Primary schools are the latest to become embroiled in the ‘rape culture’ storm after former pupils posted claims of sexual assaults.
The website on which thousands of older children have reported harassment and abuse now has allegations involving pupils as young as five.
The 11,000-plus claims on Everyone’s Invited include one alleged assault by a child at the £22,000-a-year Fulham Preparatory School in west London.
It came as head teachers urged anonymous victims to come forward and speak to teachers so they can respond, saying staff were struggling to ‘act effectively’ because many of the testimonies have no named victim, aggressor or date.
In addition, the leader of the secondary school head teachers’ union said schools alone should not bear the burden of dealing with the issue, as much of the abuse detailed happened away from school premises, such as at parties.
The latest claims involving primary pupils included one which read: ‘In Year Four I had to change school because this older boy in Year Seven who was [on] my school bus was harassing me.
Primary schools are the latest to become embroiled in ‘rape culture’ storm after former pupils posted claims of sexual assaults and harassment on website Everyone’s Invited (stock photo)
‘He tried to apologise by offering me a Haribo. A couple [of] weeks later I told my mum – I was so young and clueless of the situation that I thought it was because he liked me because he thought I was pretty, how naïve.’
The alleged victim claimed Fulham Prep, where the boy was a pupil, did ‘very little’ when her family reported it.
Another former pupil at an unnamed Roman Catholic primary school told how a boy would ‘try and stick pencils and his hands’ up her skirt.
And an ex-student at Meersbrook Bank Primary in Sheffield told of ‘years of sexual abuse during primary school between the ages of five and ten’ by older boys.
They subjected her to ‘kissing, genital touching and manipulation’ but she was afraid of ‘snitching’ on them.
The allegations follow an explosion of claims against pupils of top private secondary schools, including Dulwich College and Highgate School.
Pupils stage a protest against rape culture at Highgate School in London
Yesterday, the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents heads at such schools, urged victims to make themselves known to schools so teachers can provide support.
General secretary Dr Simon Hyde said: ‘Our members are listening and willing to act, but it is more difficult to act effectively on anonymised allegations, and we urge those affected to seek support and redress through their schools.’
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the claims should also be dealt with by parents and social media platforms.
He added: ‘This is a wider issue. Parents have a responsibility to talk to their children about how they behave towards others.
‘Social media companies have a responsibility to take more care about how their platforms are used.’
In response to the allegations, Fulham Prep head teacher Neill Lunnon told the Telegraph the school takes safeguarding ‘incredibly seriously’.
He added: ‘We fully support the open dialogue that is currently taking place in the media about sexual assault and harassment.
‘We are fully committed to doing our part in educating our children about what is acceptable and what is not.’
Gemma Harvey, head teacher at Meersbrook Bank, said: ‘We do not tolerate abuse of any kind.
‘We have robust safeguarding policies to protect our children and maintain clear and effective procedures for reporting any incidents.’
I was attacked by Eton boy, says claims dossier activist
By Lizzie Deane and Josh White
Zan Moon wrote open letter to headteachers of eight schools over ‘serious misogynistic culture’ that ‘thrives’ in their institutions
The organiser of a dossier of sexual abuse allegations against boys at top private schools has told of being assaulted by an Eton pupil.
Zan Moon, 24, wrote an open letter to the headteachers of eight leading schools over the ‘serious misogynistic culture’ that ‘thrives’ in their institutions.
Miss Moon, a former pupil at girls’ private school Benenden in Kent, said she was overwhelmed with responses after asking for testimonies on Instagram from females who had been harassed and assaulted by private schoolboys.
She compiled 95 harrowing accounts, including her own in which she detailed how she was assaulted by an Eton boy when she was 15. She told the Mail: ‘I was at a party with a bunch of Eton boys.
Someone had rented accommodation for a party on a beach with no parents for the whole weekend.
‘There was nowhere to go – we were sort of trapped in this house. One of the boys made a beeline for me and I tried to escape the room. He followed me out and grabbed me by the neck and choked me.’
She said he then indecently assaulted her and pestered her for the rest of the night.
Miss Moon added: ‘That’s five to seven hours of him relentlessly trying and me continuously saying I didn’t want to. All of the boys there were just being complicit in that and seeing what was happening.’
She said she did not take the incident to Benenden, Eton or police at the time, adding: ‘We weren’t really educated on what sexual assault was.’
Miss Moon, who now works for the Prince’s Trust youth charity, said there was ‘definitely’ a coverup culture at schools, stressing: ‘It just seems the priority was always to uphold their reputation.’
Pictured: Eton College says it insists that all its pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect and has condemned criminal behaviour which it says ‘has no place in society’
She insisted there had been ‘multiple people’ who complained to schools but headteachers had not acted.
Her dossier also contains allegations from female students at Bristol and Exeter universities.
Miss Moon’s letter said chauvinism ‘runs deep within the environment of private boys’ schools’. She added: ‘It is finally coming to attention how boys from the most elite schools and universities have mistreated girls for years and somehow got away with it. This ends now.’
An Eton spokesman said: ‘Criminal behaviour of this kind has no place in society. Eton always takes specific allegations such as this extremely seriously.
‘Eton insists that all our pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect.’
Some 11,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on the Everyone’s Invited website. At least two top private schools have called in police.