Last week in Life, Mr. Bond spoke to the Year 12’s about body image and sexual consent.

‘Colleges at Cambridge University have introduced consent talks and workshops after a student survey revealed 77% of respondents had experienced some form of sexual harassment’.

We felt it was important as part of the Life sessions to introduce the students to the idea of consent, the legal background and illustrated cases, with all students having the chance to say whether they thought certain situations were consensual or not. In an upbeat but informative session both males and females were told about the situations they may come across when socialising and particularly the issue that may face them starting university.

This session was intended to inform and not to scare our sixth form but to make sure they were aware of the potential situations they may find themselves in and to really emphasise what is ok and not ok.

As Jinan Younis writes in the guardian:

The meaning of sexual consent is often misunderstood in disturbing ways by young people. There’s the idea that if you wear sexy clothing you’re asking for it; that silence during a sex act equals consent; and that women are always falsely accusing men of sexual assault and rape. Surveys have shown that one in two boys and one in three girls think it is OK to sometimes hit a woman or force her to have sex. All of which suggests a new approach is necessary.

Colleges at Cambridge have taken a big step by introducing consent talks and workshops – but this may now be made compulsory in all universities across the UK. The workshops bring home the difficult truth that we are all capable of violating someone else’s consent, while creating a safe space to discuss the meaning of consenting positively and enthusiastically. They are empowering, and absolutely necessary.

We hope that the talk at Alcester Grammar School was helpful to our students.