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Beyond Referrals 2 is a two year research project that considers opportunities and challenges for responding to harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in schools.

Beyond Referrals (1) was an 18 month research project looking at multi-agency enablers and barriers to preventing and responding to HSB in school. With the support of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission the project team worked with seven schools and four local authority multi-agency partnerships to develop a Beyond Referrals toolkit for schools and multi-agency partnerships to self-assess their response to HSB.

Beyond Referrals 2 extends this study by working with 16 schools in four local authority areas to consider how schools can improve their responses to harmful sexual behaviour. The project team will work with schools to test the Beyond Referrals self-assessment toolkit and develop resources, webinars and training that can support schools to improve their responses.

The research asks:

  • How do HSB assessment tools designed as part of Beyond Referrals (1) support schools to self-assess their response to HSB in schools?
  • What tools and resources support schools to successfully prevent and intervene into HSB and improve their response to HSB?
  • What additional support is required by schools to successfully address HSB?

To support this understanding, the research team use the following methods:

  • In four schools the research team will: conduct focus groups with students and staff; carry out surveys with parents and students; conduct observations in the school; review behaviour logs and review the school’s policy and procedures related to HSB.
  • 12 more schools will conduct their own self-assessment audit and the research team will offer remote support to these schools. The research team will carry out interviews with the DSL in each of these schools following the completion of the audit.
  • Interviews will also be conducted with key individuals in the multi-agency safeguarding partnership within each of the four local authority area.

Principal investigator: Dr Jenny Lloyd

Research Fellow: Joanne Walker

Research Assistant: Vanessa Bradbury

Funder: Esmee Fairbairn

Contact: (now