Peer-on-peer abuse: are your child protection policies strong enough?

Peer-on-peer abuse: are your child protection policies strong enough?

Tonight's Panorama programme on BBC1 looks into the subject of child sexual abuse, where children sexually assault other children.

Our Child Protection in Education online training course covers peer-on-peer abuse with this information:

Abuse is not limited to harmful behaviours perpetrated by adults – children and young people can abuse too and this is known as peer-on-peer abuse. This is likely to include behaviours such as online bullying, gender-based violence, sexual touching/assaults and sexting. Staff should follow the procedures outlined in their child protection/safeguarding/anti-bullying/behaviour policies and discuss concerns with the designated member of staff for child protection.

No specific legal obligation

Teachers have a legal duty to report an alleged assault by an adult but there is no such legal obligation if a child is accused. Schools are advised to follow their own child protection procedures.

As reports of sexual offences on schools premises have increased in recent years it is vital that Child Protection Policies are robust enough to cover peer-on-peer abuse.

Sarah Hannafin, policy adviser for the National Association of Headteachers, is reported as saying:

"School leaders and schools want to get it right, but they're not always getting the help and support they need. There needs to be some more clarity in terms of the specific procedures that schools must take."

"When kids abuse kids" will be shown on BBCOne at 8.30pm on Monday 9th October.

EduCare can help

We are currently developing a new online training course that specifically covers peer-on-peer abuse. The course will be included in our EduCare for Education® e-learning service as soon as it is available, please get in touch if you would like to know more.

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