Harmful sexual behaviour in schools training

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Target population                                                

Everyone who comes into contact with children and young people has a responsibility to keep them safe.

NSPCC’s e-learning courses are aimed at teachers, teaching assistants, volunteers and supporting members of staff working in primary and/or secondary schools.

Delivery organisation  

This e-learning course is provided by NSPCC - The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - which is a charity campaigning and working in child protection in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.

It is available as part of the NSPCC Learning website which provides resources, training sessions and consultancy for those working to safeguard children.

Mode and context of delivery  

Learning about sex and sexual behaviour begins at a young age. It’s often a healthy and normal part of a child’s development but concerning behaviour can also start to emerge. An early response can help prevent children from harming themselves and others.

The harmful sexual behaviour in schools training course is delivered online and can be taken on PCs and Macs, as well as iPads or other tablet devices. The resource is available on the NSPCC ‘learning’ website and is accessible at any time.

Level/Nature of staff expertise required 

The materials in this training pack are developed by child-safety experts. NSPCC work with a number of organisations, experienced consultants and subject matter experts in a range of sectors to develop courses that are clear, easy-to-use, up-to-date and in line with the latest statutory guidance, and tailored to professional needs.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)    

The course content takes two hours to complete. However, it can be completed at your own pace and in your own time. The training course can be taken anywhere, and the course can be taken as many times as you like within one year.

Description of intervention 

The courses contain five sections followed by an assessment to help you develop your understanding and confidence.

After completing the course, you will:

  • have a better understanding of which behaviours are healthy and which are of concern
  • feel confident in responding immediately to incidents of sexualised behaviour be able to accurately record and detail any incidents
  • better manage the risks of sexualised behaviour by implementing safety plans.

The course includes film interviews with experts and practitioners in the field, interactive quizzes, film scenarios and reflective tasks to help you develop your understanding and confidence.

The course can be accessed at https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/harmful-sexual-behaviour-hsb-schools and there is a cost of £35. 




Department for Education (DfE) (2018a) Peer on peer abuse. In: Keeping children safe in education: statutory guidance for schools and colleges. London: Department for Education (DfE).

Department of Health. Northern Ireland (2017) Harmful sexual behaviour. In: Co-operating to safeguard children and young people in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Department of Health. Northern Ireland.

Scottish Government (2014) Children and young people who display harmful or problematic sexual behaviour. In: National guidance for child protection in Scotland 2014 (PDF). Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

All Wales Child Protection Procedures Review Group (AWCPPRG) (2012) The management of young people engaged in sexually harmful behaviour (PDF). [Cardiff]: All Wales Child Protection Procedures Review Group (AWCPPRG).

Contact details  




Information correct at January 2021