Victims in 84% of online grooming cases are girls 

  • Greater online protection for girls is urgently needed, say, experts, after new analysis revealed that 84% of grooming offences recorded under a law that makes it illegal to send sexual messages to children involved female victims. 
  • It is the first time that the gender of victims in police records has been made public since sexual communication with children became an offence four years ago. 
  • The data, analysed by children’s charity the NSPCC, has prompted renewed calls for the government’s Online Safety Bill to focus on adequately protecting girls, with the figures offering confirmation that they are far more likely to receive sexual content and face grooming online. 
  • For the full story, select here.  


UK schools record more than 60,000 racist incidents in five years 

  • UK schools recorded more than 60,000 racist incidents in the past five years, the Guardian has found, as experts accused the government of failing to meet “basic safeguarding” measures by hiding the true scale of the problem. 
  • Freedom of information (FoI) requests sent to 201 councils and about a fifth of England’s multi-academy trusts uncovered a total of 60,177 racist incidents – a racist incident being defined as any situation perceived to be racist by the alleged victim or any other person, including unintentional racism. 
  • The true scale is thought to be far higher because in 2012 the government advised schools that they had no legal duty to report racist incidents to local authorities. Further guidance issued in 2017 added that schools were not obliged to record any form of bullying.
  • For the full story, select here

School abuse: ‘Rape culture’ allegations are ‘shocking’, says Williamson 

  • Allegations of sexual abuse made by school pupils on a website are “shocking and abhorrent” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said. 
  • No school should be a place “where young people feel unsafe” or where abuse can take place, he added. 
  • Mr Williamson pledged to take “appropriate action” and urged victims to tell someone they trust. 
  • The website ‘Everyone’s Invited’ has recorded 8,000 testimonies of sexual abuse from pupils. 
  • It was set up last year as a place where victims can post anonymous accounts of the abuse they had suffered.
  • For the full story, select here


    School cyber-attack affects 40,000 pupils’ email 

    • A ransomware attack on multiple schools has left 37,000 pupils unable to access their email. 
    • The Harris Federation, which runs 50 primary and secondary academies in and around London, said it had temporarily disabled email while it deals with the cyber-attack. 
    • Data on the systems has been encrypted and hidden by the attackers. 
    • Last week, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a warning that hackers are targeting schools.
    • For the full story, select here.