Helpline for people who have experienced sexual abuse in education settings launched

Last updated: 01 Apr 2021 Topics: News Type: News
School pupil talking on mobile phone

New helpline will also offer support and guidance to adults and professionals working with children in education

The Department for Education has commissioned the NSPCC to launch a new helpline called Report Abuse in Education. The helpline comes after numerous anonymised testimonials of sexual harassment and abuse in schools and colleges were shared to the Everyone’s Invited website this week.

The newly launched helpline will provide support to:

  • children and young people who want to share current and non-recent experiences of sexual abuse and harassment
  • children and young people who want to talk about being involved in or witnessing any incidents
  • anyone who works or volunteers in a school setting and needs support and guidance
  • adults who have experienced non-recent abuse
  • parents and carers who are concerned about their own child or other children.

The government has also asked Ofsted to carry out an immediate review of safeguarding policies in schools. The review will look at the severity of sexual abuse and harassment and ensure the appropriate processes are in place for pupils to report concerns freely.

“Creating a culture that fosters healthy relationships and challenges harassment and abuse is integral to this. With the right support for teachers, compulsory relationships and sex education has a pivotal role to play in achieving this. But this issue goes beyond schools and we all have a role to play in keeping children safe.” – Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO

Young people and adults can contact Report Abuse in Education on 0800 136 663 or email

Resources to support you

Resources to support you

Use our range of resources on peer-on-peer abuse and healthy relationships for schools and anyone who works or volunteers with children and young people.

Protecting children from peer-on-peer sexual abuse

We’ve summarised information on what peer sexual abuse and harassment is, how to recognise it, and how people who work with children can best tackle it.

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Protecting children from harmful sexual behaviour

Read our information about how to recognise, respond to and prevent harmful sexual behaviour.

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Healthy sexual development of children and young people

Find out about developmentally appropriate and healthy child sexual behaviour and how to respond to inappropriate sexual behaviour.

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Take our harmful sexual behaviour in schools training

Our updated elearning courses will help you to manage harmful sexual behaviour in primary or secondary schools in the UK.

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Listen to our podcast

We have a series of episodes discussing different aspects of harmful sexual behaviour:

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Harmful sexual behaviour framework

Use our evidence-informed framework to help local areas develop and improve multi-agency responses to children displaying harmful sexual behaviour (HSB).

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Safeguarding self-assessment tool

Use our free tool to audit your school’s child protection arrangements and ensure your organisation meets best practices. Covers the measures schools should have in place to prevent and respond appropriately to all forms of peer-on-peer abuse.

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Resources on promoting healthy relationships

We’ve also got lots of information and resources for teachers and group leaders on talking to children and young people about healthy relationships.

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Managing allegations made against a child

Explains how an allegation of abuse may be made against a child, how people who work with children can respond and how to decide if a concern is a child protection issue.

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Sexting: advice for professionals

Advice about sexting and what to do to help a young person who has received or sent an explicit image, video or message.

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Protecting children from sexual abuse

Information to help you understand how to recognise indicators and learn how to respond to concerns.

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Recognising and responding to abuse

What to do if you have concerns that a child you know through your work or volunteering has experienced abuse and neglect and how to respond if a child discloses abuse to you.

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How to have difficult conversations with children

Guidance on how to prepare for having difficult conversations with children and young people and what you need to keep in mind when discussing sensitive topics.

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Research and evidence briefings

NSPCC helplines report: peer sexual abuse

"Is this sexual abuse?" is a report into the concerns being raised to the NSPCC helpline and Childline about peer sexual abuse; how it takes place, the impact it has, and how to best provide support.

> Read report

Harmful sexual behaviour: learning from case reviews

Lessons from case reviews published since 2010, where harmful sexual behaviour was highlighted as a significant issue.

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Harmful sexual behaviour: statistics briefing

Briefing on the data available about harmful sexual behaviour (HSB), including scale of the issue, technology-assisted HSB and characteristics of young people who display HSB.

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Harmful sexual behaviour: research briefing

A summary of messages from research into harmful sexual behaviour published in 2016 and 2017.

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