• Beyond referrals: levers for addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools: a self-assessment resource for schools

      Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Bradbury, Vanessa; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-12-31)
      The Beyond Referrals self-assessment toolkit is intended to support schools to identify and assess the factors that contribute to addressing HSB in schools. The Beyond Referrals project launched the toolkit in 2018, following research in schools. This new updated version includes new levers and guidance on carrying out the self-assessment. The toolkit is supported by online tutorials available on the Contextual Safeguarding Network.
    • Beyond referrals: levers for addressing harmful sexual behaviours between students at school in England

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2019-09-18)
      From sexist comments and harassment through to contact offences, schools are locations where young people experience sexual abuse from peers. This paper reports findings of a multi-site study into levers for preventing peer-sexual abuse in educational settings in England. Data gathered through practice observations, case and policy reviews and focus groups with professionals and students were analysed through the lens of both a whole school approach and Contextual Safeguarding with a particular focus on gender to identify four levers of peer-sexual abuse prevention. This paper reports how these four levers interact to create social conditions which prevent, or reduce the risk of, peer-sexual abuse in schools. Opportunities for schools, regulators and child protective services to use these levers, and the methodologies employed to identify them, are also outlined, as well as implications for policy
    • Child sexual exploitation : definition & guide for professionals: extended text

      Beckett, Helen; Holmes, D.; Walker, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-02-01)
      This work was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and is the extended text from which the DfE document ‘Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation’ has been drawn. This can be viewed at www.gov.uk. The document outlines the new civil definition of child sexual exploitation, developed by the Home Office and DfE, together with an overview of our current understanding of the issue and an evidence-informed set of principles for responding. This extended version of the ‘guide’ provides professionals1 with further background information about child sexual exploitation and offers additional commentary around some of the complexities of practically responding to the issue. The document should be read in conjunction with Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (hereafter referred to as Working Together), that provides the statutory framework for responding to child sexual exploitation and all other forms of abuse. The content of this document does not in any way supersede the statutory provisions of Working Together, but rather considers some of the nuances and challenges of applying its requirements and principles to this particular form of abuse. This extended version of the ‘guide’ draws on the existing evidence base to identify issues that have proved challenging to address in practice and to draw out lessons learnt in relation to this. It does not seek to provide readers with a ‘step-by-step’ approach to addressing child sexual exploitation, but instead provides a high-level framework for building a locally informed enhanced response that concurrently addresses prevention, and responses to victimhood and perpetration, and supports the exercise of ‘professional curiosity’ within this. Although the document focuses on child sexual exploitation, many of the principles outlined herein hold relevance for responding to other forms of exploitation, abuse and vulnerability in adolescence and readers are encouraged to consider the interconnectedness of these issues and the transferability of learning between them.
    • Child sexual exploitation: definition and practitioner briefing paper

      Beckett, Helen; Walker, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (Scottish Government, 2016-10-01)
      This paper outlines the new national definition of child sexual exploitation (CSE) for Scotland and some key contextual considerations that should inform all professionals’ and agencies’ interpretations of their child protection responsibilities in relation to this form of abuse. Readers should note that the term ‘child’ is used to refer to anyone under the age of 18 years.
    • Harmful sexual behaviour in school: a briefing on the findings, implications and resources for schools and multi-agency partners

      Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Bradbury, Vanessa; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-06-24)
      A briefing that presents findings from a two-year study into harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in English schools, Beyond Referrals Two. The briefing provides an overview of key thematic findings from the study, organised in relation to: the prevalence of HSB; strengths of responses; disclosure; peer support; parental engagement; and disability and provides 30 recommendations for schools, multi-agency safeguarding partners and the wider field of education.
    • Keeping children safe? Advancing social care assessments to address harmful sexual behaviour in schools

      Lloyd, Jenny; Walker, Joanne; Firmin, Carlene Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2020-03-05)
      International evidence suggests that schools are locations where systems, practices and cultures can enable harmful sexual behaviours. However, in England, welfare assessments primarily used by statutory social services largely target young people and their families, with limited capacity to assess environments beyond the home. Where young people display harmful sexual behaviours within educational settings, social care systems are yet to assess the factors within schools which may accelerate risks associated with harmful sexual behaviours. This exploratory article presents evidence on the opportunities for school assessment using cumulative learning from two studies. The first investigated enablers and barriers to addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools. The second employed the learning from the first through an action research study to develop school context assessments within a child protection system. Both studies employed a mixed-methods approach including observations, case review, focus groups, surveys and policy reviews to access data. Synthesised findings highlight: the value of exploring school contexts when assessing the nature of extra-familial abuse; the opportunities and challenges of utilising research methods for assessing school environments; and the role new assessment frameworks could play in supporting the inclusion of school contexts, and research methods, into welfare assessments of extra-familial abuse.
    • Signs of safety and contextual safeguarding: key messages for practice

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Hill, Tracey; Hill, Wendy; Turnell, Andrew; Turnell, Penelope; Walker, Joanne (University of Bedfordshire, 2021-02-28)
      Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to safeguarding young people from harm they experience in extra-familial contexts. As such it is compatible with, and supports the development of, a range of practice frameworks and models that are being used to improve child protection responses and systems. In this briefing document we explore the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and Signs of Safety – and ways that these two approaches can work together when safeguarding young people affected by extra-familial harm, as well as assessing and intervening with extra-familial contexts and groups. The briefing is divided into three sections. In section one we summarise the two approaches. In the second section we reflect on what the two approaches share and where they may diverge. In the final section we present how they could work together by use of two case studies – one focused on a young person, and another on contexts – to make recommendations for how to explore this potential in the future.
    • Tough girls: gender performance and safety within schools

      Walker, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-01-29)
      This paper explores the association between the gender rules operating within schools, harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) between pupils and the ways safety is created in these spaces. The ability and responsibility of school institutions to inform gender rules within schools is of particular focus. The paper draws on data from a mixed-methods study exploring HSB in seven secondary schools in England. Findings indicate that gendered rules not only play a role in explaining HSB in schools, they also inform discourses of safety and influence pupils’ attempts to subvert gendered harm. Drawing on research on local space, it is suggested that school institutions can work to maintain or challenge the gendered rules between pupils, and subsequently, limit or provide effective options to create pupil safety. The paper argues that schools have a responsibility to construct safe spaces for pupils by challenging harmful gender norms and behaviour.