Following recent concerns about the prevalence of sexual violence and sexual harassment amongst children and young people in school and college settings, LimeCulture has spent the last 6-9 months working hard to develop a Model of support that allows schools and colleges to provide a whole school approach to responding to sexual misconduct (including sexual violence and abuse, sexual harassment, peer on peer and harmful sexual behaviour).
Since 2014, LimeCulture has been working extensively with universities and higher education institutions to improve their response to sexual misconduct through a range of training and consultancy services. To date we have supported more than 70 universities across England, Wales and Scotland, and as such, have an excellent understanding of the actions required to make improvements to the way that staff and students are supported following a report of sexual misconduct. Our Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) Model was piloted within Keele University and University of Greenwich in 2015; and this ground breaking model of support has now been adopted by more than 60 universities.
LimeCulture has recently begun to work with a range of schools and colleges to support them to provide a whole school approach to responding to children and young people who have experienced sexual misconduct and building on the learning from our work with universities, we have developed the Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officer (SMLO) Model of support for schools and colleges. The SMLO Model was piloted by The Perse School in Cambridge – an Independent School we were delighted to work closely with to design and test the SMLO Model – and in November 2021, we delivered specialist accredited training to a carefully selected cadre of The Perse School’s (incredible!) staff to provide them with the competence and confidence to support to young people who either report sexual misconduct or are reported against.
Crucially, the SMLO Model places sexual misconduct within the strategic safeguarding response of schools, in line with statutory duties, providing the infrastructure to embed the SMLO Model into existing safeguarding structures with 4 key benefits:
- Children and young people have a recognised point of contact at school who has the skills, knowledge and training to respond to incidents of sexual misconduct,
- Staff recognise that there are specialists within the school or college who can support them if they are approached, receive information or a disclosure of sexual misconduct from a child or young person is made,
- External stakeholders know that there are staff within the school or college who can assist them in supporting victims of sexual misconduct,
- The SMLO Model does not require the appointment of new staff or creation of new posts – instead utilising existing staff from across the school/colleges to become upskilled with specialist knowledge and competencies, providing a whole school approach to the prevention of and response to sexual violence and misconduct.
From January 2022, LimeCulture will be working with more schools and colleges to support them to implement a whole school approach to responding to sexual misconduct by embedding the SMLO Model. Please get in touch with LimeCulture’s Safeguarding Team by emailing us if you’d like to know more about the work we are doing with schools and colleges. We’d love to hear from you!
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