• 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