A woman has launched a petition calling for sexual consent to be taught earlier in schools, as thousands report their experiences with sexual harassment in institutions online.

Ava Vakil, of Epsom, says it should be compulsory to teach sexual consent from Year 7.

Vakil decided to launch the petition following her recent open letter on 'rape culture' at a private school in Wimbledon, which went viral last month.

Her letter was written in the wake of a new campaign, Everyone’s Invited, which allows students to share their experiences of sexual harassment anonymously.

MORE: Wimbledon private school accused of being a 'hotbed for sexual violence

The former Wimbledon High School student says that teaching consent from a young age is "crucial in reducing sexual assault".



She went on to say that the sex education curriculum is still "failing young people" and hopes that her petition can spark a permanent change.

Speaking about her new campaign, Ava said: "Despite its recent update, I think the sex-ed curriculum is still failing young people, both in its content, and in the age at which it is delivered.

"As it stands, schools are only mandated to address sexual consent by the end of secondary school.

"This needs to happen far earlier. I have launched a petition to make it mandatory to teach sexual consent from year 7, as we need to be educating young people on how to navigate the world around them from this age.

"Students in year 7 know about sending nude photos, so why aren’t we educating them about sexual consent and social media?

"Students in year 7 are catcalled and assaulted by other students their age, so why aren’t we teaching about sexual violence and consent from then?

"It cannot be the case that we simply allow this to continue without a legitimate attempt to educate young people, (and young boys in particular) on the importance of sexual consent. We have to do better."

Last week, the Government announced that Ofsted would review safeguarding policies following dozens of reports made to the website Everyone’s Invited.

Ofsted has since confirmed it will talk to headteachers and students on the issue first-hand and it will visit a sample of schools and colleges where cases have been highlighted.

The review is intended to establish whether institutions have effective safeguarding measures in place, and whether they have strong mechanisms to deal with allegations swiftly and effectively.

It will also look at how well school are teaching the new relationships, sex and health education curriculum, which covers sexual abuse, cyber-bullying and pornography and consent.

Vakil's petition reached over 500 signatures at the time of publishing.

To sign the petition visit here.