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Everyone’s Invited Review by Ofsted

Everyone’s Invited Review by Ofsted

Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS President, said:

“This new Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges makes clear the sheer scale of sexual abuse, harassment and online sexual abuse experienced by our children and young people, reinforcing the serious issues raised by the thousands of testimonials submitted via the Everyone’s Invited website. We welcome the recognition that the findings require extensive and sensitive work to shift culture as well respond effectively to individual incidents. We need to enable young people to share their experiences and receive the right support. While a significant volume of the issues relate to incidents and pressures online or outside of schools and colleges, they frequently involve pupils at parties or in public spaces, such as parks. It’s clear that a wider response is required beyond new guidance or changes to the curriculum, one that develops new expertise and also draws in parents, carers and communities, in order to protect others from harm.

“This new report from Ofsted helps broaden our understanding and it highlights some challenges and specific actions for educational settings of all kinds. We welcome the strengthened approach recommended for education settings and also the emphasis on the crucial role of local safeguarding partnerships (LSPs). Calls for greater clarity around the joint responsibilities of LSPs and education settings is helpful and we would particularly welcome a discussion with the Department for Education about the connectivity of independent schools to the local authority and local multiagency safeguarding efforts.

“Beyond that, change at a societal level is urgently required to challenge the misogyny, prejudice, harassment and abuse that is still all too common. This needs clear leadership and a comprehensive plan of coordinated action that draws together different departments, reforms and agendas, such as the current refresh of the government’s violence against women and girls strategy, with the introduction and embedding of the new relationships and sex education in all schools. A national campaign is also needed to deal with attitudes towards women, as well as the casual acceptance of degrading and over sexualised representations of children and young people and the insidious and pervasive impact of social and other media in facilitating and normalising the cheapening of sex. Healthy relationships work must also consider the needs of boys and young men and the wide range of identities and relationships that young people experience. Further work is needed in this area as well as to understand better the impact of race, religion and culture on these issues.”


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