THIRTEEN Bradford district schools have been named in anonymous testimonies on a website providing a platform for sexual harassment and assault survivors and shockingly two are primary settings.

Ofsted visited schools across the country on the Government's recommendation after more than 15,000 testimonies of sexual assault, harassment and rape were shared on a website, named "Everyone's Invited", since March 8 this year.

It was set up in June 2020 by a young woman, Soma Sara, who began discussing her experiences of rape culture on her Instagram account and people resonated with her posts.

The website has also released the names of the schools mentioned in the testimonies, "to continue to expose the prevalence of rape culture across all of society", and the list stands at almost 3,000 schools so far.

Worryingly there are two Bradford primary settings on the list - Iqra Academy and Copthorne Primary School - as well as two schools that offer education to children from a young age.

This includes, Bradford Grammar School (ages six to 18) and Appleton Academy (ages three to 16).

The Ofsted review discovered older teens (aged 16 and above) were more likely to say that sexual harassment and violence, including online, between peers was prevalent than younger students were.

But there was evidence suggesting access to technology and the sharing of inappropriate images and videos are also issues in primary schools, with some Year 6 pupils reportedly sending nude pictures.

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of schools said: “There are very definitely the same issues bleeding down into primary schools from the top down.”

She added that the access to smartphones, social media and online porn over the past decade were “exacerbating factors”.

The other nine are all secondary schools, with some of them offering a sixth form provision as well.

They include, Beckfoot School (Bingley), Benton Park, Bingley Grammar, Co-op Academy Grange, Dixons City Academy, Oasis Academy Lister Park, St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic College and St Marys' Menston.

The ninth school mentioned, Belle Vue Boys’ School, no longer exists and a mixed-sex secondary secondary school under a different name now operates on that site.

Ofsted is calling on school and college leaders to develop a culture where all kinds of sexual harassment are recognised and addressed, including with sanctions when appropriate.

It adds that the time should be allocated in the RSHE curriculum for topics that young people find difficult, such as consent and sharing explicit images.

Marium Haque, Bradford Council’s Deputy Director for Education and Learning, said: “We welcome the review and are working with multi-agency partners to consider the outcomes to ensure schools are supported to implement any recommendations and changes in guidance or legislation.”

The T&A contacted all schools mentioned for comment and received responses from Bradford Grammar, Iqra Academy, the Beckfoot Trust and St Bede's and St Joseph's.

The statements generally welcomed the review by Ofsted and the schools outlined their commitment to keeping students safe and helping further support them.

Lawrence Bentley, Headteacher at St Bede's and St Joseph's College, said: "We welcome the findings of Ofsted on this issue and the rapid response they have made to the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ work.

"The hard hitting issues revealed in the report are issues that the nation faces at all levels of society and we, like all schools, acknowledge our responsibility to continue to work with our young people and their families to ensure that the society that they will one day shape is one where sexual harassment and abuse are no more."

A spokesperson for Iqra Academy said: “It has been bought to our attention that our school has been included in the Everyone’s Invited published list.

"There is no place for any form of harassment or abuse in any school.

"We take matters of this nature extremely seriously and the safety and wellbeing of our staff and pupils is of the utmost importance to us.”

Bradford Grammar School Headmaster, Dr Simon Hinchliffe, said: “We take allegations of abuse or inappropriate behaviour extremely seriously and it is worrying that BGS has been named in the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ list of schools.

“At this time, we have no information on when or where any incident may have taken place, but we will work closely with the police and safeguarding partners should details come to light.

“Safeguarding is an integral part of BGS practice, and we proactively teach and encourage positive values and behaviours through the work of our experienced pastoral team and our pastoral prefects.

“The responsibility to take care of your friends as well as yourself is a pastoral keystone at BGS, as is the need to be an upstander, not a bystander – to challenge or report behaviour that you know is wrong, and not look the other way.

“Good relationships are at the heart everything we do, we are not complacent and if there are lessons to be learnt, they will be.”

Meanwhile, the Beckfoot Trust shared a statement with it schools' families about Sexual Harassment and Online Sexual Abuse via websites last Friday (June 11).

It said: "Following the high-profile ‘Me Too’ campaign, Beckfoot Trust welcomed the work of the Everyone’s Invited movement in exposing the extent that peer on peer sexual abuse among young people has become normalised in our society.

"The extensive and often excessive use of technology, particularly mobile phones, has clearly exacerbated this.

"We were encouraged by how swiftly Ofsted responded and although the report is hard-hitting for parents, schools, and political leaders, we wholly accept that this is something that must be addressed by us all.

"We were particularly saddened to read that young girls spoke of adults ‘not knowing the reality’ of their lives.

"We are proud of the fact that are a very open and self-reflective organisation and we know there is always more we can do.

"We also know the influence we can have by working collectively as a group of schools to improve the experience of our 7000 plus young people."

The trust then outlined "four key points" that are to shape its next steps in responding to the issue.

This includes, remaining true to its values of "Enjoy Learn Succeed", continuing its trust-wide Personal Development programme, (including within it, Relationships, Health and Sex Education), reviewing its online safety and safeguarding policies and listening to its young people and shaping policy accordingly.

The statement concluded: "We are determined to do all we can to educate the children and young people in our care and to ensure our school cultures are safe places where sexual harassment and abuse are eradicated.

"We take seriously our personal and organisational responsibility for getting this right.

"If as educational leaders we have not previously listened or seen enough, we pledge to all our students ‘we hear you’."