Safeguarding: Never Acceptable

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Statement from Colchester County High School for Girls

Like everyone, we’ve been appalled by the stories of misogyny, abuse, harassment and assault that are emerging across the country through the media and ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website. It is completely unacceptable that young people particularly girls are being treated in this way and we have a collective responsibility as education leaders to take a stand. Behaviour such as that described on ‘Everyone’s Invited’ or reported to ourselves or any other organsiation is NEVER ACCEPTABLE.

We pride ourselves on being a highly inclusive school and Trust, and whilst we have strong systems and controls in place as part of our work on equality, diversity and inclusion, we want to make sure we are taking action in playing our part to eradicate these insidious behaviours.

In addition to our existing practices, we are taking steps to ensure that students at CCHSG have the means to report any incidents or testimony through speaking to any member of our Pastoral Team and Designated Safeguarding Leads in a ‘safe space’ or by email to neveracceptable@cchsg.com so that there is every opportunity to uncover any issues, past or present.

The NSPCC have launched a dedicated helpline for children and young people who have experienced abuse at school, and for worried adults and professionals that need support and guidance, including for non-recent abuse. If anyone needs help or advice or to report abuse in education they can contact NSPCC on 0800 136 663 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

We have undertaken a review of all our safeguarding policies and procedures, and our PSHCE programme including Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education. We have ensured that our staff are fully briefed and have received training on peer on peer abuse, and consulted with our Student Voice.

Our whole community is committed to educating adults and students about sexual harassment, sexual abuse, misogyny and peer on peer abuse. We all need to ensure these issues are brought out in the open and when reported, dealt with swiftly, including involving the police, and anyone affected fully supported. To do otherwise, makes us part of the problem.