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How ESAS was developed

Equally Safe at School (ESAS) has been developed by Rape Crisis Scotland in partnership with the University of Glasgow, who has helped to guide its progress, develop its methodology and conduct research with schools involved in the pilot.

It was designed and piloted in several schools in Scotland with support from Zero Tolerance and a wide range of other voluntary and statutory partners and stakeholders.

ESAS has been funded by the Scottish Government Violence Against Women and Girls Fund and is included in the Equally Safe Delivery Plan. It was piloted between 2017-2021 with schools in South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire and Glasgow – for whose support and belief in the project we are very grateful.

Why a Whole School Approach?

Equally Safe at School stemmed from Rape Crisis Scotland’s work delivering the National Sexual Violence Prevention Programme to schools across every local authority in Scotland. You can find out how to access the programme and read the external evaluation here. The programme has been successful in improving young people’s knowledge and understanding of issues relating to consent, relationships, gender and sexual violence. Workers delivering the programme identified the need to also work with the whole school community to embed and sustain key messages about gender-based violence prevention.

Conversations with partners and stakeholders confirmed there was a need to develop materials to support schools, but it was felt that written guidance would be unlikely to have much impact and that an implementable model with mechanisms and supporting resources was needed. Funding was then obtained for the pilot project so that the model could be co-developed with schools to ensure the approaches used were feasible and effective.

The tools, approaches and learning from the pilot have been developed into this website so that schools across Scotland can access them, enabling meaningful and sustained progress towards preventing gender-based violence - so that young people grow up to expect gender equality, to reject violence and to know that they can collectively help to build an Equally Safe Scotland.

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