Teachers play a vital role in supporting children to develop healthy, positive relationships, learn how to treat others with kindness and stand up against abusive or unkind behaviour.
High quality teaching about relationships can show children how to respect other people's boundaries, how to communicate in a healthy way with an understanding of consent, and how to challenge stereotypes.
This teaching takes place both in the classroom across a broad and balanced curriculum, and outside the classroom by encouraging students to challenge prejudice.
This section brings together resources to support effective teaching and safeguarding.
The scale of the issue
Crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls such as sexual harassment, rape, online abuse and domestic abuse, can have a profound and long-lasting impact on victims.
The Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges (2021) surveyed children aged 13+ on what types of harmful sexual behaviours they think happened ‘a lot’ or ‘sometimes’ between people their age:
of girls said sexual assault
of girls said receiving pictures or videos they did not want to see
of boys said rumours about sexual activity
of girls said experiencing sexist name-calling
How teachers can help
Here you can find up-to-date guidance on responding to and preventing abuse in a school setting (safeguarding), as well as resources for teaching about sexual harassment, sexual violence and the abuse of women and girls.
Find out more about what you can do as a teacher and/or designated safeguarding lead (DSL) if you’re worried about a child who may have experienced abuse or is displaying concerning behaviour.
Explore a range of resources to deepen your knowledge and build your confidence on this issue to support effective teaching.