“Sexual abuse of girls in schools is accepted as part of ‘lad culture’, government report warns!”
Speaking plainly I found this article and the research reported in the Telegraph to be shocking! Further studies need to be carried out and action taken where necessary as this is quite simply unacceptable!
It highlights the “worrying trend” of young children who learn about sex and relationships from online pornography. And it says that boys are now surrounded with social and cultural messages that encourage them to act in “sexually dominant ways, and to collude with other males who do so”.
The report discloses that Ofsted inspectors are now forced to check for examples of “sexist” bullying when evaluating schools. The document, written by the Department for Education in response to a report by the women and equalities committee, details a series of plans to try to tackle the “worrying problem”.
The Government needs to prioritise action to ensure sex and relationship education reflects the realities of the 21st century rather than the pre-smartphone age when guidance was last updatedMaria Miller, committee chairman
The report states: “The scale and impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools set out by the inquiry shines a light on a worrying picture: sexual harassment and abuse of girls being accepted as part of daily life; primary school-aged children learning about sex and relationships through exposure to hardcore pornography and a prevailing culture in schools which seemingly condones sexual harassment as being ‘just banter’.”
It discloses that Ofsted will consider “adapting” its training to ensure that inspectors are able to recognise and deal with cases of “sexual harassment and violence” in schools.
For the first time, Ofsted inspectors will now request that schools hand over “records and analysis of bullying, discriminatory and prejudicial behaviour, either directly or indirectly, including racist, sexist, disability and homophobic bullying, use of derogatory language and racist incidents”.
Teachers will also be surveyed so that the Government can find out the scale of the problem because there is currently “limited evidence available in this area”.
Schools also need a clearer definition of exactly what constitutes sexual harassment and when an incident should be reported to the police, the report says.
“As part of our work supporting schools to develop a code of practice for a whole school approach to inclusion and tolerance, we will be working with sector experts to provide more clarity on what constitutes ‘low level’ sexual harassment that might not meet the threshold for criminal behaviour, but are unwelcome and create an intolerant and intimidating environment,” the Government said.
However, the former Cabinet minister Maria Miller, who chairs the committee, said that while the Government had “acknowledged the seriousness of the problem,” it had failed to endorse any proposals that had “real teeth”.
Ms Miller told The Daily Telegraph that girls were being made to “deal with behaviour that would never be acceptable in any workplace” and called on the Government to make age appropriate sex and relationship education mandatory in all schools.
She said: “The Government needs to prioritise action to ensure sex and relationship education reflects the realities of the 21st century rather than the pre-smartphone age when guidance was last updated.”
In their report, MPs on the women’s equality committee found that almost a third of girls aged 16 to 18 had experienced “unwanted sexual touching” at school.
They also revealed that nearly three quarters of all girls and boys aged 16 to 18 and said they heard terms such as “slut” or “slag” used on a regular basis.
And the report warned that a pornography-fuelled “lad culture” was responsible for the sexual harassment of schoolgirls.
The Government pledged that it would make “significant progress” in the area of sexual harassment in schools.
It said: “It is clear that action is needed to make sure that all schools are equipped to respond appropriately and tackle these issues. There is cross-government support for prioritising work to make significant progress in this area, including through the strategy addressing violence against women and girls.”
The Government pledged to set up an advisory group to look at how the issues raised can be put into the official guidance given to schools across the country.
“We recognise that young people are influenced by the behaviours and attitudes they experience in all aspects of their lives, including in school,” it said.
“Prevailing stereotypes about traditional gender roles – where men are expected to be powerful and sexually assertive, while women are judged on their physical appearance and sexual availability to men – form the basis of unhealthy and disrespectful relationships.”
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this report and the issues and problems that it presents. Please join in the conversation, I look forward to hearing from you.