Dear parents and carers

We know that many of you will have been following the “Everyone’s Invited” movement and some of you will already have heard the recent news regarding the publication of the Ofsted report into sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in school-aged children.  It is clear that the outcomes of the report raise concerns not only for schools, but also for society as a whole.

As is typical in all schools at this point in the year, we are currently reviewing our safeguarding policy in readiness for September 2021 and the new academic year; it is clear that we will include clear information about sexual absue and exploitation.

Safeguarding is integral to the culture in our school and relationships and sex education has never been so prominent.  We have already begun to ensure that our curriculum responds to all the elements highlighted in the national review into sexual abuse.  However, we also recognise that much of the information that is coming to the fore is about societal matters – some terminology and behaviours have, for far too long, been normalised by society.  We know that, as parents and carers, you will recognise this (a slap on the thigh, wolf whistling, inappropriate use of homophobic language, amongst many other concerning behaviours).  We are very keen to work in partnership with you in order to help the children in our care to see that this is not acceptable and that it needs to be challenged.

We will take care and time to review the report and its findings and use it to inform our changes in policy and procedure for the coming academic year.  No child must grow up in a society where sexual exploitation and harmful sexual behaviours are perceived as being ‘the norm’.

Please take the time to look at this exceptional resource from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (https://tinyurl.com/STOPITNOWRESOURCE), which has been designed to support parents and carers who are concerned about their own child’s wellbeing.  The Foundation also runs the Parents Protect website which helps empower parents to protect their children from sexual abuse and exploitation: www.parentsprotect.co.uk

As always, if you have any concerns about your own child’s safety or wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff at school.

With very best wishes

J Arnold

Principal