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Beyond referrals: levers for addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools

Young people report that schools are locations where students can encounter sexual harm. This can involve a range of harmful sexual behaviours from name-calling and sexual bullying to sexual assault. Schools are also places that can provide safety to young people and promote positive ideas about gender and relationships. Research indicates that schools need whole-schools approaches to preventing harmful sexual behaviour. This needs schools to develop interventions beyond referrals to designated safeguarding leads or social care. To do so, schools, multi-agency partners and inspectorates must understand the levers for preventing and intervening into contexts of harm.

The Contextual Safeguarding team, supported by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, have created a range of resources for schools, multi-agency partnerships and inspectorates for tackling harmful sexual behaviour in schools. This page provides all resources for schools to assess their own response to harmful sexual behaviour. This includes a traffic-light tool for self- assessment, a series of 5 webinars that explain how to use the tool and an Excel spreadsheet to record the scores of self-assessment.