Schools: Sexual Offences

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Labour, Rotherham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timetable is for the publication of interim guidance for schools on how to deal with sexual harassment and assault; and whether teachers will receive training on how to use that guidance.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Education)

Schools and colleges should be safe places for all children to learn and we are clear that sexual harassment and assault should never be tolerated in a school.

Schools are under a statutory duty, to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils. As part of this duty they must have regard to the department’s statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). KCSIE sets out what staff should know and do to protect children. It also sets out that schools should have an effective child protection policy. The policy should include procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse and how allegations will be investigated and dealt with.

My Rt hon. Friend, the Minister for Women, set out the steps the department is taking to address the issue of sexual harassment and violence in schools during the debate in the House of Commons on 2 November. We will be publishing interim advice for schools this term. We will also launch a public consultation this term on proposed updates to KCSIE. The department intend to publish the revised statutory guidance, for information, early in the summer term 2018. This will then be commenced and come into force at the start of the September 2018 school year.

KCSIE sets out that governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. This training should be regularly updated and should be in line with advice from the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

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