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Educate Magazine - 2021-05-01

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NSPCC helpline launched

Education news

A new NSPCC helpline for sexual harassment and abuse in schools has been launched to provide both children and adults who are victims of sexual abuse in schools with the appropriate support and advice. This includes how to contact the police and report crimes if they wish. The helpline will also provide support to parents and professionals too. The government has also asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies in state and independent schools. The review to look at the extent and the severity of the issue and ensure schools have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately. It will make sure there is sufficient guidance on how schools should deal with sexual harassment and violence allegations. Ofsted will work with representatives from social care, police, victim support groups, school and college leaders and the Independent Schools Council. The review will conclude by end of May 2021 and will seek to establish where safeguarding arrangements and processes are good and have worked well and where improvements are needed. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent and it is vital that these allegations are dealt with properly. I am determined to make sure the right resources and processes are in place across the education system to support any victims of abuse to come forward. “No child or young person should have to experience abuse. But if something isn’t right, they should speak to someone they trust to raise concerns, whether that’s family, a friend, teacher or social worker, helpline or the police.” All schools are also now required to provide relationships and sex and education to all secondary pupils and relationships education to all primary age pupils. Important issues such as personal privacy, respect and consent to ensure that more young people have a better understanding of how to behave towards their peers, are part of the guidance. The dedicated NSPCC helpline number is 0800 136 663. Anyone with concerns should visit to find out how to get help: stopabusetogether.campaign.gov.uk/

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