Equally Safe at School

Published 30th August 2021

The SPHSU has collaborated with Rape Crisis Scotland to develop Equally Safe at School (ESAS), a whole school approach to responding to gender-based violence.

Visit www.equallysafeatschool.org.uk  

Gender-based violence includes a spectrum of behaviours, including rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, ‘honour-based’ violence, stalking, and image-based abuse. Schools are dealing with many of these issues and young people are increasingly raising their voices about them.

Any secondary school in Scotland can now register and include ESAS in their activities. The project supports secondary schools to increase confidence and skills in preventing gender-based violence and in responding to incidents and disclosures. It takes an holistic approach, enabling schools to sustainably embed preventive measures across their systems, culture and ethos using a range of tools including:

  • senior leadership dashboard
  • self-assessment materials
  • staff e-learning module
  • teaching resources
  • curriculum materials
  • guidance on incorporating gender violence prevention into school policies

After registering for an account, schools use these resources to undertake staff training, policy and curriculum work, and establish an action group (jointly led by students and staff) to support student-led activities. They work to embed ESAS within their school activities and procedures at their own pace, with optional support from local Rape Crisis centres. 

The design of ESAS is the product of a four-year collaboration between the SPHSU and Rape Crisis Scotland, including co-design and pilot of the intervention in six Scottish schools with support from Zero Tolerance.

We translated our research into several resources for the intervention: an animated video of sexual harassment in school, a systems map of the challenges of addressing sexual harassment, an interactive theory of change, and an automated survey for schools to track their progress.

The ESAS intervention has been funded by the Scottish Government Violence Against Women and Girls Fund and is included in the Equally Safe Delivery Plan.

First published: 30 August 2021

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