UK Feminista and NEU report: Sexism in Schools

‘Sexism in schools is endemic – but it is not inevitable’, finds a December 2017 report (pdf) from UK Feminista and the National Education Union (NEU).

Consistent and ongoing action is required from schools, Government and education bodies to tackle it.

The report finds:

  • Over a third (37%) of girls at mixed-sex schools have been sexually harassed while at school
  • Over a third (34%) of primary school teachers say they witness gender stereotyping in their schools on at least a weekly basis
  • 64% of teachers in mixed-sex secondary schools hear sexist language in schools on at least a weekly basis.

And recommendations:

Government
  • Issue guidance to all schools on how to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence
  • Create a fund to support specialist sector organisations to provide capacity building support to schools on tackling sexism and sexual harassment
  • Ensure the curriculum for relationships and sex education (RSE), across all key stages, is designed to prevent sexism and sexual harassment among children and young people and that RSE teachers have access to high quality professional development.
Ofsted
  • All Ofsted inspectors should receive comprehensive training on how schools
    can address and prevent sexism
  • Ofsted should recognise schools that take effective action to tackle sexism
  • Inspections of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers should include an
    assessment of whether the training course adequately equips trainees with
    the skills they need to tackle sexism in the classroom.
Initial Teacher Training providers
  • Training on how to tackle sexism should be a core and compulsory component of all ITT courses
Schools
  • Adopt a ‘whole school approach’ to tackling sexism
  • Take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment.

Read the full report (pdf).