Schools: Sexual Offences

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to require schools to record incidents of sexual violence; and if he will require Ofsted to assess the effectiveness of schools in preventing incidents of sexual violence; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department’s statutory guidance for schools, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE), already makes clear that schools should record all of their concerns, discussions and decisions regarding safeguarding, and the reasons for those decisions, in writing.

The department recently strengthened KCSIE and introduced a new Part 5. This provides guidance on managing reports of child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment. The guidance is clear that the starting point for schools is to pass reports of rape, assault by penetration or sexual assault to the police.

Ofsted inspectors must always evaluate the effectiveness of how schools keep their pupils safe. If inspectors are made aware of safeguarding issues during the inspection process, they will check that these have been acted on . If inspectors find evidence they have not been dealt with this would be reflected in the judgement awarded to the school. If serious safeguarding concerns are reported to Ofsted outside of the inspection cycle, it can of course bring forward the inspection of a school.

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