalities Committee last year, when it published its report on the inquiry into sexual harassment and violence in schools.
For schools in particular, the NEU and UK Feminista recommend the following:
“adopt a ‘whole school approach’ to tackling sexism
take a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment”
Governing boards are responsible and accountable for safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of pupils. To help fulfil their legal responsibilities in this regard, all governing boards should have a nominated safeguarding governor/trustee who should liaise with the designated safeguarding lead and/or headteacher to consider how existing policies and procedures tackle sexism and sexual harassment in their school/trust. This should be fed back to the full governing board or relevant committee with any recommendations for review, where necessary.
The full report can be read here and an explanation of each recommendation above, is provided on page 26.
To coincide with this report, the DfE has produced advice for schools on “sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges”. It outlines details on what constitutes sexual harassment and violence and what legal responsibilities schools need to follow.