Following the publication of the Government's Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy in January, a new helpline to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse in education settings has now been created.
The dedicated number, run by the NSPCC, has been set up to provide both children and adults who are victims of sexual abuse in schools with the appropriate support and advice, including how to contact the police and report crimes if they wish. The helpline will also provide support to parents and professionals.
The Government has also asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies in state and independent schools, to be concluded by the end of May.
The review will look at the extent and 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 also make sure there is sufficient guidance on how schools should deal with sexual harassment and violence allegations, and whether the current inspection regimes in both state and private schools are strong enough to address concerns and promote the welfare of children.
You can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0800 136 663, or you can email email@example.com. As ever, if you have any questions or need my help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a message on 020 7219 5972.