More than 300 rapes were reported in British schools in three years, including a 12-year-old girl who was ‘stripped naked and raped by fellow pupils’.
Police recorded a 40 per cent increase in the number of sex crimes reported to them between 2011 and 2013 – and more than half of the offenders were children.
Easy access to online pornography is said to have driven the surge in abuse, according to the children’s charity NSPCC.
More than 300 rapes were reported in British schools and recorded by police in three years (picture by model)
The statistics were released by 37 out of 46 UK police forces and showed children made up over 90 per cent of alleged abuse victims.
A Freedom of Information Act released to The Independent, revealed that a total of 2,865 sex-crimes were reported in the three year period and there were an alleged 1,052 in the last year alone.
Among those cases included a 12-year-old girl at a school in Hampshire who was allegedly stripped naked and raped by pupils and who, in another incident, says she was taken into woods near the school and assaulted.
A major police inquiry was launched after claims were made by the pupil and another 15-year-old girl.
Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, is calling on the Government to take action after the evidence revealed a growing number of sexual violence amongst young people reported to the police from 2011 to 2013
However, they were excluded after the school believed they had consented and broke the rules about having sex on its ground, a tribunal heard.
The Crown Prosecution Service said in May that there was insufficient evidence and no charges would be brought against the suspects.
But the family of the 15-year-old, who is said to have learning difficulties, claimed that staff failed to alert them to the systematic sexual abuse of their daughter by other pupils.
Easy access to online pornography is being blamed by children’s charity NSPCC (picture by model)
Police launched a fresh inquiry into the school in March 2013 after the tribunal — which awarded one of the families £86,000 costs — published its findings about the way their daughter was treated.
A spokesman for the school and its headteacher said at the time it ‘deeply regrets’ that it failed its pupils and unreservedly apologised.
At a school in Manchester, a religious education teacher groped and kissed a teenage pupil in one-on-one meetings in his classroom. Richard Jones, 57, was arrested after the girl’s family discovered they had started a secret relationship and found explicit messages on her computer.
He admitted a string of sexual offences when he appeared at court last month and was jailed for eight years.
Claire Lilley, from the NSPCC, told the Independent: ‘Schools must make sure they have adequate safeguarding procedures in place and that parents and teachers are able to recognise warning signs early so they can take swift action when required.’
But the National Association of Headteachers has put the surge in reports down to the fact that alleged victims have become ‘more confident about making a disclosure’ and believes there is an ‘excellent’ amount of work being done to make schools a safe environment.
Headteachers are advised to report allegations of abuse to child-protection experts – but currently there is no penalty for failing to.
Now the Government faces renewed pressure from Labour to reform child safeguarding and introduce mandatory reporting of abuse allegations.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said: ‘These figures are very disturbing. Schools should be a place of safety for children and young people. The Government needs to take action given the evidence of growing sexual violence amongst young people.’
A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘There is nothing more important than protecting children from harm – any allegation of abuse must be taken very seriously. Schools’ safeguarding arrangements are regularly inspected.’