Teachers have been telling pupils to wear shorts under their skirts to protect themselves from upskirting, MPs have heard.
Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said schools needed to find ways to allow girls to feel comfortable playing without “victim blaming”.
The schools’ watchdog faced questions from the Commons Education Committee after a damning report found that nearly nine in 10 girls had been sent unwanted explicit pictures or called sexist names.
It comes after reports that some schools have asked girls to wear ‘modesty shorts’ under their dresses to prevent boys taking pictures or looking up their skirts.
Tory MP Tom Hunt said: “Teachers have been reported as telling girls to wear shorts under their skirts to prevent boys upskirting.
“How confident are you that current safeguarding inspection frameworks are appropriate to affect this type of misogyny in schools?”
Ms Spielman replied: “I think it’s really important that we don’t slide into a sort of national culture that is essentially victim blaming.
“In a primary school I would very much hope that we can find solutions in addressing any cultural problems that could be making girls feel uncomfortable doing normal things that every child should be doing in the playground – doing somersaults or cartwheels or what have you.”
Mr Hunt said: “I think it’s very concerning that that sort of question would be asked and that kind of does verge on victim blaming from what I can see.”
A grim report last week revealed that boys treated sharing “nudes” like a “collection game” on Whatsapp and Snapchat – with children as young as 10 sending naked pictures.
Ofsted found young people often did not report sexual harassment as it had become “normalised”, with one Year 12 pupil saying the sharing of explicit pictures was so widespread it was like “whack a mole”.
Ms Spielman told most girls she had spoken to “laugh that off and think it’s contemptible”.
“They would not want to be pulled into safeguarding procedures by reason of being sent a photograph that they think is simply contemptible,” she told MPs.
She added: “In sexual misconduct of every kind, there is a spectrum from the truly evil and appalling at one extreme, all the way down to things which are essentially clumsy explorations of emerging adolescent sexuality.”
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