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Last reviewed on 19 October 2021
Ref: 43064
School types: All · School phases: All

Start building a culture where all pupils feel comfortable raising concerns about sexism and sexual harassment. Encourage pupils and staff to call out unacceptable behaviour and explain what you mean by a 'zero-tolerance' approach.

Key barriers to reporting

Ofsted's review of sexual abuse in schools found a number of reasons why pupils weren't reporting experiences of sexism and sexual harassment. These reasons include how pupils:

  • Don't see the point in reporting 'lower level' incidents because they're commonplace 
  • Are worried the next steps would be out of their control
  • Think they wouldn't be believed or that they’d be blamed, so don't feel confident asking for support 
  • Are concerned they'd be ostracised by their peers or branded a 'snitch' for getting someone into trouble

For further details on the findings of the review, take a look at our summary article.

Below you'll find guidance on the steps you can take to break down these barriers to reporting, creating a culture where all pupils feel comfortable raising any concerns. 

To encourage pupils to report 'lower level' incidents, such as sexist name-calling or being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos,

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