Campaign to end sexual harassment in schools

In their own words, the Girlguiding Advocates explain why they’re campaigning to end sexual harassment in schools

Being groped in the corridor, hands up our skirts in the yard, being shown pornographic images in class, sexual comments about our bodies – as Girlguiding Advocates we know that sexual harassment in school happens to us and our friends and to girls everywhere.

We want to see:

  • duty for all schools to prevent and tackle sexual harassment and to be held accountable  
  • National guidance to ensure schools know how to take a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment
  • Compulsory, high quality Sex and Relationships Education in all schools, covering consent, online abuse, gender equality and healthy relationships.

Earlier this year, the Women and Equalities Select Committee conducted an inquiry into sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools. The UK government has now responded to this inquiry – and, while some gains have been made, it’s clear there is still a long way to go until decision-makers tackle the problem once and for all.

What we’ve done so far

In our Girls Matter campaign, we told politicians that:

Schools should take a zero tolerance approach to sexual bullying and harassment and the Government should promise to introduce guidance that all schools must use to tackle this issue.

As a result of national pressure, including from Girlguiding, the Women and Equalities Select Committee launched a parliamentary inquiry into sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools in England, in April 2016. Girlguiding submitted evidence to the inquiry and our Advocates set up a petition to get the government to take action. 

Now the UK government has responded to this inquiry and its recommendations – but some of our demands are still outstanding. Our Advocates are now planning their next steps, but the fight isn’t over. Read our response to the government here.

Advocate short film

Katie, one of our Advocates, made this short film on sexual harassment in school. She went on to win The John Bryne Award.

When girls experience sexual harassment, their power is taken from them, and the space is claimed by the perpetrator. The effects of this are huge - Katie, Advocate