CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Kateryna Law: A new curriculum exploring consent and sexual harassment

'Women still find themselves, on a daily basis, walking alone in areas where they do not feel safe, feeling vulnerable or simply uncomfortable'

22 November, 2021 — By Kateryna Law

Kateryna Law

I AM sure I state nothing new when I say that most women have felt vulnerable at some point in their lives when walking home alone.

From a young age, women are advised to stay together, to use a licenced taxi service and to walk on well-lit streets.

Indeed, many women will text a friend or relative when they reach home safely to give loved ones the reassurance that they have made it.

At Camden School for Girls we have a dedicated programme addressing many of the issues we see coming to the forefront in the news.

We have developed and rewritten a curriculum exploring the issue of consent and sexual harassment and many other matters around personal education.

We have enhanced our training for staff, we have highlighted dangers and we have promoted initiatives such as Street Safe, a pilot service by the Met Police which gives everyone a voice on how to make particular areas in their locality safer.

So, is it schools who play the biggest part in restoring the social inequality, social justice, social change? We spend our formative years in schools so it is undeniable that schools play an important role.

But all leaders need to create the right institutional culture, where this kind of behaviour, no matter how small, cannot take hold.

So where does this leave women?

While we are busy creating cultural changes in organisations, educating on consent and sexual abuse, creating reporting systems and highlighting dangers, are women any safer?

Women still find themselves, on a daily basis, walking alone in areas where they do not feel safe, feeling vulnerable or simply uncomfortable.

But there has been a shift in priorities and in attitudes.

Women’s vulnerability is being recognised. Women’s safety is everyone’s problem.

And for that, I am assured that we are starting to make a change.

• Kateryna Law is headteacher at Camden School for Girls in Camden Town

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