ECONOMY

Ofsted: Sexual harassment has become normalised for school children

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exual harassment has become so normal in schools that children no longer see the point of reporting it, a damning investigation by Ofsted has warned.

Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said she was “shocked” by the Ofsted review which found easy access to pornography has set unhealthy expectations of sexual relationships, and revealed that schoolboys share nude photographs of girls “like a collection game.”

The report called for a culture change in schools and colleges, with headteachers assuming that sexual harassment is affecting their pupils even when there are no specific reports, and for more time spent teaching children about consent and sharing explicit images.

The government responded to the review by announcing more support for schools tackling sexual abuse.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson asked Ofsted to launch the rapid review of sexual harassment in schools following the Everyone’s Invited scandal, in which thousands of anonymous testimonials of abuse were published on the website.

Inspectors visited 32 state and private schools and colleges and spoke to more than 900 children about sexual harassment.

Thursday’s report found:

*Nine out of ten girls said that sexist name-calling and being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos happened “a lot” or “sometimes.”

*Boys talk about whose “nudes” they have and share them on platforms like WhatsApp or Snapchat. In one school girls said some pupils can be contacted by up to 11 different boys a night asking for nude pictures.

*Some evidence suggests inappropriate images and videos are being shared in primary schools.

*Children do not see the point of challenging or reporting harmful behaviour because it is seen as a normal experience.

*Many teachers consistently underestimate the scale of the problem.

*Some girls experience unwanted touching in school corridors.

*Children said words such as “slag” and “slut” are commonplace in schools and some teachers dismiss it as banter.

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