Management Information Sheet

Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, Ofsted, 10 June 2021

MI Sheet TypeInformation
To Be Completed By: 17/06/2021
MI Number:91/21
Publication Date:11/06/2021 12:00:00
LA Contact:Lucy Canning; Claire Farrelly; Kelly Waters
Audience:Designated Safeguarding Leads; Headteachers; Chairs of Governors
Links:MI Sheet Ofsted Thematic Review.docx

Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, Ofsted, 10 June 2021

Ofsted published the findings of its thematic review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges on 10 June. The review included visits to 32 schools and colleges, conversations with over 900 children and young people about the prevalence of peer-on-peer sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online, in their lives and the lives of their peers as well as conversations with school leaders, teachers and other stakeholders.

The report highlights how prevalent sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are for children and young people and the barriers to children speaking about their experiences even where encouraged to do so. In light of these issues the report recommends that even where school and college leaders do not have specific information that indicates sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are problems for their children and young people, they should act on the assumption that they are.

The report makes a number of recommendations for school and colleges leaders, multi-agency partners as well as central government. It does acknowledge however that schools and colleges cannot tackle sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online, on their own, and neither should they. Locally, whilst we acknowledge that there is more we need to do, we know that many education settings are already reviewing their arrangements for responding to sexual violence and harassment, and proactively seek advice regarding the strategic response as well as individual cases of concern.

We want to assure education providers that over the coming weeks, the Education Safeguarding Team will be working with colleagues from Education Inclusion & Opportunity, the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Team and other relevant partners to provide an offer of support, guidance and training to education settings. We will communicate this support as soon as possible in line with developments in national guidance and policy.

In the interim if you wish to discuss the issues raised in the report further, please contact the Education Safeguarding Team via:

If you are concerned about Harmful Sexual Behaviour, please contact the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Team.

For advice regarding the RSHE curriculum, please contact Josie Rayner-Wells, Senior Adviser Inclusion - Early Intervention and Prevention: