‘Children as young as four should be taught in school about sexism and harassment to tackle the “ticking timebomb” of sexual bullying in classrooms, a Commons select committee has been told.
The organisations giving evidence were unanimous in calling for mandatory education on sexism within schools to tackle what some said was a ticking timebomb of sexual harassment and violence.
While the government has made it mandatory for all schools to promote British values as part of the Prevent strategy to counter radicalisation, there is no similar requirement for teachers to address sexism and sexual violence.
Marai Larasi, from Imkaan, which works to address violence against women and girls, told MPs: “The government has told schools they must teach about Prevent, and yet the daily terrorisation of young girls is not taken seriously.”
The inquiry by the women and equalities select committee, chaired by Tory MP Maria Miller, is taking evidence from teachers, young people and next week will hear from Ofsted. Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, from the centre for gender-equal media at Durham University, told MPs there was an urgent need for schools to be required to take action, given the scale of the problem being faced by young girls.
Data published in September last year revealed that 5,500 sexual offences were recorded in UK schools over a three-year period, including 600 rapes. A 2014 survey by Girlguiding UK found that 59% of young women aged 13-21 had faced some form of sexual harassment at school or college in the past year.’ - Guardian