ATL comment on Government response to ‘sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools’ report

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Press release
29 November 2016 by ATL Media Office
Commenting on the Government’s response to the report on sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools from the Women and Equalities Committee, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: 

“Parents should be certain that when they send their child to school they are sending them to a safe and supportive environment where they will not be subjected to sexual harassment or violence. ATL strongly believes that mandatory age appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), taught by qualified teachers in time-tabled PSHE lessons, will help create that environment. These lessons must be taught in all schools, and academies and free schools should not be able to opt-out. 

“If the Government is finally taking this seriously, then we are pleased. This was an issue they dismissed when ATL members raised it at our annual conference in March.

“We welcome the Government’s intention to convene an advisory group to review existing Department for Education guidance, but schools need increased resources for pastoral care as well as training for all staff to ensure that children are supported.”

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