The Telegraph reports that ‘some of the country's leading child safety experts’ have demanded that PSHE education which teaches children about sexual abuse and relationships becomes mandatory. The Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless, and Barnardos CEO Javed Khan have called for statutory PSHE to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and abuse a year after more than 1,400 children were sexually exploited by gangs in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The Telegraph article can be read here and the PSHE Association press release on this story is available to read here.
Calls for statutory PSHE as more than 5,500 sex assaults reported in school over past three years “Freedom of Information requests sent to all UK forces showed there were nearly 4,000 alleged physical sexual assaults and more than 600 rapes. At least a fifth of offences were carried out by children, so-called “peer-on-peer” abuse, but details about the rest of the assaults are not known.”
“The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, said schools and professionals working with children must be more attuned to abuse, particularly when it takes place on school grounds. I want Personal, Social, Health and Economic education with a relationships and sex component to be part of the national curriculum. Every child need to understand what is inappropriate or illegal behaviour.” Read the BBC article in full here and the PSHE Association news article here
On the 10th September Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society released their report on child sexual exploitation. The Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley spoke at the launch. The report shows that children with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation than other children, and face additional barriers to protection and to receiving support. The report calls on governments in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure that accessible and relevant PSHE education is made available to children and young people with learning disabilities. The report can be read here and the PSHE Association press release is available here
ChildLine have released their annual report on calls to their helpline. Findings include that the top three concerns counselled were family relationships, low self-esteem/unhappiness and abuse, with four of the top ten issues relate to mental health - these are low self-esteem/unhappiness, self-harm, suicidal feelings and mental health/depressive disorders. The report also shows a 9% increase in the counselling sessions related to self-esteem/unhappiness; a 4% in sessions related to domestic/partner violence; and an 8% increase in sessions relating to sexual abuse/ online sexual abuse. The annual review can be read here.
Most teenagers don’t think before they post to social networks, an Ask.fm survey of 2,905 American, British and Irish teens and their parents has shown. 80% of teens said they would post without thinking about the consequence. 38 per cent feel disappointed if they don’t get responses quickly. 52 per cent of parents say their biggest concern is how much time their teens spend on social apps, but 43 per cent don’t track their teens social media usage.The Independent article can be read here