Women and Equalities Committee: Chair to open parliamentary debate on sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools  

On Thursday 2nd November, the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee will open a debate in the Chamber of the House of Commons on the issue of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools.
The Committee’s report in the last Parliament uncovered the scale and impact of the situation in schools in England and called for it to be acted upon urgently.
Committee Chair Maria Miller MP, said:
“Evidence of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools continues to be brought to our attention and it is deeply troubling. The Women and Equalities Committee reported on this over a year ago, and in the meantime, there has been ongoing evidence that schools are still no better placed to tackle this issue. We welcome the updates we have had from ministers over the past twelve months but I will be using this debate as a further opportunity to press the Government. Tackling sexual harassment in schools must be made a greater priority. I have been speaking to parents whose children have been affected by this issue; as one said to me, ‘We’ve got to give our children the same protection we would give ourselves’. The Government should act now to protect and empower a generation of children and young people.”
Thursday’s debate follows a Women and Equalities Committee hearing last month in which schools’ minister Nick Gibb MP admitted that current guidance does not state specifically that children who sexually abuse other children at school should not be put back in the same classroom. Updates to statutory guidance will not now come into force until September 2018, two years after the Committee reported these issues.
The debate is expected to start at approximately 2.15pm subject to other business. It can be viewed online at Parliament TV.