8 April 2021
The dedicated number which is run by the NSPCC, is now live and provides young people and adults who have experienced sexual abuse in schools with the appropriate support and advice, including how to contact the police and report their experiences. The helpline will also provide support to parents/carers and professionals.
The government has also asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies in state and independent schools. The review will look at the extent and the 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.
Both the helpline and review come after numerous anonymous testimonials of sexual harassment and abuse were submitted to the website Everyone’s Invited.
The announcement of a review follows the publication of the Government’s Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy in January. The Strategy encourages a whole-system response that brings together agencies, sectors and society to tackle child sexual abuse, as well as a focus on prevention and early intervention, to help protect children and empower professionals, parents and carers to keep them safe.
The Barnardo's Beacon project can provide sexual abuse training to schools across West Midlands, West Mercia, Warwickshire and Staffordshire and also offer direct consultation on individual cases.