As a staff, we are continuously updating our own knowledge and understanding through staff meetings, courses and research. This week we are looking at Harmful Sexual Behaviour - a topic that was highlighted during a recent nationwide OFSTED review.
I thought it would be useful to share some information with you as this can be a very concerning topic for parents.
On 10th June 2021, Ofsted published their highly anticipated review, based on visits to 32 schools and colleges, speaking to over 900 children and young people. The reviewing team also spoke to school leaders, governors, parents and local safeguarding partners.
•Nearly 90% of girls said being sent explicit pictures or videos of things they did not want to see happens a lot or sometimes to them or their peers. For boys this was 48%
•Nearly 80% of girls said the pressure to send nude or semi-nude images of themselves happens a lot or sometimes to them or their peers. For boys this was 40%
•90% of girls said sexist name calling happens a lot or sometimes to them or their peers. For boys this was over 70%
•Professionals can underestimate the scale of these behaviours and children and young people often don’t talk about it to adults
•Importance of a whole school approach that tackles unhealthy cultures and poor behaviours rather than viewing incidents in isolation
•RSHE curriculum planning is variable and the implementation was interrupted by Covid. Children and young people said they want more time to discuss sensitive issues at an earlier age, and teacher said they want more resources and training
•Multi-agency partnership working is variable and engagement across all types of schools is hard to achieve.
These issues were not isolated to secondary schools. As a consequence of the review and having reflected on our own practice, we have implemented the following changes:
- A carefully sequenced RSHE curriculum is in place delivered via the Jigsaw scheme
- Staff delivering this have all taken part in high quality training
- Staff record incidents of sexual behaviours, harassment and sexual violence, including online, and analyse these against the NSPCC HSB Toolkit to identify patterns and intervene early to prevent abuse
- Sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are not tolerated and are treated as serious behaviour incidents. These would be treated with the same severity and consequences as other serious behaviour incidents, in line with our behaviour policy.
- We belong to the local safeguarding partnership and access their training and updates
- All staff and governors are provided with training through an online portal as well as staff meetings and updates and resources are displayed in the staffroom for reference.
Staff understand that, as children grow through their early years and develop into later childhood, they continue to pass through different stages of development. We know that children remain individual and unique throughout their whole childhood and there is a wide range of generally accepted and expected behaviours within this age group. Knowing how to recognise and respond to age appropriate behaviours in children between the ages of 5-11 helps to support the development of healthy sexual behaviour and protect children from harm or abuse.
We feel it is important that you recognise these stages too so that you can respond to things that your child may report to you or behaviours you may observe.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour is only one strand of safeguarding. Please follow the link to find out further information:
Safeguarding | Langar C of E Primary School (secure-primarysite.net)