10 June 2021
Commenting on the Ofsted Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, published today, GSA chief executive Donna Stevens said:
“It is sobering to reflect on Ofsted’s finding that incidences of sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and bullying among young people happen at a rate far higher than that of which teachers and school leaders have previously been aware.
“School leaders understand the vital role they have to play, working together, in helping society to change the culture around these damaging behaviours and, as this report identifies, there are already examples of schools taking positive action.
“We fully support and welcome Ofsted’s recommendations, which offer clarity and the potential for a consistent approach to high-quality training for teachers, effective education for students, and multi-agency practice and communication.
“It is important for anyone experiencing abuse to speak to a trusted member of school staff, whether or not it involves someone from their school community.
“Listening to ALL young people lies at the heart of addressing these complex issues, but we must always be mindful that peer on peer abuse is overwhelmingly directed towards girls and young women; schools and wider society must not fail to give girls a voice and fulfil the trust they have placed in us by speaking out through Everyone’s Invited.”
Anyone affected by sexual abuse in schools can seek support and advice by calling the dedicated NSPCC helpline on 0800 136 663.