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NAHT comment on young people’s experiences of sexual harassment and violence

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The recent reports of sexual harassment and violence we have seen are shocking and deeply concerning. It is vital that any incident of sexual harassment or violence is reported so that it can be investigated, and the appropriate actions taken.

“There is clearly an urgent need to ask ourselves what more we can all do to prevent sexual harassment and violence now and in the future. There is no doubt that schools can and should play a key role in this work, but this is a problem that reaches far beyond the school gates.

“There is no place for sexual harassment or violence in our schools. Every school should have clear and well-established procedures in place for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and violence as part of their safeguarding procedures.

“It is important to remember that schools’ work goes beyond responding to incidents if and when they do occur. They also proactively seek ways to prevent such behaviour from happening in the first place. At the heart of that work is creating a culture where it is very clear that any form of sexual harassment or violence is completely unacceptable, and one where pupils feel confident to speak out should such behaviour occur, knowing that they will be listened to.

“The introduction of RSHE for all pupils in all schools will also enable a place in the curriculum for pupils to understand and explore the issues. Schools are doing vital work in this field.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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