School sexual misconduct rates exposed

Picture posed by models
Picture posed by models

Borough youngsters were among hundreds of school pupils excluded from UK schools for sexual misconduct, an investigation has found.

Alarming new figures reveal children as young as six were either permanently or temporarily kicked out of Wigan classrooms in the last four years after being involved in sexual acts.

There were 33 pupils removed from the borough’s schools for reasons including watching pornography and sharing indecent images, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

A shocking gender divide was also evident, with the data revealing that only four out of the 33 incidents in Wigan were committed by girls.

In total, a shocking 754 incidents were recorded between July 2013 and April 2017, although the true figure is likely to be higher as the vast majority of councils who were contacted either did not hold the information or refused to disclose it.

Wigan Council was in fact one of only 15 local authorities to respond to the FOI request.

The figures do not include those where children were victims at the hands of staff or adult volunteers.

Sexual misconduct covers a range of issues in schools including sexual abuse, assault, bullying, graffiti and harassment, as well as lewd behaviour.

Other examples included holding, distributing or requesting indecent images, accessing internet pornography, and sexual misconduct involving social media.

The shocking revelations have prompted fresh calls for a revamp of sex education in the classroom.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Social media, sexting, online porn and dating apps did not exist when sex education was introduced on the curriculum a generation ago.”

“Every child has the right to feel safe at school.

“Preventing harmful sexual behaviour through proper, up to date sex and relationships education is immeasurably better than excluding children after the harm has been done.”