Laura Sharman 03 April 2020

Report highlights complex nature of safeguarding in residential schools

New research has revealed the unique challenges staff in residential schools face to protect children from sexual abuse.

The research, published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, found online and peer on peer abuse were the most common safeguarding concerns of a sexual nature recorded.

The report - Safeguarding Children from Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools – found special educational needs schools recorded nearly 10 times the number of safeguarding concerns relating to sexual abuse per student than mainstream residential schools.

Schools also said there is often a lack of clarity about which local authority should respond to concerns.

Holly Rodger, Inquiry principal researcher, said: ‘The safeguarding concerns of a sexual nature recorded most frequently by schools were online and peer on peer incidents. These were the same areas that school staff, parents and children saw as 'grey areas' that could be hard to classify.

‘This report will help shape recommendations to improve safeguarding and better protect children from sexual abuse in residential schools.’

This report was produced by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and ResearchAbility.

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