London schools to offer new “allyship training” to tackle sexism and misogyny

Lessons on calling out sexism and discussions on attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls will feature as part of the Mayor’s new “allyship training” programme.

Secondary school pupils in London are to be given training on calling out sexism and misogynistic behaviour as part of a City Hall-funded scheme.

Lessons on building healthy relationships, calling out sexism and discussions on attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls will feature as part of the Mayor’s new “allyship training” programme.

Every secondary school, college, community group and faith group in London will have access to the violence against women and girls (VAWG) prevention toolkit.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan visits Rokeby school in Newham for the launch of his new “allyship training” programme.

The new toolkit will be delivered by teachers and supported by specially trained workshop leaders from Tender - an arts and education charity.

It comes following a £1 million investment from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and is part of a wider £100 million package aimed at ending violence against women and girls in the capital.

Speaking at its launch at Rokeby boys school in Newham, Mayor Khan said he hopes the programme will give young people the confidence, skills and empathy to change their attitudes.

“We don’t want to add additional pressure on our schools, that’s why we’ve made this toolkit as easy as possible,” Mr Khan told LondonWorld.

“To give you an idea of the scale of the challenge, across the country every three days a woman loses her life at the hands of a man.

“We see young women aged between 16 and 24, a third of them have been sexually harassed, that can’t be right.”

NSPCC figures show a third of all sexual abuse children experience is committed by other children, with the majority of abuse from teenage boys to teenage girls.

Susie McDonald, chief executive of Tender, said: “As a charity that has been acting to end abuse by engaging with young people in healthy relationships education since 2003, we know that there has never been a more pressing time for children and young people to learn about healthy relationships and gender equality.

“Schools create the perfect environment in which young people can learn about these issues in a safe, non-judgemental and age appropriate way.

“But for teachers, it is essential that they feel confident and equipped with the correct knowledge and skills to deliver this type of education.

“Therefore Tender is delighted that this toolkit will be accessible to schools across London.

“The toolkit offers teachers lesson plans, ideas for exercises and information to deliver teaching that is accurate and addresses difficult and sensitive subjects in an accessible, proactive and positive way.”

Zubair Ahmed, a Year 11 student at Rokeby boys school in Newham

Zubair Ahmed, a Year 11 student at Rokeby boys school said he felt “privileged” to take part in the workshop on Tuesday morning.

“It’s about really teaching what is right and what is wrong, I think in that way the session was really useful.

“In this school there’s a large emphasis on equality and non violent action.

“No one in my friend group would act in such a way, but if they did I would feel comfortable to challenge them.”