Many of the accusations “might not reach the threshold for criminality,” but were distressing nevertheless, Jess Phillips, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, told the BBC this week. She said the onus was on the government to collect data about sexual violence in schools, saying it had failed to act on a recommendation to do just that after a 2016 inquiry.
“We need a better inspection regime, we need to have a proper inquiry, we need the government to actually be collecting the data — they’re not actually currently collecting this data anywhere,” Ms. Phillips said.
Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said in a statement that the accusations were “shocking and abhorrent” and that they must be dealt with properly.
“While the majority of schools take their safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously, I am determined to make sure the right resources and processes are in place across the education system to support any victims of abuse to come forward,” he said.
Government agencies and the police are in contact with Everyone’s Invited to provide support to those who are reporting abuse.
Sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults often go unreported worldwide, so crime data can give only a partial picture of the scale of the problem. But in Britain other statistics show that sexual violence against school-age girls and young women is endemic.