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Ofsted claims schools risk missing cases of child abuse

Ofsted is working to provide a “multi-agency response” to child sexual abuse in the family environment.

According to a new report, professionals across all fields rely heavily on children speaking out about abuse, despite them being unlikely to do so.

Sexual abuse in the family environment may be perpetrated by a family member (including extended family) or by a person close to, or known to, the family, such as a neighbour, family friend, partner of a parent or another trusted adult. Children under the age of 18 may also sexually abuse others within the family environment.

The report states that a joint targeted area inspection found that a lack of school nursing meant “there was less involvement and knowledge about children who might be at risk of, or subject to, child sex abuse in the family environment”.

Ofsted found that staff are better suited to deal with these issues where there is improved understanding of the signs and indicators of sexual abuse. Inspectorates have now called for better training and support for those on the front line.

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week

This year, Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week runs from 3 to 9 February  – view resources to raise awareness and help protect vulnerable children.

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