The St Benedict's Lecture series: teaching consent with Monica boghal
On Wednesday, 24 January, we were joined by Monica Boghal, Director of the charity, The Schools Consent Project (SCP), who spoke to some of our parents about how they can best support their children by starting discussions about consent and how to make safe choices.
St Benedict’s has been proudly working with the Schools Consent Project for several years; a charity which sends volunteer lawyers into schools to teach students the legal definition of consent and normalise conversations about consent to educate and safeguard young people.
Working closely with the SCP, St Benedict's is able to create a unique curriculum which offers individually tailored age-appropriate workshops for students in different year groups.
Speaking about the benefits of these workshops, Luke Ramsden, Senior Deputy Head and Director of Safeguarding at St Benedict’s School, states:
The discussion of real-life examples, led by someone who is not their teacher and who is also an expert on the legalities of these scenarios, helps students to be more open and honest in their responses, and to ensure that all have a chance to fully participate.
Consent is a topic that appears in the life of every pupil and young person in today's society. As it can be such a sensitive subject, the legalities are often difficult to understand and engaging in non-consensual behaviour has real consequences.
During her talk to parents, Ms Bhogal, noted that according to recent data, reporting of sexual abuse and harassment is rare, but when it is reported, only 91% of rapes never get charged and, of those, only 2% of all recorded rapes result in a conviction.
Ms Bhogal also expressed the importance of how, as parents, we can ensure our children have accurate and comprehensive knowledge to enable them to enjoy respectful, fulfilling relationships by making the next generation confident of their legal rights and are able to communicate their boundaries, as well as be respectful of those boundaries in others.
I was delighted to speak to St Benedict's parents about why consent conversations are so important and how they can be a preventative measure to help drive down sexual offending rates. By sharing examples of the tools and messages we use in our workshops with young people, hopefully, I have enabled parents to support and reinforce these discussions at home.
With one in every three women experiencing sexual violence during their lifetime (WHO 2021), consent conversations are so important and can be a preventative measure to help drive down sexual offending rates.
It's crucial for pupils to understand this topic and begin to talk about it with each other and with adults around them.
Through their dedicated workshops, the Schools Consent Project takes the legal definition of consent into schools to make it accessible and real for secondary school pupils by encouraging them to lead these conversations and empowering them with an understanding of their rights and responsibilities to support a wider cultural change.
Read more about the Schools Consent Project here https://www.schoolsconsentproject.com/