New figures show 104 alleged sexual offences in four years at Tyne and Wear schools

Northumbria Police headquarters in Ponteland
Northumbria Police headquarters in Ponteland

Reports of sexual offences at Tyne and Wear schools are revealed in figures obtained by global children’s charity Plan International UK.

Northumbria Police classed 104 alleged incidents as sexual offences Northumberland and Tyne and Wear schools in the four years between 2011/12 and 2014/15.

There were 17 reports of sexual offences on school premises recorded in 2011/12, 39 in 2012/13, 15 in 2013/14 and 33 in 2014/15.

Plan International UK is calling for the government to commit to mandatory sex and relationships education which covers sexting, consent, healthy relationships and the law.

“This shows that we’re failing young people when it comes to learning about healthy relationships and consent,” says Plan International UK Head of Girls’ Rights Kerry Smith.

“Quality sex and relationships education helps young people to develop healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships while helping to tackle inappropriate and aggressive sexual behaviour.”

Nationally, reports of sexual offences in schools have more than doubled in four years to 1,955 in 2014/15.

Figures were disclosed after a Freedom of Information request of UK police forces with 34 of 45 responses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Police Scotland declined the request on cost grounds.

Alleged offences ranged from harassment to serious sexual assaults and rapes. Less than one in ten suspected cases resulted in criminal charges or summons.

Other national findings include:

* Nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of alleged victims are girls or women

* 94 per cent of alleged offences are committed by men or boys

* 15 per cent are thought to be committed by school staff, including teachers

“Clearly girls and women are disproportionately affected by sexual violence in schools,” says Ms Smith.

“Young people need education about the realities of life and relationships, including consent.”