AN education watchdog has found sexual harassment has become “normalised” for school pupils, with about nine in ten girls reporting incidents of being sent unsolicited explicit pictures.

Ofsted has visited 32 schools and colleges, including Colchester Royal Grammar School, in Lexden, and spoke hundreds of young people about sexual harassment after thousands of testimonials were posted to the website Everyone’s Invited.

Colchester Royal Grammar School was inspected by Ofsted last month following scathing criticism from former student Scarlett Mansfield.

The 26-year-old shared details of the “traumatising” experiences she claims both herself and other female students endured during their time at the selective school, in 2011, in a blog post.

Since publishing her blog 200 people have made contact with her with abuse claims, so she contacted Ofsted asking it to investigate the school’s safeguarding policies.

The results for the school are due to be published by Ofsted in the coming weeks.

During the visits to various schools inspectors were told boys are sharing “nudes” among themselves like a “collection game” on platforms such as WhatsApp, while some girls told of experiencing “unwanted touching in school corridors”.

Read more: Ofsted to inspect prestigious grammar school after sexual abuse allegations

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of schools, said the findings of the review shocked her as she called for sexual harassment to “have no place” in the country’s schools and colleges.

Pupils were most concerned about sexist name calling, inappropriate sexual comments, being sent unsolicited explicit material, and being pressured to send nude pictures of themselves, the Ofsted boss said.

She said: “It’s alarming that many children and young people, particularly girls, feel they have to accept sexual harassment as part of growing up.

“This is a cultural issue; it’s about attitudes and behaviours becoming normalised, and schools and colleges can’t solve that by themselves.”

The review found about nine in ten of the girls that inspectors spoke to said that sexist name calling and being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos happened “a lot” or “sometimes”.

Ofsted is calling on school and college leaders to develop a culture where all kinds of sexual harassment are recognised and addressed, including with sanctions when appropriate.

The review also calls on the Government to consider the findings of the review as it develops the Online Safety Bill,