Response to Ofsted report on Sexual Harassment in schools

Updated: Mar 17

In light of further widespread reports of sexual harassment in schools, Ofsted must take a role in bringing about change.

  • Good Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is more important right now than ever before

  • Schools and teachers need support not demonisation

  • Young people want and value RSE. But they find it disengaging and disconnected to the realities of their lives

  • Young people must be listened to and the realities of their lives must be reflected in school RSE provision

  • Young men need to be taught what is and isn’t acceptable

  • Bystander culture in peer groups needs to be addressed

  • Young people may have a language and an awareness around particular issues but this does not mean that problems have been solved or have easy solutions

Words such as ‘shock’, ‘horror’ and ‘disgusted’ are being used to describe the scale of the sexual harassment problem in schools, yet for teenage girls, this is a thing of old news.

Ofsted has reported that schools consistently underestimate the scale of the problem of sexual abuse and harassment. Ofsted report

So will Ofsted now hold schools to account for providing impactful Relationships and Sex Education? We would welcome working with Ofsted and the RSHE/PSHE community to develop transparency on what provision looks like, with inspections then holding schools to account for its delivery.

In order to create meaningful change, we need to equip our teachers to have these conversations in classrooms, yet almost half of all teachers say they do not feel confident teaching the subject. Lack of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) class time means these discussions are not taking place.

Young people continue to say that RSE lessons are not relevant or relatable to their daily lives and that it is not inclusive. Change is desperately needed.

It is for all these reasons we have created Life Lessons, to address the root causes of the problems of sexism and bystander culture and encourage dialogue around these topics and more.

Through young people sharing their experiences on camera, we improve open conversations about sex and relationships and support teachers to manage these difficult conversations.

Click to watch Life Lessons video trailer:

Contact the Life Lessons team for comment on: @LifeLessonsRSE

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