In April 2016 the Women and Equalities Select Committee launched the first parliamentary inquiry into the scale and impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools. It comes as new research shows how young people are being affected by this problem.
There is also a call for evidence and written submissions for the inquiry. The deadline for submissions was Sunday 22 May 2016.
On 13 September 2016 the Committee published their report into the inquiry. The report outlines evidence that:
- almost a third (29%) of 16-18 year old girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school
- nearly three-quarters (71%) of all 16-18 year old boys and girls say they hear terms such as ‘slut’ or ‘slag’ used towards girls at schools on a regular basis
- 59% of girls and young women aged 13-21 said in 2014 that they had faced some form of sexual harassment at school or college in the past year
Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Committee said: ‘Our inquiry has revealed a concerning picture. We have heard girls talk about sexual bullying and abuse as an expected part of their everyday life; with teachers accepting sexual harassment as “just banter”; and parents struggling to know how they can best support their children. The Government must take a lead and make it clear that sexual harassment in schools is completely unacceptable and support schools, teachers, parents and young people to tackle this widespread problem. Our report sets out clear recommendations for how this can be achieved and we hope that the Government will implement them immediately.’