Peer on peer abuse - College Commitment

Peer on peer abuse - College Commitment

Dear Student/Parent/Carer

As you will have seen in the media last week, there has been a considerable amount of attention focussed on the issue of peer-on-peer abuse in schools and colleges. This followed Ofsted’s ‘Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges’ published on 10th June 2021:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges

There has been much subsequent discussion around what happens within educational settings and whether or not these behaviours mirror those that exist outside of College.

Movements such as “Everyone’s Invited” detail numerous incidents of sexual abuse, assault, sexualised language and discrimination, which have occurred across the educational landscape. Acts like these, which are totally unacceptable, need to be eradicated and education providers, such as ourselves, need to be at the forefront in educating our communities to ensure that wider societal issues around unhealthy relationships and interactions between peers are challenged and eradicated.

The Executive Team at Suffolk New College have been appalled by the stories emerging from across the country. As advocates of the ‘Exceptional Student Experience’ we are passionate about the progress of our students, not only academically, but personally, socially and developmentally. We want our College to continue to be a safe place for people to come and learn, free from judgement, abuse and discrimination. On odd occasions where incidents do occur, we also want our students to feel empowered to step forward, stand up and talk about their experiences. As such, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that when students witness or encounter anything that causes them concern, or makes them feel uncomfortable, they can come forward safe in the knowledge that staff will deal with concerns and issues appropriately.

Therefore, we are hereby publishing our reaffirmed commitment to you, your son, your daughter and indeed all young people, that we will not tolerate peer-on-peer abuse or any form of sexual violence, abuse or harassment. Where incidents do occur, we will fully support students and take appropriate actions, as required, for any breaches to our policies and offence caused to others.

Whilst this form of abuse is a societal issue, it is incumbent on us, as educators at the heart of communities, to be part of the solution in raising awareness and enforcing expected standards of behaviours from all members of our community. By doing this and working with you all, we hope to eradicate this type of abuse and discrimination from College and from society in general.

The Senior Management Team

Suffolk New College