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We’re facing a national crisis of sexual violence and harassment at school. The government and schools must take action now


1 in 3 16-18 year old girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school

92% of girls have been sent unsolicited explicit pictures or videos

600 rapes in schools were reported to police between 2012 and 2015 – an average of one rape every day of the school year

We previously successfully campaigned for children to learn about the different forms of violence against women and girls, with Department for Education statutory guidance published in 2019 giving schools information on sexual violence and how to tackle it, and advice on sexism, misogyny, homophobia, talking about consent and understanding relationships. We also helped bring human rights challenges around schools’ failures to keep girls safe from sexual violence.

Now, we are calling for schools to take a Whole School Approach to tackling gender-based violence, because attitudes aren’t only shaped by the curriculum taught in the classroom – they are learned through the behaviours modelled and what is tolerated by those around them. And currently, schools are doing nowhere near enough to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

A Whole School Approach means schools embedding gender equality with training for all school staff on sexual violence, training for teachers on how to deliver relationships, sex and health education, and giving both young people and staff the skills to respond to, challenge and prevent violence against women and girls within their establishment and the local community.


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