Please note that the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service has now closed. In response to this closure, ourselves and the Marie Collins Foundation are providing guidance and resources, and an online video training package, which will continue to provide support to professionals. If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In June 2021 Ofsted concluded that the prevalence of child-on-child sexual harassment and abuse was so widespread that, for some, incidents are ‘so commonplace that they see no point in reporting them’ and ‘consider them normal’. In response to this, SWGfL and The Marie Collins Foundation created a support service for professionals working with children and young people in tackling harmful sexual behaviours, funded by the Home Office and in collaboration with the Department for Education.
Harmful sexual behaviour is 'sexual behaviours expressed by children and young people under the age of 18 years old that are developmentally inappropriate, may be harmful towards self or others, or abusive towards another child, young person or adult' (Hackett, 2014).
The support service was there to support with changing the culture that Ofsted highlighted in their report around sexual abuse in schools. The service, run by trained professionals, provided the tools to equip and empower adults through:
You can also access our downloadable Harmful Sexual Behaviour Resources
Our video training programme is now available for your organisation, this training will provide you with a good overview of harmful sexual behaviour, what it is, how schools can appropriately respond and what else is out there to help.
We have created this training module drawing on the expertise gained from operating the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support service. This training looks at what harmful sexual behaviour is and how schools can appropriately respond to it.
Our free Online Safety Polcy Templates enable you to create your very own Online Safety Policy for your school that whilst built on our expertise, includes content that makes it unique and relevant for your school or organisation.
A set of resources for handling Harmful Sexual Behaviour within a school setting
Read this document from SWGfL around written evidence for the Online Safety Bill
The support service was available for anyone in England working with children and young people, particularly, designated safeguarding leads within primary and secondary schools and alternative provision.
Support was also available to early years provision, colleges and wider safeguarding professionals (including police, social workers and health care professionals). The support service was available to provide initial support and signpost to further resources and advice.
SWGfL has released a new, downloadable infographic with data revealing how the service supported cases throughout its pilot in 2022.
22nd May 2023
Included in this article are some steps schools can take to help prevent and manage incidents involving harm on and offline.
25th April 2023
In this article we explore ways in which professionals can address harmful sexual behaviour whilst looking at what the current research is showing.
21st April 2023
Professor Andy Phippen joins the Interface Podcast to discuss how teachers can effectively approach the subject of pornography with young people.
14th April 2023