Schools ‘must take zero-tolerance approach to sex assaults by pupils’

The Evening Standard is reporting that a former Cabinet minister has stated that many schools are unsure about what they should report to police and they must take a ‘zero-tolerance’ attitude towards sexual assaults.

Former Cabinet minister Maria Miller said some schools were receiving “mixed messages” about what they should report to police, in part because of the lack of formal guidance.

The Tory MP, who chairs Parliament’s Women and Equalities committee, said it had become “the norm” that many schools failed to tackle head on peer-on-peer abuse. 

Official figures show that more than 1,000 criminal incidents — ranging in severity from “sexting” to rape — have taken place in London schools in the past four years, although not all the victims were children.

The Government came under attack from MPs last month for not doing enough to ensure that schools were adequately protecting children from peer abuse. Mrs Miller admitted there was a “natural tension” between the Government’s desire to give schools autonomy and the need for them to know what was acceptable and what was not. 

She told the Standard: “This is where guidance is so important… to make sure schools have a clear plan for how to tackle this. At the moment it is clear that they tackle these issues in very different ways. We need to make sure that wherever a child goes to school they can be confident that their school is going to take these things very seriously indeed.” 

More at: Maria Miller: Schools ‘must take zero-tolerance approach to sex assaults by pupils’

Do you agree with Maria Miller? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Categories: Leadership, Policy and Safeguarding.

Comments

  1. amc89avfc

    ACallToMenUK SchoolsImprove could not agree more – far too many staff completely unaware of the symptoms and stimulus surrounfing it all.

  2. BSCit

    I’ve been teaching students about sexual harassment, and how to deal with it for about 15 years. I didn’t realise how far ahead we were at the time. If we can’t get even basic conversations about relationships, consent etc on the curriculum, and train staff to do this properly, we will continue to have these situations in schools. We need stat PSHE. And proper training for staff. Trouble is, it’s all tied up with gender, other discriminations, etc etc, and when you’ve got Trump demonstrating behaviours and saying stuff that is so disrespectful, I despair.

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