Educators hold a unique role in child protection. It is highly likely that you, the teacher, are the adult that a child spends the most time with after their own parents or guardians. This means that teachers play a key role in reporting incidents of abuse or neglect among pupils. Accurate, appropriate and swift reporting of abusive or neglectful behaviour lies at the core of child protection best practice.
The importance of the role that teachers play in child development has been well documented, but when we view it from the angle of child protection, it takes on an additional significance. A report conducted by the Times Educational Supplement found that 71% of primary school teachers had spoken out about the safety and well-being of students in the past year. The report’s other findings included the fact that 81% of the 1,200 teachers surveyed had reported an issue at some point in the last five years.
These findings indicate not only that teachers are observing incidents of abuse and neglect, but they also feel comfortable to speak out about these observations. A safeguarding training session offers an excellent opportunity to expand the skills that are essential to child protection.
Child protection can summon up images of physical abuse against children, but abuse and neglect can take many forms. This is one of the reasons why it is so essential that teachers, or individuals who work with children or young people in any capacity, have up-to-date training in child protection. This is where safeguarding training comes in.
Safeguarding training teaches those who undergo it to be able to recognise different signs and signals of abuse or neglect. The training courses give an overview of the different forms that abuse can take. This essential knowledge helps trainees understand the different symptoms that are a result of abuse.
One of the areas in which it’s most essential to keep your team’s skills up-to-date is online safeguarding. More and more children and young people are spending an increasing amount of time online. This increases their chances of being exposed to inappropriate content and online exploitation. As internet trends among youth show no signs of decreasing, being able to recognise and respond to online abuse is an essential skill. Safeguarding training gives teachers an overview of online abuse and how it can best be responded to, enabling teachers and staff to be able to give support and prevent negative cycles of behaviour among pupils.
The intention of safeguarding training is to be able to recognise signs of neglect at school, as well as at home. Putting your staff through a safeguarding course is an investment in ensuring the wellbeing of your pupils, both inside and outside of school. Research increasingly shows that happy and healthy children learn better, proving that robust safeguarding training — and the added skills it will bring to your staff’s child protection abilities — is the first step in a long path of securing positive futures for pupils.
Developing Safeguarding in School
If you think that you or your organisation could benefit from child protection training, get in touch with EduCare. There is also a Safeguarding Audit for Schools available to purchase from the Focus Education online shop which contains dozens of templates ready to use.
Safeguarding Audit for Schools
Safeguarding Audit Templates
Keir McDonald (MBE) started EduCare thirty years ago with just a handful of talented people. At the time, he had little idea that his company’s e-learning programmes would end up teaching more than three million people about duty of care issues, including health and safety, across a range of sectors including education, industry, and sport. In acknowledgement of his work and achievement in safeguarding children, Keir was honoured with an MBE for Services to Children in 2012.