For the purposes of this policy, we use the widely recognised and understood term ‘victim’ for a child who has been subject to sexual violence and/or sexual harassment. Swift knows it is important that we recognise that not everyone who has been subjected to sexual violence and/or sexual harassment considers themselves a victim or would want to be described in this way, we will always be conscious of this when managing any incident and are prepared to use any term with which the individual child or young person is most comfortable.
Also, for the purpose of this policy, we use the widely used and recognised term ‘alleged perpetrator(s)’ and where appropriate ‘perpetrator(s)’.
When speaking in front of children and young people who may have been in this position, all Swift staff will use carefully selected words so as not to cause added distress or confusion, not least because in some cases the sexual behaviour will have been harmful to the perpetrator as well as the victim. The use of appropriate terminology is vital in the appropriate management of a disclosure or concern.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex from primary school, through to secondary stage and into colleges. It can occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap; they can occur online and face to face (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable.
Swift maintains an attitude of ‘it could happen here’. We believe early intervention can help prevent problematic, abusive and/or violent behaviour in the future.
Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment, wherever it happens, will likely find the experience stressful and distressing, with the potential to adversely affect their educational attainment and will be exacerbated if the alleged perpetrator(s) attends the same school or college.
As set out in Part one of KCSIE, schools and colleges Swift is aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college, including intimate personal relationships, but it is essential that all victims are reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A victim should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor should a victim ever me made to feel ashamed for making a report.
Along with providing support to children who are victims of sexual violence or sexual harassment, Swift aims to provide the alleged perpetrator(s) with an education, safeguarding support as appropriate and implement any relevant sanctions.
A child abusing another child may be a sign they have been abused themselves or a sign of wider issues that require addressing within the culture of the school or college. Responding with sanctions and providing appropriate support, can, and should, occur at the same time if necessary.
Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are extremely complex to manage. It is essential that victims are protected, offered appropriate support and every effort made to ensure their education is not disrupted.
It is also important that other children and young people and Academy staff are supported and protected as appropriate.
Sexual violence and sexual abuse can happen anywhere, as previously stated, all Swift staff maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’.
All staff are aware of their duty to respond appropriately to all reports and concerns, including those outside the Academy, and or online.
All staff are aware that:
Sexual violence: child on child sexual violence
Swift understands that children can, and sometimes do, abuse their peers in this way and that it can happen both inside and outside of Academy. The term for this is child on child sexual violence.
For the purpose of this policy, when sexual violence is mentioned, we are referring to sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Sexual offences can be described as:
What is consent?
Sexual harassment: child on child sexual harassment
For the purpose of this policy, when referring to sexual harassment we mean ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature’ that can occur online and offline and both inside and outside of the Academy.
The term for sexual harassment is child on child sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is likely to:
Sexual harassment can include:
Swift has a duty of care to determine when these actions cross a line into sexual violence.
Harmful Sexual behaviour
Swift is aware that children’s sexual behaviour spans wide continuum, from normal and developmentally expected to inappropriate, problematic, abusive and violent.
Problematic, abusive and violent sexual behaviour is developmentally inappropriate and may cause developmental damage. The widely adopted umbrella term for this is “harmful sexual behaviour” (HSB).
HSB can occur online and/or face to face and can also occur simultaneously between the two.
An awareness of developmental behaviour is critical when considering HSB, with behaviour deemed harmful if there is more than 2 years difference in the ages of children/young people or if one of the children is pre-pubescent, and the other not.
Swift is aware that a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them, such as the other child has a disability or is smaller in stature.
Early intervention is key in reducing the risk of such behaviours escalating.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will have a good understanding of HSB, with training refreshed every 3 years, or when legislation changes.
Extra familial harms
Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the Academy and/or can occur between children outside of these environments.
At Swift, all staff, and in particular, the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) will always consider whether the young people that attend the Academy are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families.
Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to):
Technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and wellbeing issues. Children are at risk of abuse online as well as face to face.
In many cases abuse will take place concurrently via online channels and in daily life.
Children can also abuse their peers online; this can take the form of:
In all cases, if staff are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy).
It is important that Swift provides as much information as possible as part of the referral process to the LADO or social care. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and enable a contextual approach to addressing such harm.
All Swift staff take part in mandatory safeguarding training on induction, monthly ‘Safeguarding Snippets’ sessions, and annually thereafter. Continued CPD takes place regularly to cover all aspects of safeguarding.
Swift has a statutory duty to:
Author: Jayne Hipkiss (approved by Jack Edwards, Academy Director)
Managing Director Name: Gregory Morrall
Reviewed on 20/07/2023
Review Due: 19/07/2024
Reviewed by: Jayne Hipkiss
Approved by: Jack Edwards