Authors: Cath Jones and Dr Sarah Oerton, University of South Wales

Day One – Tuesday 25th June

Strand – Education

Session Three: 4.30pm – 6pm

This paper draws upon exploratory research designed to investigate how concerns and challenges relating to sexual bullying are being addressed by Welsh Government policy and other guidance documents, and how effective practices are in tackling sexual bullying by and of children and young people in Wales. 

Our work-in-progress project highlights effective policy and practice, identifies gaps, and draws upon the views and experiences of professionals in delivering policies and practices that speak to the reality and diversity of sexual bullying, whilst also recognizing the constraints shaping adult responses and responsibilities.   All schools must have an anti-bullying policy in place by law (Section 61 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998).  Many schools have policies which address specific forms of bullying, including racist and sexist bullying, and many schools do have anti-bullying initiatives in place.  How policy and procedure can best tackle sexual bullying has been keenly debated in the academic literature, and there is currently much public concern about the premature hyper sexualisation of childhood. 

The aim here is to offer critical insights into various approaches to sexual bullying, with particular reference to how primary and secondary schools in Wales are currently addressing sexual bullying in the lives of children during the crucial transition phase from 8 – 12 years old onwards, and to identify the complexity faced by those implementing strategies to combat such bullying.  By paying attention to diversity and to the power relations which underpin policy and practice, and by drawing upon data analysis from online questionnaires and critical case studies, we will provide an overview and critique of moves to combat sexual bullying.  In so doing, our presentation aims to engage in dialogue with relevant stakeholders.

Please click here to download presentation.