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Sexual harassment and sexism is ‘rife’ in schools, new report reveals

SEXUAL harassment and sexism is “rife” in schools, with support staff complaining of physical advances and lewd remarks, a new report has revealed.

Unison said its study shows that one in 10 female support workers in secondary schools have told of being sexually harassed, mainly by male pupils but also by male colleagues.

The responses came from more than 2,000 employees across the UK, working mostly in primary and secondary education and including teaching assistants, technicians, lunchtime supervisors and administrators.

About one in seven school staff reported having witnessed sexual harassment in their workplace in the past five years.

Two in five who witnessed abusive incidents did not report them because they felt it was “pointless” or it could affect their career, said the report.

Nina Humphries of Feminista, which helped compile the report, said: “It is deeply concerning that misogyny is so normalised in schools. 

“This fuels violence against women and girls and limits the aspirations of all young people.

“These joint survey results contribute to the abundance of evidence that sexism and sexual harassment are rife in the UK education system.”

The full report will be published today at Unison’s annual conference in Brighton.

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