Specific safeguarding issues to look out for
Specific and current safeguarding issues
The following specific safeguarding issues are outlined below:
Sexual violence and harassment
Radicalisation and extremism
Peer on peer abuse
Sharing nudes and semi nudes
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Children missing education (CME).
Please also see our website for full details of all specific safeguarding issues from Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021)
Sexual Violence and Harrassment
The Academy does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment or violence. As per government guidance in 'Keeping Children Safe In Education 2021', the Academy works on the assumption that sexual harassment and violence ‘could happen here' and insists that no member of our community ever treats sexual violence or harassment as 'banter' or 'a part of growing up'.
To ensure our culture of safeguarding is consistent and embedded throughout, the Academy puts a series of proactive measures to reduce the risk of such incidents. Along with regular reinforcement, staff and student training and consistency, the key strategy is education, specifically of appropriate behaviour through our RSHE programme.
The Academy educates students to understand sexual harassment may appear in many forms, and all members of our community have a duty to report any possible sign of sexual harassment or violence. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual comments, such as telling sexualised stories, making lewd comments, making sexualised remarks about clothing and or appearance and calling someone sexualised names
- Sexualised “jokes” or taunting
- Physical behaviour, such as deliberately brushing against someone or interfering with someone’s clothes
- Online sexual harassment. This may be standalone, or part of a wider pattern of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence
- Consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes, images and/or videos
The NSPCC have launched a dedicated helpline for children and young people who have experienced abuse at school, and for worried adults and professionals who need support and guidance. The helpline is to provide appropriate support and advice to victims of abuse, and concerned adults, including onward action such as contacting the police if they wish to.
This dedicated helpline will offer support to:
- all children and young people making current and non-recent disclosures of abuse
- any children or young people who want to talk about being involved or witnessing any incidents
- any adults who have experienced non-recent abuse
- parents and carers who have any concerns about their own or other children
- professionals who work in schools and need support in this or related issues.
Anyone who gets in touch through this dedicated helpline will also be signposted to other relevant support services available, including Childline - which provides ongoing support and counselling to children and young people.
The Report Abuse in Education helpline comes after a high number of anonymous testimonials were submitted to the Everyone’s Invited website, documenting abuse in all types of schools, colleges, and universities.
Radicalisation and Extremism
The Academy believes and actively supports the view that all students should be protected from radicalisation and extremism. The Academy’s Prevent Duty Lead is Mrs Simpson, the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Prevent duty guidance- Home Office guidance
- Prevent duty: additional advice for schools and childcare providers - DfE advice
- Educate Against Hate website - DfE and Home Office advice
Peer on Peer Abuse
Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take many forms. This can include (but is not limited to):
- Bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying).
- Abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers.
- Physical abuse, which can include: hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm.
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment.
- Consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos (also known as ‘sexting’ or youth produced sexual imagery).
- Causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party.
- Upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm.
- Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
We believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults and other children in school. We are clear that there will be a zero-tolerance approach to any of the forms of abuse, including peer on peer abuse.
Academy zero tolerance posters:
Sharing nudes and semi nudes
The practice of children sharing nudes and semi nudes (formerly known as ‘sexting’ or youth produced sexual imagery) and videos via text message, email, social media, or mobile messaging apps has become commonplace. Online technology has given children the opportunity to produce and distribute sexual imagery in the form of photos and videos. Such imagery involving anyone under the age of 18 is unlawful.
Children’s nudes and semi nudes refer to both images and videos where:
- A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18.
- A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult.
- A person under the age of 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18.
- Voyeurism Act 2019 – Upskirting is now a criminal act in the UK. Visit this link for more information.
Childline ‘Report, Remove’
Childline has released support for children of all ages to help remove nude images shared online. To get the images removed, visit the website. The child will need to:
- Select their age
- Create a Childline account to receive updates on the report
- Report the image or video to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
The only information you will give to the IWF are the images, videos, or URLs you report. There is space to add information such as where the image or video is on a webpage. Childline will never see what pictures and videos or URLs you share with the IWF. The only information the IWF shares with Childline apart from your case number is if they will take down your images or videos, and why.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
We know that different forms of harm often overlap, and that perpetrators may subject children and young people to multiple forms of abuse, such as criminal exploitation (including county lines) and sexual exploitation. In some cases, the exploitation or abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants (for example, money, gifts or affection), and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage, such as increased status, of the perpetrator or facilitator.
Children can be exploited by adult males or females, as individuals or in groups. They may also be exploited by other children, who themselves may be experiencing exploitation – where this is the case, it is important that the child perpetrator is also recognised as a victim.
Whilst the age of the child may be a contributing factor for an imbalance of power, there are a range of other factors that could make a child more vulnerable to exploitation, including, sexual identity, cognitive ability, learning difficulties, communication ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited, they are given gifts, drugs, money, status, affection etc in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they are in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they are being abused.
Visit the NSPCC website for more information about preventing CSE.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Criminal exploitation is child abuse where children and young people are manipulated and coerced into committing crimes.
Visit the NSPCC website for more information about preventing CCE.
County Lines is the police term for urban gangs exploiting young people into moving drugs from a hub, normally a large city, into other markets, e.g., suburban areas, market and coastal towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”. Children as young as 12 years old have been exploited into carrying drugs for gangs. This can involve children being trafficked away from their home area, staying in accommodation, and selling and manufacturing drugs.
More young people across the UK are being approached by criminals who want to use their bank accounts or pin numbers for criminal purposes. This is called being a ‘money mule’. A ‘mule account’ is used to hide money that comes from illegal activities. The young person may be asked to transfer money, allow access to their account, or open a new one. We need support to help educate young people around this issue.
- Remember – where there is an urgent and immediate need to protect a child or young person call the police on 999.
- In all cases of suspected child sexual exploitation contact Children Social Care services via the MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub)
Children Missing in Education (CME)
Missing school can be an indicator of abuse and neglect, and in older children may raise concerns around child sexual exploitation. To safeguard pupils who are missing education, the Academy will ensure compliance with local authority policy and procedures for Children Missing Education. The Attendance Officer and Safeguarding Team will monitor unauthorised absence and follow CME procedures particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions.
Specific safeguarding issues
Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. Please visit www.nspcc.org.uk. Government guidance on the issues listed below are also available via www.gov.uk
- child missing from education
- child missing from home or care
- child sexual exploitation(CSE)
- bullying including cyber bullying
- domestic violence
- fabricated or induced illness
- faith abuse
- female genital mutilation(FGM)
- forced marriage
- gangs and youth violence
- gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
- mental health
- private fostering
- preventing radicalisation
- youth-produced sexual images
- teenage relationship abuse