As noted in our earlier blogs the sheer number of testimonies shared on the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website strongly suggests that rape culture is prevalent not only in universities and independent schools, but also in the state education sector. Over 50 state schools have been named. Many education authorities are only now becoming cognisant of the extent of its existence and, as a result, the liabilities to which they may be exposed. State schools will be part of Ofsted’s focus as much as the independent sector.
It goes without saying that state education establishments have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children at their establishment. Schools and colleges, and of course their staff, form part of the wider safeguarding system for children and all those who come into contact with such children have a role to play.
IICSA recently released its research report titled ‘Child Sexual Abuse in the Context of Schools’, which presents the Inquiry’s findings about the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in the context of schools.
The researchers examined the experiences of sexual abuse across several school settings including residential, non-residential, independent and state schools.
Male pupils made up the majority of those who reported abuse to IICSA’s ‘Truth Project’, and accounted for over 75% of all pupils who reported being abused, in independent and special schools. Fifty four percent of the research participants, who were sexually abused in state schools were female.
On 25 April 2019, an advance payment scheme opened for certain survivors of childhood abuse in Scotland. A link to this Scottish Government scheme is here. From 10am on 29 April 2019, a free telephone support line will be open for applicants on 0808 169 9740.
Key points of the scheme are that: