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New guidance from the DfE on peer-on-peer sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools

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Following the call from NAHT, the Department for Education has published new guidance for schools on sexual violence and sexual harassment between children. This guidance has been developed in consultation with a number of stakeholders, including NAHT, and gives schools a clear starting point, highlighting best practice and cross-referencing other advice, statutory guidance and the legal framework. Although individual schools will develop their policies and procedures, the aim of this guidance must be to improve the consistency of approach in schools across the country and to equip them with the practical information they need to handle instances of peer-on-peer sexual harassment and violence appropriately and carefully.

The guidance is split into four parts which cover:

  • What is meant by sexual violence and sexual harassment between children?  
  • What are schools' and colleges' legal responsibilities?
  • A whole school or college approach to preventing child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment
  • Responding to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment

NAHT welcomes this new advice as a vital step to support schools in dealing with peer-on-peer sexual violence and sexual harassment. NAHT has provided considerable input into the development of this guidance and is pleased that the department has made it clear that the advice will be kept under review. Schools must be able to raise any questions and give feedback so that the advice can be improved and updated to ensure it gives schools what they need when dealing with these incidents in practice.

You can find out more and download the guidance here