Hertfordshire school exclusions over sexual misconduct
Schools in Hertfordshire excluded pupils for sexual misconduct on dozens of occasions in just one year, figures reveal.
The charity Rape Crisis said the figures do not show the true scale of sexual abuse inside schools, following thousands of allegations by students across England.
Department for Education figures show Hertfordshire schools excluded students 52 times for sexual misconduct in 2018/19 – one permanently and 51 temporarily.
They were among 1,972 sexual misconduct exclusions – which include incidents of sexual abuse, sexual bullying and sexual harassment across England that year.
Though a 13% drop on the year before, Rape Crisis said the number of exclusions will not show the true scale of sexist bullying and sexual violence being perpetrated in schools, particularly against girls.
Children’s laureates campaign for £100m a year to fix primary school libraries
All of the UK’s children’s laureates, including Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, are calling for the government to dedicate £100m a year to revitalise primary school libraries across the country
This is happening amid fears that literacy levels have dropped severely during the pandemic.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Cowell, the current laureate, calls for £100m to be ringfenced for building new and restoring neglected libraries every year, saying that millions of children are “missing out on opportunities to discover the life-changing magic of reading”.
Decades of research has linked childhood reading to future success, including a 2002 OECD study that found it was a better predictor than a family’s socio-economic status.
At the same time, both public and school libraries have been subject to swingeing cuts over the last decade.