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Resources on harmful sexual behaviour in schools including peer-on-peer sexual abuse and healthy relationships

Publication date June 2021

Explore our range of resources on healthy relationships and harmful sexual behaviour, including peer-on-peer and child-on-child sexual abuse. These can be used by anyone who works or volunteers with children and young people.

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.

> Find out more 

Listen to our podcast

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

Assess your safeguarding practice

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 harmful sexual behaviour.

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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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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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Let children know you're listening

Our resources share learning about how to respond if a child tells you they have experienced abuse and ensure children always feel listened to.

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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: sharing nudes and semi-nudes

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

> Read advice

Protecting children from sexual abuse

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

> Read information

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.

> Read guidance

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.

> Read briefing

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.

> Read briefing

Report Abuse in Education helpline

Young people who have experienced abuse at school and parents and teachers who are concerned about sexual abuse in education settings can call the Report Abuse in Education helpline on 0800 136 663 or email

> Share details of the Report Abuse in Schools helpline with your school community

For anyone with concerns about a child outside of an education setting, contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email You can call Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm or 9am to 6pm at the weekends, or email at any time.