Allegations of “rape culture” and “sexual harassment” have been levelled against a number of primary schools across Tayside and Fife by ex-pupils.
The whistleblowing website Everyone’s Invited was set up to allow survivors of harassment to share their experiences in education.
A number of schools across Dundee, Fife, Angus and Perth and Kinross feature in a UK-wide list of schools allegations were made against.
Users of the website have the ability to share a public testimony, but even if they opt not to do this a record of each establishment is kept by Everyone’s Invited.
Tayside and Fife schools named on harassment list
Among the hundreds of primary schools named, three were in Perthshire and two were in Fife.
Stories are not time-specific but include details of primary-school-aged girls reporting examples of being catcalled to more serious allegations of being groped and sexually assaulted.
Included among the list of Tayside and Fife schools were allegations at Camperdown Primary School in Dundee as well as Dalgety Bay Primary School in Fife.
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “The city council has a number of procedures in place across our schools which are designed to keep young people safe.
“We would appeal to any pupil to make any concerns they have known immediately.”
Strathallan School in Perth and Lathallan School in Angus were also listed.
Sexual abuse is for many pupils a part of everyday school life they should never have to tolerate
A Perth & Kinross Council spokesperson said: “Perth & Kinross Council promotes a positive ethos in all our schools – harassment and abuse are unacceptable and not tolerated anywhere at any time.
“We treat all allegations and reports of this nature very seriously and ensure that they are investigated thoroughly.
We would urge any child or young person who has experienced abuse or harassment to report it
“We would urge any child or young person who has experienced abuse or harassment to report it and disclose the information to a trusted adult in their school, so we can ensure that they are offered appropriate support.”
Everyone’s Invited was founded by teenager Soma Sara last year in a bid to show how widespread harassment was in education across the UK.
Responding to the reports, a Scottish Government spokesperson said harassment of any form was “completely reprehensible”.
Abuse is ‘reprehensible and must stop’
They said: “Harassment or abuse of any form whether in the workplace, schools, in the home or in society is completely reprehensible and must stop.
“We are determined to ensure children receive high-quality relationships, sexual health and parenthood education in schools as an integral part of the health and wellbeing of the school curriculum in Scotland.”
Head of Education and Children’s Services at Fife Council, Maria Lloyd, commented: “All of our schools have a zero tolerance policy to sexual abuse or harassment and we have clear child protection policies that are followed.
“If there are any instances where people feel their voices have not been heard we would take this very seriously, investigate and take any appropriate action.”
NSPCC Scotland respond
Joanne Smith, NSPCC Scotland policy and public affairs manager: “Sexual abuse is for many pupils a part of everyday school life they should never have to tolerate.
“It’s crucial that schools are confident to spot and deal with this unacceptable behaviour, and work closely with partners, including local authorities, the NHS and, in some cases, the police, so all young people involved can get specialist support to help them recover.
Incidents ‘taken very seriously’
“It is also so important that work is done to protect children from experiencing harm in the first place, and we would like to see further roll out of preventative campaigns such as our partnership in Dundee, Oor Fierce Girls, which promotes healthy relationships among young people.”
An Angus Council spokesperson said, “All incidents, complaints and allegations of bullying or harassment in our schools are taken very seriously.
“We advise our young people to report any incidents immediately to staff or another trusted adult so they can be investigated and addressed promptly and effectively.”