Sexual abuse and harassment in Welsh schools

Along with LGB Alliance Cymru, we sent an Open Letter to Women & Equalities Minister Jane Hutt, Education Minister Kirsty Williams, and Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland, regarding the levels of sexual abuse and harassment in schools and colleges in Wales.

We asked a number of questions:

  • What specific actions will you/your office take to deal with the sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse that girls and young women are subjected to in our schools and colleges?
  • Who will you involve?
  • What specific outcomes do you aim to achieve and by what timescale?
  • How will you evaluate these?

Kirsty Williams has not replied.

Jane Hutt’s office responded with a long list of reports and previous actions. They told us that they were meeting with their UK counterparts to discuss the implications of ‘Everyone’s Invited’. None of our questions were actually answered.

The reply from Sally Holland was, by contrast, direct and informative.

I share your distress at the testimonies and harassment that have been shared online as part of Soma Sara’s ‘Everyone’s Invited’ project. I am also humbled by the courage of young people who are speaking out about their experiences and calling for cultural change.

She outlined:

the specific actions my office will take to deal with sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse in education settings” and the use made of a young people’s Advisory Panel and ongoing programme of participation to both inform the Comission’s work and assist in setting priorities.

She also asked us to

share details of my Investigation and Advice Service so that my office can support any young person in Wales who experiences sexism, sexual abuse or sexual harassment in an education setting in Wales.

We are more than happy to do so. The website is here.

Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Phone: 01792 765600
Freephone: 0808 801 1000
Email: [email protected]