Duke of York's Royal Military School

Appropriate Behaviour

Published by Newland House School on Thursday 1st of December 2022

Sexual abuse and the role that schools might play by inadvertently condoning it, has justifiably been in the national news over recent weeks, with the Everyone’s Invited website detailing the harrowing experiences of victims.

Appropriate Behaviour
Sexual abuse and the role that schools might play by inadvertently condoning it, has justifiably been in the national news over recent weeks, with the Everyone’s Invited website detailing the harrowing experiences of victims. Whilst fundamentally it may be deemed a societal problem, schools, especially primary schools, can with the support of parents, contribute positively in influencing and helping to establish appropriate patterns of behaviour in children.

Central to any necessary change is the school’s culture, which in itself is a reflection of complex web of interconnected elements. A school’s core values, provided that they are an accurate representation of what the school is really like, will set the tone for cultural attitude and acceptable behaviour. At our school, we especially value kindness, respect, community, honesty and courage. All of these elements are essential in ensuring that the environment in which the children learn and develop and where the staff work, helps to promote genuine gender equality and our assemblies and whole-school messages consistently reinforce these themes.

The government set new expectations at the beginning of this academic year, regarding the delivery of relationships education (relationships and sex education for older children) and these could not be more timely. Teaching children to understand positive and equal relationships is at the very heart of helping to stop the root causes of inappropriate behaviour which could ultimately lead to the formation of sexual abuse. As with many complicated issues, it is the small things that count. Being prepared to call out ‘banter’, ensuring that a school’s structures are thoroughly well-understood in order to be able to genuinely offer equal opportunities and being aware of the subliminal messages that are unwittingly passed on to children, are as significant as the planned messages and announcements. Society must be willing to change attitudes and set new standards and in turn, schools will be pivotal in upholding and influencing these.

Chris Skelton
Appropriate Behaviour - Photo 1
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