Sexual misconduct in Islington schools sees nine pupils excluded
PUBLISHED: 06:36 17 February 2012 | UPDATED: 12:29 21 February 2012
Nine children – including one as young as eight – have been excluded from Islington schools for sexual misconduct, the Gazette can reveal.
In the last three academic years two primary school children and seven secondary school children have received fixed term expulsions for the offence.
In the same period, one pupil was permanently thrown out for sexual misconduct which includes sexual abuse, sexual assault and lewd behaviour.
The figures were obtained as the result of a Freedom of Information request.
The exact details of the offences could not be revealed due to data protection laws, but the council say most fixed term exclusions for sexual misconduct are for less than 15 days.
Experts say a common form of sexual misconduct among young children is inappropriate touching.
A spokesman for child protection charity Kidscape said: “It is alarming to hear when school children are excluded from school due to sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct can relate to a number of incidents ranging from offensive language to inappropriate touching.
“In some cases it might be appropriate to exclude the child, in others a different approach might be best, it depends on the nature of the incident and the individual decision of the head teacher. The important thing is safety of the children, as well as giving support and helo to the child in question to help them change their behaviour.
“Part of the problem is that everything has changed so quickly with children being able to access pornography and inappropriate images online and on TV, as well as the growing sexualisation of children.
“It would be good to have a central agency to collect this data to see if their is a national trend we should be concerned about.”
Cllr Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and young people, Islington Council said:
“We take our responsibilities for safeguarding children very seriously and so we expect schools to deal with these rare incidents promptly and firmly.
“These figures show that the number of incidents of sexual misconduct in our schools is very low. But I am pleased that where a small number of cases have been reported strong disciplinary action has been taken.“