An ATL survey on pornography carried out in 2013 showed our members are increasingly concerned that children are exposed to pornography, that sexting is common and many members also report an increase in sexually explicit conversations among pupils.
This advice aims to provide members with reassurance when faced with difficult situations by:
- setting out key definitions
- providing an outline of criminal offences that may be committed
- highlighting what ATL believes is best practice and the support that exists for whistleblowers
- explaining the responsibilities for schools, colleges and staff members under the law.
Ultimately the school or college for whom you work has overall legal responsibility for the safeguarding of pupils or students, whether they are maintained and under local authority control, an academy, a free school or an independent school.
These issues are extremely complex and each situation must be considered on an individual basis - this guidance should not be treated as a definitive authority in this very tricky area.