Lessons in what constitutes healthy relationships should be a greater priority for schools, Ofsted has concluded.
Working with the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Probation and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Ofsted examines the damaging experiences of children who have suffered domestic abuse in a new report. Amongst other examples, it cites the disruption caused to their education, quoting a parent saying:
“For kids, it is daunting. They come into a refuge, move schools and move again, and move schools again.”
Classroom education on the dynamics of a healthy relationship should be given greater prominence Ofsted suggest, claiming that various forms of domestic abuse now account for as much as ten per cent of all crimes.
“Education for children about healthy relationships is already part of the curriculum, but it is often not part of the curriculum that is prioritised by schools.”
The organisation acknowledge the complexity of domestic abuse cases, which are frequently fuelled by substance abuse, but insists that the welfare of any children involved should be the overriding priority.
“A failure to adequately focus on the experiences and needs of children means there is a high risk that the emotional and mental impact of domestic abuse will go unaddressed. Children and young people who have lived with domestic violence for several years frequently experience intense feelings of responsibility, guilt, anger and a sense of despair and powerlessness over their lives.”
Read the report here.