Guardian: Sexualised primary pupils worry Ofsted

More evidence (if its needed!) that the fears of those supporting the Badman review are being focused  in the wrong direction!

Polly Curtis, Tuesday 23 June 2009 20.07 BST
Ofsted inspectors investigating an increase in exclusions from primary schools have discovered “worrying” levels of sexual behaviour among very young children.
An inquiry into schools that have repeatedly suspended pupils as young as four has unearthed high incidences of children touching other children inappropriately and using sexually graphic language as well as swearing, attacking staff and throwing furniture.
The growing rates of exclusions could be reduced if pupils receive the right support but some schools do not have the “capacity” to deal with the psychological problems some children face, the report suggests. Ofsted is “urgently” appealing to the government to produce advice for schools on identifying sexual behaviour and when to refer a child to social services in case that child is at risk of abuse.
The inquiry, published today, followed figures released in parliament at the end of last year which revealed that more than 4,000 children under the age of five were excluded from school or nursery in 2007, the majority for violence against other children or a member of staff.
Last night the Department for Children, Schools and Families confirmed that in 2007, the last year figures are available for, 41,300 children were excluded temporarily from primary schools   a rise of 10% since 2004.
Ofsted reported headteachers struggling to get psychological help for vulnerable children. When headteachers contacted social services because they were worried about children’s sexualised behaviour, they were often turned away. One headteacher was told a child would “grow out of it”.
Miriam Rosen, director of education at Ofsted, said: “Sexualised behaviour can indicate a child protection issue, so the important thing is that they refer to the social services so they can deal with the problem.” Ofsted inspectors visited 69 primary schools, 30 of which had above average rates of temporary exclusion in the four to seven age group. Nearly all were in inner city areas with high levels of children living below the poverty line.

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