Best Practice

Tackling sexual harassment – implementing the government guidance

New government advice on tackling sexual violence and sexual harassment between students has been published. Anna Cole looks at what the guidance says and how schools must now think about implementing it

In September 2016, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee published a report on sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools which caused deep concern among many people in the education sector and beyond.

The report came to this shocking conclusion: “The evidence we have gathered paints a concerning picture: the sexual harassment and abuse of girls being accepted as part of daily life; children of primary school age learning about sex and relationships through exposure to hard-core pornography; teachers accepting sexual harassment as being ‘just banter’; and parents struggling to know how they can best support their children.”

The evidence, said the committee, showed that the majority of perpetrators of abuse were boys, and the majority of victims were girls. “However it is essential that the negative impact on both boys and girls is recognised and addressed,” it added.

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