What is Speak out Stay safe?
Our Speak out Stay safe programme helps children to understand that they always have a right to feel safe, and that they can speak to a safe adult or Childline if they ever need help or support.
With the help of our mascot Buddy, our Speak out Stay safe programme covers topics like bullying and abuse - without using any scary words or adult language.
Children learn about the different types of abuse in a child-friendly and age appropriate way, so they can get help if or when they need it. We help them identify safe adults they can talk to if they're ever worried about themselves or a friend. And they learn about Childline, and how it can support them.
Help kids learn and remember that:
- Every child has the right to speak out and stay safe.
- Making a child feel sad, scared or worried is never OK and is never their fault.
- If they're ever worried they know who to talk to, so they can get help.
- Whatever their worry, they can always call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk/kids.
Activities for kids at home
We’ve come up with some fun activities for you to try at home - keeping children busy while helping them understand the right they have to feel safe and what to do if they ever feel worried or scared.
Speak out Stay safe
Speak out Stay Safe is an effective way to support a school's safeguarding duties, and links directly to the curriculum. We are delighted to share our refreshed primary school assemblies and resources, updated in May 2023 which includes:
- Virtual assemblies for children aged 5-7 and 7-11, available in English, Welsh and BSL.
- Follow-on lesson plans with engaging activities and resources to help re-enforce and embed our key messages
- Face-to-face workshops (talk to us about availability for your area)
- An NSPCC Schools Co-ordinator for your local area, who can answer any questions you have about our programme, and talk to you about other NSPCC support, resources and training we offer.
- We also have a programme for children with special educational/support needs and disability
We also have resources for secondary school pupils available.
"We were delighted to have the opportunity to invite NSPCC into our school virtually for the Speak out Stay safe assembly. Follow-up activities were fun and meaningful, provoking reflection on the content of the assemblies. We are most grateful to NSPCC for the continued use of Speak out Stay safe which is a crucial part of our curriculum. "
Primary school teacher
How our Speak out Stay safe programme helps
Speak out Stay safe is a safeguarding programme consisting of assemblies and workshops, for children aged 5-11 years-old. It is available to all primary schools in the UK and Channel Islands.
Our virtual assemblies, which feature Ant and Dec, support children to feel empowered - knowing how they can speak out and stay safe.
With the help of our mascot, Buddy the speech bubble, children will know they have the right to:
• speak out and be taken seriously
• be kept safe
• get help when they need it.
By February 2020 we’d reached over 90% of primary schools in the UK thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers1. Our Speak out Stay safe programme was a finalist in the 'Safeguarding Award' category for the Children and Young People Now Awards 2021.
"My daughter came home empowered and enlightened because of your assembly and your powerful message. She was singing the Childline number all evening and talking about Buddy. Thank you for taking your important message to the children. It is truly amazing and effective work that you do."
In the average primary school class at least 2 children have suffered abuse or neglect2.
Abuse can derail a child’s development. But it’s never too late to help a child. Child abuse and its effects are preventable. We can work together to stop abuse happening and support children who have been abused.
That’s why we work with primary schools across the UK and Channel Islands to give children the knowledge and confidence to speak out if they’re worried by something.
The Schools Service evaluation found that after receiving the Speak out Stay safe service children said:
- they knew more about bullying, abuse and neglect
- they were able to recognise some types of abuse that can happen to children
- they felt confident and empowered to recognise and respond to abuse, neglect and bullying
- they learnt more about who their trusted adults are; what Childline is; and the importance of speaking out if something is wrong.3
Some children spoke about abuse or neglect for the first time during or following one of our sessions and we and their school staff were there to give them a supportive response.
"‘One of the pupils’ biggest takeaways was the saying ‘I have the right to be safe, you have the right to be safe, we have the right to be safe.’ The constant drip feeding of these key messages throughout the assembly ensure they stay front of mind.’ "
Deputy Vice Principal Richard Ewart from Strandtown Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland
We had a full, independent evaluation that began in 2018 and was completed in 2021. It was commissioned by the NSPCC and carried out by the University of Central Lancashire, in collaboration with four other UK universities. Details of the findings can be found under the ‘Evaluation’ tab on NSPCC Learning.
Find out how your school can fundraise for the NSPCC and help us be here for children.
Hear from parents, children and school staff about our assemblies
"it’s a good way of learning, like, if you’ve been bullied before – you can say ‘stop you’re bullying me’. So you know what they’re doing to you ‘cause you might not know."
Child in year 3
"The children really respond to Buddy and the messaging about abuse is simple, age appropriate and very effective. This is such an important and crucially free resource for schools."
"[The children] have a better toolkit to deal with situations that they are possibly unhappy with than they did at the start, without a shadow of doubt."
Year 6 teacher
"You visited our school last term and it was really fun. I liked Buddy and still remember the number you taught us. It's nice knowing that Childline is always here for me if I ever need them."
Girl, age 11
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Let's talk PANTS
With the help of our friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus, Talk PANTS is a simple conversation to help keep your child safe from sexual abuse.
Support us while you shop
Have a look at our selection of BUDDY goodies which make perfect gifts for kids and help us keep children safe.
1.In 2019/20, we had over 900 volunteers delivering Speak Out Stay Safe in primary schools.
2. Radford, L. et al. (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. London: NSPCC.
3. Hollis, V. and Churchill, G. (2018) Understanding children’s and teachers’ views of the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme. London: NSPCC.