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Friday, 18 May 2018

Guidance issued to schools to tackle child-on-child sexual violence and harassment

Written by Dan O'Donoghue

Schools have been given new guidance to deal with allegations of child-on-child sexual violence and harassment.

The Department for Education guidelines, which will come into force in September, set out advice for schools on how to manage reports of abuse and require staff to hold more than one emergency contact number for each child.

Other changes include making the guidance even clearer that where staff have a safeguarding concern they should act on it immediately.

The department has also announced that it will recruit organisations to join a new safety working group to help schools ensure pupils' online safety and make sure parents and carers remain informed.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "Pupils and parents rightly expect schools to be safe places, where children are free to enjoy their time in education without fear of violence or harassment.

"Schools and colleges play an important part in keeping children safe, so it's right that we take the necessary steps to ensure staff have the guidance and support they need to deal with concerns about a child's wellbeing."

Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan added: "I welcome the updated education safeguarding guidance and am pleased with the inclusion of advice on how to deal with incidents of sexual violence and sexual harassment in schools.

"I'm also glad young carers have been recognised in the wider guidance as needing early help for issues like stress, as Barnardo's research shows they are often not identified at school.

The revised statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE), will come into effect for schools and colleges on September 3.

Until that point schools and colleges are advised to continue to use KCSIE 2016 Guidance.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) David Jones / PA Wire.