Following the launch of the government's investigation into peer-on-peer sexual abuse, Ofsted has published its terms of reference.
The review will look at whether schools and colleges have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report sexual abuse concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Ofsted will visit a sample of schools and colleges where cases have been highlighted, with ISI where appropriate, to look at how well safeguarding is working and to discuss the wider issues raised by the evidence. The review will not report on individual schools or cases, but present a picture of good and poor practice across the country.
The review will consider a number of areas, including:
- Whether the safeguarding guidance to schools is strong enough to safeguard children;
- How schools can be further supported to teach the new RSHE curriculum;
- Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements; and
- How well schools and colleges listen to the voices of children when reporting sexual abuse
The review is to conclude by the end of May 2021.
Everyone's Invited - Browne Jacobson (Dai Durbridge)
Dai Durbridge, head of the education safeguarding team at lawyers, Browne Jacobson, has written two really helpful blog posts covering:
- Managing reports relating to current students
- Managing reports where the alleged perpetrator has left your setting
- Previously investigated reports
- Statement for press, parents, stakeholders and the wider community
- Insurance considerations
- Data protection issues – sharing and retaining evidence
- Policy, procedure and staff training
- Further help and support
Update 2: https://www.brownejacobson.com/education/training-and-resources/legal-updates/2021/04/everyones-invited-ofsted-to-review-safeguarding-policies
Beyond Referrals: levers for addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools (Contextual Safeguarding Network)
In my opinion this is the go-to guide for helping you look carefully at harmful sexual behaviour in your school. This toolkit includes a range of school self-assessment methods:
- Student Survey
- Staff Survey
- Parents' Survey
- Reviewing Policies and Procedures
- Reviewing Safeguarding and Behaviour Logs in Schools
- Hotspot Mapping Guidance
Download the toolkit here: https://www.csnetwork.org.uk/en/beyond-referrals-levers-for-addressing-harmful-sexual-behaviour-in-schools
Peer-on-peer abuse toolkit (Farrer and Co)
Legal provider Farrer & Co's Safeguarding Unit, in collaboration with Dr Carlene Firmin, MBE, from the University of Bedfordshire created a peer-on-peer abuse toolkit which was updated in 2019.
Download the toolkit here: https://www.farrer.co.uk/news-and-insights/peer-on-peer-abuse-toolkit/
Harmful sexual behaviour prevention toolkit (Lucy Faithfull Foundation)
Stop It Now! UK and Ireland was established in 2002 by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation – the only UK wide charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse. Recognising that around a third of child sexual abuse is believed to be carried out by under 18s, the Stop It Now! Campaign has a Harmful sexual behaviour prevention toolkit.
Find a range of other useful resources from Stop It Now! here: https://www.stopitnow.org.uk/resources/
For parents and carers: Sexual Abuse Learning Programme (Parents Protect)
Parents Protect (a project of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation) has developed an online child sexual abuse and exploitation awareness learning programme for parents, carers and professionals to help:
- Understand potential risks
- Recognise the signs of possible abuse in children
- Be aware of inappropriate behaviour in adults
- Know where to go for help if you have concerns and would like to talk about them
Find the programme here: https://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/sexual-abuse-learning-programme.htm
Dedicated NSPCC helpline 0800 136 663
The new helpline will provide both children and adults who are potential victims of sexual abuse in schools with the appropriate support and advice. This includes how to contact the police and report crimes if they wish. The helpline will also provide support to parents and professionals too.