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Teachers report inadequate training on peer-on-peer abuse

25 May 2021

Despite the increased media and regulatory focus on peer-on-peer abuse within schools, teachers are still reporting that they feel undertrained and ill-equipped to recognise and respond to allegations and incidents.

In a survey commissioned by BBC Radio 4's File on 4 and the NASUWT, more than half of respondents said they did not think adequate procedures were in place in their schools to deal with child-on-child assault and harassment. There is also evidence that some staff are unaware of the forms of peer-on-peer abuse or their responsibilities to tackle them. Before completing our online EduCompli child protection training module, more than 10% of staff believed that it was not their job to challenge behaviours such as grabbing breasts or genitals or flicking bras.

The statutory guidance, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, requires schools and academy trusts to ensure that their child protection policy covers peer-on-peer abuse. This should include a clear statement that abuse should never be passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”. All staff should be aware of systems within their school which support safeguarding, including the child protection policy, and all staff should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. Evidencing active learning and the impact of training is crucial, not only to demonstrate compliance to Ofsted but to give staff the confidence they need to keep children safe.

Our staff training package, Educompli, provides staff with high quality training written by our experts, and includes a management platform where you can evidence the outcomes of that training. Courses include safeguarding and GDPR.

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