education

Urgent review into sexual abuse in schools as thousands of pupils come forward


It comes after thousands of students shared their experiences (Picture: Getty Images)

An immediate review into sexual abuse in schools has been announced by the Department for Education.

Watchdog Ofsted will look at safeguarding policies in state and independent schools to find out ‘the extent and severity of the issue’.

It comes after more than 10,000 reports were posted on Everyone’s Invited – a website for students to share experiences of sexual harassment.

The DfE said the review will also look at ensuring there is enough guidance on how schools should deal with sexual harassment and violence allegations, and whether current school inspection systems are strong enough to address any concerns.

A new helpline to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse in schools, run by the NSPCC, will go live on Thursday, the department added.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘Sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent and it is vital that these allegations are dealt with properly.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said it is ‘vital’ the allegations are dealt with properly (Picture: Getty Images)

‘While the majority of schools take their safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously, I am determined to make sure the right resources and processes are in place across the education system to support any victims of abuse to come forward.

‘This Government is committed to ensuring victims feel supported to refer the most serious allegations to the police via the helpline, safe in the knowledge that everything possible will be done to bring offenders to justice.

‘No child or young person should have to experience abuse. But if something isn’t right, they should speak to someone they trust to raise concerns, whether that’s family, a friend, teacher or social worker, helpline or the police.’

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