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However, these issues have the potential to be complex and multifaceted.
As case law in this area is still relatively underdeveloped, nothing in this guidance should be taken as legal advice. The authors and other contributors to this guidance accept no liability for any damage or loss suffered or incurred whether directly, consequentially, indirectly or otherwise by anyone relying on the information in this publication or any other information referred to in it. Web addresses, social networks, apps and other references in this guidance were correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change over time. This guidance was last updated and published in December This advice is for deated safeguarding le DSLstheir deputies, headteachers and senior leadership teams groups of nude people schools and educational establishments [footnote 1] in England.
This document may also act as good practice advice for out-of-school settings providing education for children and young people in England e. Practitioners working in education settings in Wales should see the following advice on responding to incidents:. Practitioners working in education settings in Scotland should see the following guidance and advice for responding to incidents and safeguarding children and young people in Scotland:.
This advice outlines how to respond to an incident of nudes and semi-nudes being shared see section 1. This could be via social media, gaming platforms, chat apps or forums. The motivations for taking and sharing nude and semi-nude images, videos and live streams are not always sexually or criminally motivated.
Such images may be created and shared consensually by young people who are in relationships, as well as between those who are not in a relationship. Incidents may also occur where:. Further guidance on the motivations for taking and sharing images and videos can be found in section 1. The sharing of nudes and semi-nudes can happen publicly online, in messaging or via group chats and closed social media s. Nude or semi-nude images, videos or live streams may include more than one child or young person. Creating and sharing nudes and semi-nudes of unders including those created and shared with consent is illegal which makes responding to incidents involving children and young people complex.
There are also a range of risks which need careful management from those working in education settings. However, these terms are more often used in the context of adult-to-adult non-consensual image sharing offences outlined in s. Sharing photos, videos and live streams online is part of daily life for many people, enabling them to share their experiences, connect with friends and record their lives. Photos and videos can be shared via messaging apps or posted on social media and image sharing platforms.
However, the focus of this guidance is on the sending of nudes and semi-nudes. If the imagery is shared further, it may lead to embarrassment, bullying and increased vulnerability to blackmail and exploitation. Producing and sharing nudes and semi-nudes of under 18s is also illegal, which causes considerable concern in education settings working with children and young people, and amongst parents and carers.
Although the production of such images will likely take place outside of education settings, sharing can take place and issues are often identified or reported here. Education settings need to be able to respond swiftly and confidently to make sure children and young people are safeguarded, supported and educated.
This advice aims to support education settings in developing procedures to respond to incidents involving nudes and semi-nudes. It also posts sources of resources and support. The response to these incidents should be guided by the principle of proportionality and the primary concern at all times should be the welfare and protection of groups of nude people children and young people involved.
Individual incidents of peer abuse and sexual behaviour the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes can fall under this category can lead to unhealthy or damaging cultures within the school community. If handled poorly, an unsafe and unhealthy set of norms can be created which enable peer-on-peer abuse and this can also prevent other children and young people from disclosing.
Nudes and semi-nudes can be shared by, and between, children and young people under a wide range of circumstances, and are often not sexually or criminally motivated. In order to ensure an appropriate and proportionate response to an incident of nudes and semi-nudes being shared, education settings can use the tools set out below. Annex B sets out an exercise that education settings can use within staff training to illustrate the different types of peer-to-peer sharing incidents that can occur and highlight that an appropriate and proportionate response needs to be considered for each incident.
DSLs or equivalents must ensure that they are familiar with and follow the relevant local policies and procedures to help them do so. Groups of nude people child or young person displaying harmful sexual behaviour should be safeguarded and supported in moving forward from the incident and adopting positive behaviour patterns. Where or young person displays appropriate sexual behaviour within the context of their age or development, consideration should still be given as to whether the taking or sharing of the nude or semi-nude raises any additional concerns.
Further support and resources on addressing harmful sexual behaviour in education settings can be found on the Contextual Safeguarding Network website. Responding to incidents of sharing nudes and semi-nudes is complex because of its legal status. This includes imagery of yourself if you are under When cases are prosecuted, the question of whether any photograph of is indecent is for a groups of nude people, magistrate or district judge to decide based on what is the recognised standard of propriety.
Indecent imagery does not always mean nudity; however, images are likely to be defined as such if they meet one or more of the following criteria:. The non-consensual sharing of private sexual images or videos with the intent to cause distress is also illegal. The relevant legislation is contained in section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act The law criminalising indecent images of children was created to protect children and young people from adults seeking to sexually abuse them or gain pleasure from their sexual abuse.
It was not intended to criminalise children and young people. The law was also developed long before mass adoption of the internet, mobiles and digital photography. Despite this, children and young people who share nudes and semi-nudes of themselves, or peers, are breaking the law. However, children and young people should not be unnecessarily criminalised. Children and young people with a criminal record face stigma and discrimination in accessing education, training, employment, travel and housing and these obstacles can follow them into adulthood. Whilst children and young people creating and sharing images can be risky, it is often the result of their natural curiosity about sex and their exploration of relationships.
Situations should be considered on a case by case context, considering what is known about the children and young people involved and if there is an immediate risk of harm. Often, children and young people need education and support for example, on identifying healthy and unhealthy behaviours within relationships and understanding consent and how to give it. Safeguarding action will also be required in cases where there is risk of harm. The NPCC has made it clear that incidents involving sharing nudes and semi-nudes should have an immediate focus on safeguarding children.
Further advice on the circumstances in which this would be appropriate can be found in section 2. The police may, however, need to be involved in some cases to ensure thorough investigation, including the collection of all evidence for example, through multi-agency checks.
Even when the police are involved, a criminal justice response and formal sanction against or young person would only be considered in exceptional circumstances. To help local police services develop a coordinated, effective and proportionate response in this area, the NPCC and College of Policing has produced operational advice for law enforcement relating to the investigation of nudes and semi-nudes sharing offences.
When an incident of sharing nudes and semi-nudes is reported to police, they are obliged, under the Home Office Counting Rules and National Crime Recording Standards, to record the incident on their crime systems. Once an incident is reported to the police, they will investigate and decide on an appropriate outcome. To mitigate the risk of children and young people being negatively impacted, the police are able to record the outcome of an investigation using an outcome 21 code should an incident be found to be non-abusive and have no evidence of any of the following:.
The outcome 21 code, launched inhelps to formalise the discretion available to the police when handling crimes such as the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes. Groups of nude people is a police decision.
This means that even though or young person has broken the law and the police could provide evidence that they have done so, the police can record that they chose not to take further action as it was not in the public interest. Once an appropriate outcome has been decided, it should be communicated by police to the child or young person affected, their parent or carers and the school where appropriate.
Groups of nude people should also explain the immediate and longer-term implications. A decision to disclose information as a part of any criminal record check a DBS certificate in England is made on the basis of whether that information is relevant to the risk an individual might pose to children, young people or vulnerable adults. It is possible for an incident of sharing nudes and semi-nudes recorded on police systems with outcome 21 to be disclosed on a DBS certificate. However, information falling short of conviction or caution can only be included on a DBS certificate when an individual has applied for an Enhanced Criminal Records Check.
In such cases, it would be for a chief officer to consider what information in addition to convictions and cautions held on the Police National Computer should be provided for inclusion. That decision must be made on the basis that the chief officer reasonably believes the information to be relevant to the purpose of the disclosure for example, someone taking up a position working with children and considers that it ought to be included. Should police inform a school or college of an incident ly unknown to the setting, the DSL or equivalent should follow statutory guidance set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education.
All schools and colleges are required to have an effective child protection policy in place.Groups of nude people
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