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New advice on sexual harassment between pupils in schools

18 December 2017

The Department for Education (DfE) has released new advice for governing bodies, senior leadership and designated safeguarding leads on sexual violence and harassment between children. The introduction of this advice is timely, given the wider focus on this issue. This comes on the back of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee that found nearly a third of 16 to 18 year old girls had experienced unwanted sexual touching. 

The advice gives a good summary of the various legal duties of schools as well as practical advice on responding to an immediate report of sexual violence or harassment. It also contains advice to schools on when to refer matters to the police.

The DfE is currently consulting on changes to the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance to better reflect the challenges schools face in this area.

Senior leaders and safeguarding leads should read the new advice given the increasing prevalence of sexual violence and harassment to ensure they are aware of the steps to take and their obligations, should they be faced with such an allegation. 

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