The TES is reporting that action is needed to tackle the “worrying” picture of sexual harassment and violence in schools across the country, the government has said.
The government has acknowledged that “action is needed” to make sure all schools are equipped to respond appropriately and tackle issues around sexual harassment and violence.
In a response to a report by the Women and Equalities Committee, it added: “There is cross-government support for prioritising work to make significant progress in this area, including through the strategy addressing violence against women and girls.”
But the committee and teaching unions say the government’s response does not go far enough.
The committee found an inconsistency in how schools deal with sexual harassment and violence, a disregard for existing equality law and obligations, and a lack of guidance and support for teachers to deal with issues effectively.
The report made a series of recommendations – including making relationships and sex education (SRE) compulsory, and ensuring Ofsted looks at how schools respond to incidents of sexual harassment.
Maria Miller, chair of the committee and MP, said: “The scale of the problem of sexual harassment in schools demands a robust and urgent response from those who take responsibility for our children’s safety when they are at school.
“Schools are responsible for fostering the best environment for young people to learn; fear of sexual harassment, or worse, should not be part of that.”
Is there a problem with sexual harassment at your school? What can be done to tackle this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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