Equality, Responsibility and Friendship (ERF) Project

Since March 2020, thousands of young people have shared their experiences of sexual harassment via the 'Everyone's Invited' project. This was an online platform where young people described growing up in a world of online and offline harassment. This has meant that organisations, including the Government and Ofsted, have been working together to bring about much needed change.

Ofsted's review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges revealed how prevalent sexual harassment and online sexual abuse is for children and young people in education settings, particularly for girls and young women. In fact, the review concluded that the issues are so widespread that they need to be addressed by all schools, regardless of what type, phase or age of pupils.

The Equality, Responsibility and Friendship (ERF) project was developed as a response to some of these issues, and in order to help primary schools to address related themes with pupils in an age-appropriate way via the curriculum.

The ERF Project outcomes are as follows:

  • To understand how our attitudes shape our behaviours towards people because of their gender.
  • To raise awareness of gender inequality with children and adults.
  • To ensure children understand that all people, regardless of gender, are equal and deserve the same rights and respect as each other.
  • To understand when and how to safely challenge gender inequality.
  • For children to know when they need to involve an adult, or the local Police, with an issue regarding gender inequality.
  • To understand different responsibilities in maintaining a friendship
  • To understand the importance of trust in a friendship
  • To be able to develop empathy in a friendship
  • To explore some of the qualities of being a good friend
  • To understand some of the boundaries in friendships
  • To promote that children should always tell an adult they know they can trust, if they are worried or scared

To access the resources:

We want to thank the following people and organisations for supporting the Dog, Duck and Cat Trust in developing and creating this project:

  • Tom Garner - Fairhaven Primary, Dudley
  • Davina Clacy - Old Church Primary, Walsall
  • Lucy Evans and Zoe Russell - Claregate Primary, Wolverhampton
  • Jennie Atkinson and Julie Dodd - Rood End Primary, Sandwell
  • Mat Langowski Gadd - West Midlands Police
  • Dr Frazer Heritage and Natasha Pope - Birmingham City University
  • Viv Brosnahan - Coventry City Council
  • Maria Huffer - The Protective Behaviours Consortium
  • Michelle Diaz - independent sexual health consultant
  • Pat Flynn - Online Behaviours Ltd
  • Russell Stanley - Health & Wellbeing in Schools Ltd, independent PSHE education consultant

This project has been jointly funded by West Midlands Police. It is recognised how misogynistic thinking is fuelling negative and extreme behaviours and sexual violence against women and girls. We have produced a simple set of slides that gives some background and understanding about the risks and consequences that accompany misogynistic thinking. Please click here to view them.