Noticing and responding to sexually harmful behaviours in children


Noticing and responding to sexually harmful behaviours in children

Over the last months we have noted the growing concerns for school staff in responding to a range of sexualised behaviours in children; whether this is an inappropriate level of knowledge in children for their stage of development, disrespectful language and behaviours towards both other children and staff, bullying between children either online or in person.

How do we pick our way through this and respond to what might be signals of sexual abuse in children, an indication of children being raised in a domestically abusive home where boundaries around sexual behaviour are loose and/or signals of limited parental supervision with children accessing material indiscriminately via social media?

We recognise that it is challenging to develop a strategy, whilst in the midst of responding to a number of competing demands right now! So, we’ve done some of the thinking for you.

We’ve thought about:

  • What a school might need to do for all children through PHSE Sex and Relationships input.
  • Mediating between curriculum, safeguarding and special educational needs roles.
  • What might block staff noticing and then feeling confident to respond to a child, or several children.

This course has been designed to support practitioners in responding to a range of sexualised behaviours in children across the Foundation Stage, Key Stages one and two.

The intention is to actively equip all school staff with practical approaches towards vulnerable children and their families and in so doing, create an inclusive community of protection.

What you'll learn...

  • Understand the ‘normal’ range of social and sexual development.
  • Consider what might obscure a professional practitioners recognition of child sexual abuse.
  • Familiarise practitioners with the National Guidance for Relationships Education in primary schools, the comprehensive suite of Safeguarding guidance and legislation and the recent Children’s Commissioner’s Report.
  • Explore practical strategies for the delivery of the relationship curriculum, including the engagement of children in sensitive discussion.
  • Develop a whole school approach that assists in growing practitioners emotional literacy.
  • Examine the ways in which parents can be encouraged to adopt an active.
  • Partnership with the school in building children’s resilience and protecting themselves.