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Schools, academies and colleges have a statutory responsibility for “safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people” (Education Act 2002).
Schools are well placed to recognise signs of neglect and should make sure they have robust reporting, recording and reviewing systems. Concerns should be raised with Designated Senior Person (DSP) and all those in school with responsibility for safeguarding and pupil / student welfare should have additional training with regard to neglect.
This briefing provides further insight into the signs, indicators and contributing factors of neglect and features useful signposts to relevant pieces of research, legislation and support.
Read the full briefing: The role of schools, academies and colleges in addressing neglect (PDF, 236KB)
Related link: NSPCC child neglect page
(April 2013)‘Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is an offence for a person over 18 (e.g. teacher, youth worker) to have a sexual relationship with a child under 18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if the relationship is consensual. This applies where the child is in full-time education and the person works in the same establishment as the child, even if s/he does not teach the child’. Safeguarding children and safer recruitment (2006)
Sexting is “the exchange of sexual messages and images, creating, sharing and forwarding sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images through mobile phones and the internet” (NSPCC 2013).
High quality PSHE teaching helps pupils to make informed decisions about risk taking and to resist peer pressure more effectively. There are resources available to help schools teach about the consequences of sexting and to prevent the sharing of images. Disclosures about sexting should be managed in the same way as other child protection disclosures in line with school procedures. There are additional issues relating to the storage and sharing of inappropriate images which will need sensitive handling.
This briefing paper will help schools to understand the issue of sexting, how to respond to disclosures about sexting and will signpost to teaching resources.
Read the full briefing: The role of schools in protecting children from sexting (PDF, 186KB)
“Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening” (Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013).
Schools, academies and colleges have a statutory responsibility for “safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people” (Education Act 2002) and are often in the best position to notice concerns about children who are at risk of abuse.
This briefing provides guidance on how schools can support children who have been sexually abused and how preventative education can be used to teach children personal safety skills and empower them to speak out.
Read the full briefing: The role of schools, colleges and academies in protecting children from sexual abuse (PDF, 178KB)
Related link: NSPCC sexual abuse page
The NSPCC definition of child sexual exploitation is: “When someone grooms and controls a child for a sexual purpose. It can happen to boys and girls, it can happen in rural and urban areas, it can happen face to face and it can happen online.” (NSPCC 2011).
Teachers need to feel confident in dealing with sensitive issues. Working with any key contacts in the local authority or from local specialist agencies can help to address gaps in knowledge and can identify useful teaching strategies and resources. A commitment from senior management and governors in the school to deal with the issue of CSE is needed to ensure it is done in an appropriate and supportive way.
This briefing explains how schools can protect pupils who are vulnerable to child sexual exploitation and how it can make all pupils aware of the risk. It provides some background knowledge to this complex area and some practical considerations for schools.
Read the full briefing:
The role of schools, colleges and academies in protecting children from sexual exploitation (PDF, 309KB)
Related link: NSPCC sexual expolitation page
Harmful sexual behaviour involves one or more children engaging in sexual discussions or acts that are inappropriate for their age or stage of development. These can range from using sexually explicit words and phrases to full penetrative sex with other children or adults (Rich, 2011).
This briefing provides guidance for schools on what is normal developmental and age appropriate behaviour for children and what behaviour should cause concern and be acted upon. The briefing also includes advice on how to embed messages relating to appropriate behaviour, trust, boundaries and responsibility into the curriculum through PHSE and sex and relationships education.
Read the full briefing: Recognising and supporting children who display harmful sexual behaviour (PDF, 292KB)
Related link: NSPCC harmful sexual behaviour page
This briefing includes guidance on how schools can meet the requirements specified by Ofsted relating to areas such as e-safety, bullying, physical intervention and safe educational visits.
Read full briefing: Ofsted inspections of behaviour, safety and safeguarding briefing (PDF, 201KB)
In 2012 ChildLine reported a 68% increase in the number of children contacting them about self-harm.
Staff in schools, colleges and academies are in a good position to recognise potential signs and behaviors linked to self-harm and take action to help a child or young person who may be harming themselves.
This briefing provides guidance to schools on what to do if they are worried that a child might be intentionally harming themselves and includes suggested processes for responding to concerns, policies and procedures that schools should have in place to support a child who is self-harming and also suggests ways in which schools can work with children to prevent self-harm.
Read the full briefing: Role of schools in recognising and responding to concerns about self harm (PDF, 129KB)
It is very important that all school staff, regardless of their role are aware of what action to take if they are worried about a child or if a child discloses abuse to them.
This pocket guide can be used by schools along with their existing safeguarding polices to act as an easily accessible document for staff to refer to if they have a concern about a child.
Download the guide: School safeguarding pocket guide (PDF, 233KB)