Schools unearthing abusive behaviour have nowhere to turn for help, experts say

The Huffington News reports that teachers who identify abusive behaviour among their pupils have nowhere to turn for proper support, despite government plans to ramp up relationships education in schools, according to experts.

Despite studies revealing nearly a quarter of teenage boys have engaged in “sexual coercion”, the growing impact of easily accessible pornography and the rise in incidents of sexting, even schools with a robust approach to tackling the issue are struggling.

Nicky Stanley and Christine Barter, lecturers at the University of Central Lancashire, advised the Commons’ women and equalities select committee on identifying and preventing abusive behaviour among young people.

They said while the move to introduce such teaching in school is welcome, it is lacking a next step. 

Studies show English teenagers are more likely than those in other countries to engage in sexting and nearly a third of girls aged 16-18 had experienced unwanted sexual touching at school. 

Both lecturers said “lad culture” played a huge role in normalising and minimising the behaviour of teens who put pressure on their peers to have sex, engage in sexual acts or harass them to share explicit messages or pictures. 

Experts and charities have both warned the government must be mindful of the “patchy” approach that is currently taken towards sex education, with some schools running their own highly effective programmes, while others shy away from teaching anything beyond the basics.

Read more Schools unearthing abusive behaviour have nowhere to turn for help, experts say

How much training have you had on dealing with abusive behaviour? Do you feel that you don’t get enough support? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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