Shan Jones - NSPCC - Bullying Conference Keynote


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Presentation from the Promoting Respectful Relationships conference. Full details at

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Shan Jones - NSPCC - Bullying Conference Keynote

  1. 1. Why is sexual bullying a problem? Research by DR Ellie Farmer Presented by Shân Jones Education Adviser Wales Promoting Respectful Relationships
  2. 2. • Defining sexual bullying • Prevalence • Effects • Cultures of sexual • Factors that promote sexual bullying • Promoting safe sexual cultures in schools Why is sexual bullying a problem
  3. 3. Any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person’s sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls. It can be carried out to a person’s face, behind their back or through the use of technology. Definition
  4. 4. Debating the definition • Intent • Function • Impact • Continuum
  5. 5. What is the situation in Wales There is a whole culture of sexual bullying happening… every time I hear somethin I’m shocked but find that the children and educational staff are not, its simply ‘part of school life’ I get called names all the time at school, especially “poof” and “faggot”. My stuff is always being ripped up or drawn on or stolen Stonewall (2007) Girls sexually abused confiding in friends and then bullied because other pupils found out Girl at a special school for hearing impaired was sent photographs of an older boy pupil’s penis over mobile phone and propositioned on the phone by text and through MSN for sex – followed up by group pressure in playground, and around visits to the toilet, to return photographs of herself or engage in sex
  6. 6. Research • 45% of teenage girls have their bottom or breasts groped against their will • 38% of young people have received unwanted sexual images • 37% hear ‘slag’ used often or all the time • 65% of gay or bisexual young people experience homophobic bullying in school • 48% of teachers have witnessed sexist language from one peer to another • If gay pupils report bullying to a teacher, 62% of the time nothing is done about it NSPCC (2006), Neill(2006); Katz & Mcmanus (2008); Stonewall (2007)
  7. 7. • Nearly all young people experience it (e.g. 88% girls, 83% boys) • Girls more often experience unwanted comments, touch, pressure, gestures • Boys more often experience homosexual slurs and receive unwanted images • it starts when children are in primary school • it is most often perpetrated by casually known peers • Risk groups Girls Those who are gay or unsure of their sexuality Girls experiencing early puberty Those with learning disabilities AAUW(2001); Chiodo et al (2009); Fineran & Bennett (1999); Hands & Sanchez (2000); Renold (2002); Timmerman (2005) Findings from Literature
  8. 8. Impact
  9. 9. Why is it a problem?
  10. 10. Impact • Education • Feelings • Beliefs & identity • Mental Health • General Life
  11. 11. • Young people bullying: “It’s just a joke” • Peers; It’s just normal • Adults in school: “There’s nothing I can do about it” • Victims: “Maybe I’m to blame Cultures of Sexual Bullying
  12. 12. What is the impact of these reactions? Tolerance of sexual bullying More sexual bullying Feeling unsafe at school Withdrawal from school Low self esteem Distress Ormerod et al. (2008)
  13. 13. Creating Positive Cultures
  14. 14. Responsibilities Schools and their staff have statutory responsibilities that relate to bullying: • Duty of care • Responsibility for “safeguarding and promoting the welfare” of pupils (Education Act 2002) • Duty to “prevent all forms of bullying” (Education and Inspections Act 2006)
  15. 15. Factors promoting sexual Bullying
  16. 16. Estyn: Wellbeing “when evaluating the extent to which pupils feel safe, …consider the extent to which pupils feel free from physical and verbal abuse in school” KQ I: 1.2.1 Estyn: Care, Support and guidance “impact of care, support and guidance on pupils standards and wellbeing… rather than procedures and arrangements” KQ 2.3 “beneficial effect on vulnerable pupils… clear link to the judgements about standards and wellbeing” KQ 2.3 “arrangements for dealing with harassment and bullying” KQ 2.3 “school provides access to a wide range of information” KQ 2:3.2 Feeling safe from bullying
  17. 17. Estyn: Ethos, equality and diversity “establishing a school ethos that is inclusive” KQ 2:4.1 “promotes the prevention and elimination of oppressive behaviour, including bullying, sexism, racism and homophobia” KQ 2.4.1 “monitors and addresses any related issues or complaints that arise”KQ 2.4.1 Estyn: Effectiveness of safeguarding procedures “Ascertain whether the school has appropriate policies and procedures in place in respect of safeguarding” Feeling safe from bullying
  18. 18. Addressing sexual bullying • Recognise sexual bullying • Promote respectful relationships • Challenge sexual bullying • Support victims of sexual bullying Key areas: • School policies • Day to day approach – attitudes and actions • Staff training • PSE
  19. 19. • Name sexual bullying to staff and students when you see it • Record • Teach principles of gender equality, diversity, and feminism across the curriculum; and challenge objectification Recognising sexual bullying
  20. 20. Promoting respectful relationships • School schemes that help to develop the capacity to think about others • PSE involving role-plays and interview that highlight through experience the positive feelings involved in “real respect” Fonagy et al. (2009); McAdam & Lang (2009)
  21. 21. Challenge • Not to challenge is to collude • Day to day conversations • Use PSE & assemblies • Encourage other adults to do the same • Devise and use a clear system of sanctions for sexual bullying • Clear messages and system of reporting for staff
  22. 22. Schools should use incident records to: • Manage bullying incidents - ability to reference previous behaviour • Analyse for patterns • Monitor effectiveness of actions to determine policy / strategies • Address complaints made • Identify “vulnerable pupils” and provide information determine nature of support needed • Provide reports to governors, staff, parents / carers, pupils and local authorities • Provide evidence for Estyn Importance of records
  23. 23. Support • Be supportive to those that report sexual bullying, recognising impact • Facilitate peer support schemes • Peer mentoring social network • Provision of school counsellors
  24. 24. What next? • NSPCC and Womankind Worldwide 10 point guide to stop sexual bullying in educational settings • WAG Antibullying Guidance
  25. 25. If you need further advice or support on any child protection matter, contact: • NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 • This is a free 24-hour service which provides counselling, information and advice to anyone concerned about a child at risk of abuse. • Alternatively visit • Shan Jones, Education Advisor, Tel: 020 3188 3613 or via email on Further support