Teachers and professionals working with children and young people will have new support and guidance to lead the way in cracking down on violence against women and girls, the Government announced today on International Women's Day.
Outlining the full response to a report from the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Advisory Group, the Government confirmed plans to revise training for new teachers and to include VAWG issues in the PSHE curriculum from 2011.
The recommendations, accepted in full by the Government today, include:
- all schools to receive guidance to help prevent and respond to violence against women and girls - all young people to be taught about gender equality and VAWG in PSHE as part of the national curriculum - teachers to be given clear advice on how to deal with suspected cases of violence against women and girls in their schools and referring young girls at risk to support services - all parents and carers to have access to support and advice to help them discuss violence against women and girls with their children, and to signpost parents of girls experiencing violence to further advice and support.
Children's Minister Delyth Morgan said:
"Violence against women and girls has a devastating impact and we are committed to doing all we can to increase protection, raise awareness and punish offenders.
"Teachers are uniquely placed to spot the early signs that a young girl could be suffering from violence. We are determined to improve the training, guidance and support they receive so that schools can lead the way in putting an end to violence against women and girls.
"Parents also need better support so that children receive the same message at home and get the right advice and information if they have worries or are concerned about their friends.
"I am grateful to Gill Frances and the Advisory Group for their report and wish to assure them that stamping out violence against women and girls is a top priority for government and one which cannot be ignored."
Chair of the VAWG Advisory Group Gill Frances said:
"We welcome the Government's commitment to take action on violence against girls and women. This is a big step forward and a lot of positive measures can now get underway in schools to help young people form respectful relationships and ensure girls get prompt help when they need it."
Martin Ward, Deputy General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said:
"ASCL is pleased that there has been a cross-government review of how to address violence against women and girls. School and college leaders take this significant problem very seriously and already play their part through the ethos and values of each institution, and through the values of mutual respect and equal opportunities that they teach and embody. It is welcome that schools and colleges are challenged to be sure that they fully address this important issue, for example through personal social and health education, but are to retain the freedom and autonomy to do so in creative ways appropriate to their particular students."
Editor's Notes This press notice relates to 'England'
1. The full report from the Violence Against Women and Girls Advisory Group can be found: http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/default.aspx?PageFunction=productdetails&PageMode=publications&ProductId=DCSF-00281-2010
2. The Government's full response to the VAWG report can be found: http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/default.aspx?PageFunction=productdetails&PageMode=publications&ProductId=DCSF-00288-2010&
3. Together we can end violence against women and girls: a strategy, the Government's flagship domestic violence can be found: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/vawg-strategy-2009/index.html
4. Learning about VAWG is already included as part of the PSHE curriculum and later this year as part of the consultation on the content of the PSHE curriculum scheduled for statutory introduction in September 2011, we will consult specifically on the proposed content of VAG issues. On the basis of the current high level PSHE non-statutory programmes this could be along the lines of:
a. Primary: General content about managing and controlling strong feelings and emotions.
b. KS3: The features of positive and stable relationships; how to deal with a breakdown in a relationship. In discussing positive relationships the negative aspects of some relationships, including use of violence and other forms of abuse may arise and should be addressed.
c. KS4: Characteristics of positive relationships and awareness of exploitation in relationships and of statutory and voluntary organisations that support relationships in crisis. An awareness of exploitation in relationships includes the use of mental and physical violence and other forms of abuse.
Press Notice 2010/0058