DMSS Research undertakes research, evaluation,
policy analysis and training in the social care sector

A whole school approach to healthy relationships

A whole school approach to healthy relationships

Tender is a London-based arts charity working with young people to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence by promoting healthy relationships based on equality and respect. The Mayor's Office funded Tender to develop and pilot an intensive whole school approach to tackling gender based and serious youth violence.

The theory of change, piloted and tested in four Croydon schools, was that providing:

  • 'whole school' relationship education
  • challenging gender inequality and stereotypes
  • establishing safe spaces for staff, governors, parents and students to discuss issues of choice, consent and abuse
  • having school policies and procedures that address these issues
  • and ensuring that effective support is available for children who are particularly vulnerable to gang-involvement, abusive relationships or exploitation

Would result in positive changes in the aspirations, achievements, well-being and safety of children and young people in participating schools.

In 2020, DMSS produced a learning report setting out the six building blocks necessary to establish and embed a whole school approach. By bringing findings from the evaluation together with evidence from the wider field of gender-based violence prevention work, the learning report summarises what was learnt in Croydon and draws out implications for future initiatives.

The executive summary is available here and the full learning report here.