Eight excluded from schools for sexual misconduct
Eight pupils were excluded for sexual misconduct at schools in Hartlepool in one year, new figures reveal.
Department for Education figures show Hartlepool schools excluded students eight times for sexual misconduct in 2018-19 – one permanently and seven temporarily.
This was a decrease of one on the previous year – and all took place in secondary schools.
The exclusions were among 2,993 in the area’s schools during 2018-19 – 2,964 of which were fixed, and 29 permanent.
Nationally, there were 1,972 sexual misconduct exclusions – which include incidents of sexual abuse, sexual bullying and sexual harassment – a 13% drop on the year before.
The figures come after the Government announced an immediate review into sexual abuse in schools in the wake of the allegations and 14,000 testimonies on the Everyone’s Invited website, where pupils can anonymously share their experiences of abuse and assault.
Some students have accused their establishments of not tackling a “rape culture”.
The charity Rape Crisis said the figures do not show the true scale of sexual abuse inside schools.
Katie Russell, national spokeswoman for the charity, added: "We’ve known for a number of years about the high prevalence and serious impacts of sexual violence and abuse in schools."
A Government spokeswoman said: “Where schools do not meet the strict safeguarding standards that we have in place, we will take swift action and we will always back headteachers to remove a pupil from the classroom where this creates a calm and disciplined environment.
“We would encourage anyone who is aware of any specific incidents.”