We’d like to thank our associate education experts, Sara Alston, Gulshan Kayembe and Carolyn Unsted, for their help with this article.
Be explicit about unacceptable behaviours
Don’t just imply them or group them together in 1 term – clearly listing out what counts as a problematic and unacceptable behaviour will help staff and pupils recognise what is and isn’t OK or ‘normal’.
See a list of behaviours that count as child-on-child abuse in paragraph 35 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023. The below definitions may also help:
Sexual violence means rape, assault by penetration, or sexual assault (intentional sexual touching).
Sexual harassment means unwanted conduct of a sexual nature – such as sexual comments, sexual jokes or taunting, physical behaviour like interfering with clothes, or online harassment such as sexting.
Our article on responding to child-on-child sexual abuse explains the process and contains a template