Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children
We recognise that pupils can abuse other children and that child-on-child abuse can manifest in many ways, including physical abuse, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying, online bullying, youth-produced imagery (sexting), abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers, criminal and sexual exploitation, upskirting, initiation and inappropriate harmful sexualised behaviours, and that it could happen here.
It is very clear that this abuse should always be treated seriously, and never just as “banter”, “having a laugh” or “part of growing up”. The Trust have a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment: it is never acceptable and it will not be tolerated in our schools. All incidents of sexual violence and harassment will be challenged, and the safeguarding culture in the Trust ensures that staff and pupils can thrive and feel safe.
The Trust recognise that even if there are no reports in our settings it does not mean it is not happening and staff are vigilant to all potential incidents. The Trust will promote an ongoing culture of vigilance to create a safe environment for children. Any concerns around child-on-child abuse must be reported and recorded in line with the child protection procedures outlined in the Safeguarding policy and reported to the designated safeguarding lead or deputy as soon as possible.
All staff at Ethos Academy Trust would like to reassure all parents and carers that we will continue to work openly and transparently to ensure the safety of all our pupils in relation to safeguarding concerns. All concerns are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.