A missed opportunity: joint response to new Government Safeguarding Guidance for Schools

Brook, PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum respond to new Government Safeguarding Guidance for Schools

Statutory safeguarding guidance launched by the Department for Education yesterday provides some helpful advice to schools but misses a huge opportunity by giving only passing reference to teaching children to keep themselves and each other safe. This is in spite of an Ofsted report last year which made a clear link between a lack of high-quality sex and relationships education and young people's vulnerability to inappropriate sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation, a link reiterated by victims of child sexual exploitation who gave evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry on the subject which reported this week.

Brook, the PSHE Association and the Sex Education Forum have recently launched advice for schools on sex and relationships education which addresses child sexual exploitation and abuse. These matters cannot be prevented or addressed without teaching children and young people about concepts such as consent and healthy relationships. We call on the Department for Education to build on the principles we set out and broaden its commitment to safeguarding to include teaching children and young people about how to keep themselves and each other safe.

 

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