Sexual bullying: thousands of pupils suspended

A "shocking new trend" in bullying was revealed today as figures showed more than 3,000 children were suspended from school for sexual misconduct.

Around 3,500 pupils in England were given fixed-term exclusions from school for sexual misconduct in the academic year 2006/07 - including 260 in primary schools, statistics from the Department for Children, Schools and Families have shown.

The figures are featured in a BBC1 Panorama programame which also quotes the findings of a survey of 11 to 19-year-olds by the charity Young Voice, showing one in 10 had been forced against their will to take part in sex acts.

Sexual misconduct can cover a range of behaviours from a one-off incident of daubing sexually-explicit graffiti on a wall to name-calling, inappropriate touching and serious sexual attacks.

Groping and the use of sexually-abusive nicknames have become almost part of daily life for some pupils, according to the Panorama programme.

Writing in the Daily Mail, presenter Jeremy Vine said he gathered a group of a dozen mothers and fathers in a bar to talk about sexual bullying.

"They spoke about mobiles, music and the internet, freely admitting that policing TV viewing was nigh-on impossible because of the ease with which children can access programmes out of hours," he said.

Richard Piggin, from the charity Beatbullying, said sexual bullying was "relatively common" and a serious problem.

"We are looking at sexual misconduct, name-calling and also inappropriate touching, and young people being forced into sexual activity that they are not really comfortable with," he told BBC Breakfast.

"There is a significant number of young people that we have worked with who have told us that they have either experienced it, or have witnessed it in their schools or in their community."

The Panorama programme comes after Children's Secretary Ed Balls asked the Anti Bullying Alliance to draw up guidance for teachers on tackling sexual bullying.

The guidance will tackle inappropriate language, advise teachers on how to manage cases of harassment, and encourage healthy friendships between teenage boys and girls amid concerns of misogynistic attitudes linked to gang culture.

The Panorama programme follows widespread publicity last month over the sentencing of nine teenagers in east London for the gang rape of a teenage girl.

* Panorama: Kids Behaving Badly, tonight at 8.30pm, BBC1

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

King's College, Cambridge: Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships October 2016

£20,100 (pre-award of doctorate) rising each year to a maximum of £25,869: Kin...

Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate Primary Teaching Assistant

£70 - £90 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: KS1 Teaching Assistant - Graduates -...

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 intervention teacher/PPA

£120 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Are you looking for an interventio...

Tradewind Recruitment: Teaching Assistant

£70 - £90 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Currently seeking an experienced TA ...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works