Young people are to be asked questions about their experience of sexual assault and harassment in a survey launching next week, after a number of students gave accounts of misogyny and abuse earlier this year.
It’s the first time the topic will feature in the bi-annual Children and Young People’s Survey by Statistics Jersey, which this year will run from 4 to 15 October.
Other new topics added to the surveys this year include belonging, self-harm, trust in teachers, and covid.
As usual, the surveys will also include questions on drug and alcohol consumption.
The surveys are adapted individually for age groups across years four to 12, and feature “age appropriate questions” that help to build a picture of life for children on the island.
Pictured: A question from the Year 10 survey.
The questions have been reviewed by the Children's Commissioner and parents are being given the opportunity to view the questions in advance and opt out on behalf of their children if they wish.
A final report on the findings of the survey will be made public in March 2022.
Headteachers will receive a breakdown of their school's results in order that they can act on any areas of concern that arise, but this breakdown will not be made public.
Questions in relation to sexual harassment will only apply from Year 8 upwards.
Pictured: Question areas by age group.
Assistant Statistician, Chloe Lowndes, said that the decision to include questions on sexual comments was the result of a request from the Education Department.
It came after scores of school students took their concerns about harassment in and outside of schools to teachers in the wake of the Everyone’s Invited movement, which encouraged young people to share their experiences, and Sarah Everard’s death in April.
The revelations led JCG and Victoria College's headteachers to vow to take a “"zero tolerance" approach to "any language and behaviour that is sexist, misogynistic, demeaning or offensive.”
In June, the Everyone's Invited website went on to publish the names of 3,000 schools where students had reported serious harassment or abuse, including JCG, Victoria College and St. Michael's Preparatory School.
On the new survey, Chief Statistician at Statistics Jersey, Ian Cope, commented: “We want to encourage children and young people to complete the survey which has a direct influence on areas that impact them.
“The results will allow a better understanding of life from the perspective of young people and help with decision making in the provision of services for children such as in education and health.
“Without a real understanding of children’s behaviours, policies and services to support young people may not be based on local evidence.
“Previous reports have helped to support new policy, relating to local issues, in areas such as health, exercise, and drug and alcohol usage.
“Parents and guardians have been sent letters and further information about the anonymous and voluntary survey to ensure they and their child are happy to take part.
“Parents or young people themselves can chose to opt out of the survey or they can skip certain questions and leave them blank.
“I’d like to thank schools and Head Teachers for their continued support to enable children to complete the survey in school. We have worked with the Children’s Commissioner while planning the survey and thank the Minister for Children and Education for his support.”
In the wake of Everyone's Invited and Sarah Everard's death, some schools called charity Jersey Action Against Rape in to educate young people on topics of consent and sexual harassment. The charity shared its observations with Express back in April for the Bailiwick Podcast...
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