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Julie Richardson, headteacher at Verulam School, has teamed up with sexual abuse charity Survivors UK to teach young men about relationships.
The charity has led sessions with boys aged 14 and 15 on consent for a range of topics including sexual violence, domestic abuse and cyber-flashing.
A Government-commissioned Ofsted investigation in June this year found that more than half of students had experienced unwanted touching while at school while 90 per cent of girls had been sent explicit pictures.
Miss Richardson, the school’s first ever female headteacher in its 83-year history, says the school wants to help young men develop healthy adult relationships.
She said: “Let’s be frank, this has been an issue in schools for many years.
"It is something we need to be addressing though many are not.
“For us this is not a tick-box exercise. It is embedded in our curriculum and to me is as important as English and Maths.
"I want our students to pursue their dreams, be emotionally, mentally and spiritually secure and successful, as well as achieving strong academic results.
“For me, schools have failed if their children leave with good exam results but they’re not comfortable in their own skin, or feel that they don’t belong.
“Bringing in expertise and people who are used to answering some of the really challenging questions that young people will sometimes have about consent and domestic violence will help ten-fold. These people are experts in their field.”
“There is still a concerning amount of violence against women not just in this country but globally the majority of perpetrators are men. Sabina Nessa and before her Sarah Everard are more another tragic examples of why important it is to educate the next generation of young men.
"It is time for the talking to stop and for action. At Verulam we are driving the action, not waiting for society to catch up”.
Sam Thomson, outreach and engagement lead for Survivors UK, added: “I think what Verulam and Julie are doing is frankly amazing.
“Instead of brushing it under the carpet, the school are meeting these challenges head on.
“This is exactly what every school in the country should be doing, taking a proactive approach to a very important issue.
“I was very pleased with the boys' responses. They showed great maturity and seemed to take onboard what we were saying.
“It is a process and it is about education. We are educating these young men how to be good partners, fathers, there can be nothing more important than that.”
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