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Which is more shocking?

March 31, 2021 1:33 PM

jjp3 (Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash)Recent revelations from a website which gathered testimony from more than 10300 young people, at both independent and state schools, about treatment that amounted to sexual harassment or abuse, and in some cases rape has , rightly, been all over the news in recent days. These testimonies paint a shocking picture of indifference by the authorities .

What is perhaps more shocking was that back in 2016 the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee oversaw a groundbreaking report on the issue

They found "A third of 16- to 18-year-olds stated that they had experienced unwanted touching, so sexual assault at school, and two-thirds of 13- to 21-year-olds said that they'd suffered harassment at school.

The 2016 report found that sexual harassment and abuse of girls was being "accepted as part of daily life" in schools, with many teachers treating sexual harassment as "just banter".

Conservative MP Maria Miller who chaired the committee has now called for an urgent Ofsted inquiry into allegations of school sexual abuse as part of a "deep dive" investigation to establish why complaints by pupils of rape, harassment and assault were not being taken seriously.

Miller, who said a disturbing culture has been allowed to take root in schools. "Nothing has changed in the last five years," she said. "Ofsted needs to now look at the data it's been collecting to find out why the situation has not improved for children."

"What is needed is not new inquiries but getting schools to adhere to the advice that has been issued," she said. "We need a change of culture that means that young women do not start their lives thinking that sexual harassment is just part of normal life."

The government did issue new guidance to schools after the report but there is little evidence of an advisory group and a research programme promised by ministers in response to the 2016 ,

A survey at the time found that one-third of teachers had no idea the guidance had been updated and only 20 per cent had received training on the issue.

You are left with the impression that once again the government did a good job of saying the right things back in 2016 but then lost interest as the media caravan moved on, That is the most shocking thing!