For the first time, Government has published advice for schools and colleges on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and harassment between children.
This important new guidance covers definitions and legal responsibilities, and places emphasis on a whole-school (or college) approach to safeguarding and child protection.
One aspect of a whole-school-approach is a planned curriculum. Section 25 of the guidance states that:
'The most effective preventative education programme will be through a wholeschool approach that prepares pupils for life in modern Britain. The school will have a clear set of values and standards, and these will be upheld and demonstrated throughout all aspects of school life. This will be underpinned by the school’s behaviour policy and pastoral support system, and by a planned programme of evidence-based content delivered through the curriculum'.
'Such a programme will be developed to be age and stage of development appropriate, and may tackle such issues as:
- healthy and respectful relationships;
- what respectful behaviour looks like;
- gender roles, stereotyping, equality;
- body confidence and self-esteem;
- prejudiced behaviour;
- that sexual violence and sexual harassment is always wrong; and
- addressing cultures of sexual harassment'
Download: Sexual violence & sexual harrasment between children in schools and colleges (2017), Department for Education