Update from Abbie Thorrington
Friday 16th April 2021
Dear parents and carers,
The start of the summer term has been hugely positive. The atmosphere around the academy has been upbeat and the students have settled back in well. As the Year 11 students prepare for their final assessments, they are focused and approaching the challenge in a mature and responsible way. It is so good to see the other year groups taking their studies just as seriously, making up for the disruptions Covid has created.
As I’m sure you have seen in the media, there is a renewed national focus on sexual abuse in schools. The Government have set up a helpline and ordered a review by Ofsted to assess safeguarding in schools around the issue of peer-on-peer sexual abuse, something that has recently been highlighted by the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website.
At Ipswich Academy, we take any report of peer-on-peer sexual abuse seriously, with every case being closely and fully investigated. We encourage an open culture and give students opportunities and safe spaces to make disclosures in the event of an incident. We have precise protocols that we follow to ensure that the correct support is given in school and by outside agencies, if required.
Our staff are trained in handling these types of reports and regardless of which member of staff is told, the response will be the same. At Ipswich Academy, we have specialist staff who are able to assist pupils and ensure that any incident of alleged sexual abuse is taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.
Not only do we support students in the event of an incident, we also educate students about safeguarding, healthy and respectful relationships, respectful behaviour and consent and that sexual violence and sexual harassment is always wrong through the Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) curriculum. We promote an honest, open and respectful culture in school and we feel that having a dialogue around such topics is a key part of ensuring that they don’t become normalised behaviours.
As a reminder, all students will be spoken with during the coming week regarding how they can access help and support if they have any concerns.
If in the meantime you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.