NSPCC and TES launch tool as survey finds that two in three teachers reported concerns last year
Over 66 per cent of teachers, school leaders and support staff have reported a safeguarding concern in the past year alone according to a new annual survey by the NSPCC and the weekly magazine for heads and teachers, TES.
Out of 1,211 education professionals surveyed, 804 said they had reported a safeguarding issue in the last year. And 81 per cent of respondents said they had reported a concern within the past five years. The survey also found that staff in primary schools are more likely to have raised concerns, with 71 per cent having taken action in the last year.
The new figures coincide with the launch of a new digital resource to help schools across England ensure they have the most effective safeguarding procedures in place. The NSPCC and TES's' Safeguarding in Education Self-Assessment Tool, which is the first of its kind, will help support schools to provide the most up-to-date advice to teachers, identify areas for improvement and ensure that thorough processes are in place.
High-profile child abuse cases stress the importance of safeguarding
Peter Watt, Director of National Services at NSPCC, said:
“These figures show that the majority of teachers are spotting the signs of abuse and neglect and are reporting them. This has to be positive thing as teachers are at the frontline of keeping children safe. So we need to make sure that the processes in place are quick and effective and all teachers know them.
"We suspect that the very shocking and high-profile cases of child abuse we have all read about in the past year have brought child protection into the spotlight.
“This survey shows that keeping children safe is the responsibility of us all – every adult that comes into a child’s life can play a huge role in this not just those with child protection in their job titles, whether that’s teachers, sports coaches or indeed the neighbour next door.
“Through being equipped to spot the signs, knowing how to take action or by simply picking up the phone to our helpline for advice, we can all have a huge impact on improving a child’s life whilst also supporting professionals at the forefront of tackling child abuse.”
"Through being equipped to spot the signs, knowing how to take action or by simply picking up the phone to our helpline for advice, we can all have a huge impact on improving a child’s life whilst also supporting professionals at the forefront of tackling child abuse."
Peter Watt / Director of National Services at NSPCC
Teachers play a vital role in keeping children safe from abuse
Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan said:
“There is nothing more important than keeping young people safe and this survey confirms the vital role that teachers play in highlighting safeguarding concerns.
“Recent events have made plain that now more than ever, professionals who work with children need access to the right support and advice on safeguarding. I’m delighted that this new tool from NSPCC and TES will provide further help to ensure that schools can spot signs of abuse and take action where they think it might be occurring.”
"There is nothing more important than keeping young people safe and this survey confirms the vital role that teachers play in highlighting safeguarding concerns."
Nicky Morgan / Secretary of State for Education
Download the Safeguarding in Education Self-Assessment Tool
The Safeguarding in Education Self-Assessment Tool features useful checklists, advice and training materials to help teachers improve their child safety policy.
Organised into four chapters, the resource delves into everyday issues which teachers might need advice on including internet safety, a code of conduct for staff and how to listen to pupils. The sections are:
- Child Protection: Safety and Security
- Pupil Behaviour, Emotional Health and Wellbeing
- Working with Parents and Multi-Agency Working
- Staff and Governance
The tool, which has been designed to cover the new statutory requirements of safeguarding in education outlined by Ofsted in April 2014, also includes information about the role of the designated safeguarding lead, how to recruit people safely and managing any allegations against staff members.
The NSPCC is also launching a new e-learning resource for the education sector this week. Child Protection in Schools is for anyone who works with children or young people in schools, academies or colleges across England including volunteers, governors, teaching assistants, and support staff. The introductory course takes around three hours to complete and you don’t need any previous child protection training.
Anyone who has concerns about a child or wants advice can contact the NSPCC for free 24 hours a day, and they can choose to remain anonymous if they wish. For further details, see how abuse can be reported.