Women’s Aid responds to Ofsted’s review of abuse culture in schools
Amna Abdullatif, Children and Young People’s officer at Women’s Aid, said
“We are deeply concerned by the serious allegations of sexual harassment and abuse that have taken place across schools and colleges in the UK, and which have prompted an urgent Ofsted investigation.
The harrowing and brave testimonials shared by many children and young people through the website Everyone’s Invited call for us to listen and respond.
Back in 2016, Women’s Aid issued a similar statement of concern due to the findings of a report by the government’s women and equalities committee, raising failures around dealing with violence and abuse occurring in schools.
Although the committee recommended making sex and relationship education compulsory – due to be implemented by schools in September 2021 – we are concerned how effective this will be if there is no commitment to funding and support. This funding issue applies to schools but also specialist services that can work with schools to support them with disclosures and provide therapeutic care for those children and young people impacted by abuse, whether occurring in school or at home.
Women’s Aid is currently running the Safer Futures Project, using the Expect Respect Healthy Relationships Toolkit, which provides age-appropriate, easy-to-follow resources for children and young people aged 4-18. These resources are aimed at preventing domestic abuse by addressing the root causes linked to cultures of abuse and violence that impact women and children and looking at what is a healthy relationship.
Designed for those working with children and young people, the Expect Respect Healthy Relationships Toolkit is free to download and available to all. Free training for those using the Toolkit is also available. Both the updated Toolkit and free training are part of the Women’s Aid partnership with Yves St Laurent Beauty to prevent intimate partner violence and educate children and young people about healthy relationships.”