THE Government has issued revised guidance on tackling sexual misconduct in schools after an epidemic of alleged abuse was exposed within the education sector in Oxfordshire.

The Department for Education has published a draft of statutory guidance on keeping children of all ages safe in schools, which is set to take effect in September.

The changes come after tens of thousands of harrowing allegations of sexual abuse at schools and universities in the UK were published on the Everyone's Invited website, where anyone can share their experience of sex abuse and assault in the school corridors.

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Last month, the Oxford Mail sifted through more than 50,000 testimonies to discover those relating to Oxfordshire, and revealed that a total of 45 schools have been named in the anonymous accounts from sexual assault survivors, with St Edward's School, Radley School, Abingdon School and Magdalen College being the most cited for alleged abuse.

Some of the key changes to the Government's statutory guidance include policies which will tackle inappropriate and sometimes criminal behaviour in county schools.

Education institutions must now have a 'whole school' approach in place to address sexual harm, with preventative measures including behaviour policies, pastoral support and how well the relationship, sex and health education curriculum is being taught.

For example, Government plans include a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and harassment, with unacceptable behaviour not being passed off as 'banter', 'just having a laugh', 'part of growing up' or 'boys being boys'.

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The draft highlights how dismissing or tolerating 'potentially criminal in nature' behaviour, such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia, pulling down trousers, flicking bras and lifting up skirts can lead to children not reporting it.

Such acts were detailed in one testimony by a local student, who claimed to have experienced a number of male teachers looking up her skirt which has made her 'too scared' to walk up the school stairs without holding down the hem.

Based on the anonymous accounts, another major problem in the county's schools was the sharing of nude images between classmates.

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In the guidance, the language of 'sexting', which has previously been criticised, has now been ditched, and instead swapped for 'consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and videos'.

Following a recent report from Ofsted on sexual abuse in schools and colleges, the regulator confirmed that future inspections will now look at how schools and colleges tackle all forms of sexual abuse and harassment, and institutions which do not have adequate processes in place will likely be marked as ineffective at safeguarding.