[2021] Motion 46 Time to stop sexual harassment in schools and colleges – it’s no joke

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress asserts that all young people are harmed by sexism and misogyny, which create stereotypical ideas about men and women and fuels sexual harassment. Congress was incensed but not shocked by the findings of Everyone’s Invited, which builds on campaigning by education unions, about what girls and young women experience and the destructive pressures on boys. Online spaces can be places where young people harass each other or are exposed to content that is sexist, demeaning to women, and negative about LGBT+ identities. One in three teenage girls receive unwanted sexual messages online and the amount of self-generated sexual imagery is increasing.

A sexist working environment is harmful for all education staff and yet women workers in education don’t have confidence that they can report harassment. The TUC asserts that unions must make sexual harassment a union issue and increase the confidence of members to use their trade union to prevent abuse, report abuse and robustly tackle incidents.

Sexual harassment continues to be trivialised and minimised and the experiences of girls and women ignored. Unions must raise awareness and mobilise members to challenge inappropriate behaviours at work.

Congress agrees to:

i. share advice with workplace reps about the prevalence and harm from sexual harassment and the need to encourage reporting

ii. gather good practice from affiliates

iii. lobby the government to introduce a new specific duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment

iv. reinstate employment tribunals’ powers to make wider recommendations to employers, to root out cultures that enable harassment.

National Education Union