Thursday, July 25, 2024

Over 90% of teachers surveyed in East of England have seen an increase in safeguarding referral

THE NSPCC can today reveal new data from a joint UK wide survey of 8,329 teachers, with the teaching union NASUWT, which highlights the essential role that schools play in safeguarding children and the concerning landscape of abuse and neglect.

More than 400 teachers were surveyed in the East of England, and 93% of those who shared an opinion** said they had seen an increase in the number of safeguarding referrals made within their school over the past year, with 53% stating that increase was ‘significant’.

98% of teachers who expressed an opinion also stated they had seen an increase in safeguarding concerns since the pandemic.

This echoesnew analysis of Government data that shows from 2020/2021 to 2021/2022 schools in the East of England have seen a 55% increase in the number of safeguarding referrals and re-referrals made to children’s services.***

The NSPCC says the findings underline the vital role that schools play in keeping children safe, and how important it is that everyone connected to education knows how to recognise and respond to concerns whether they happen in the classroom, corridor or community. 

The NSPCC has worked with educators for many years, including visiting primary schools with its Speak out Stay safe assemblies and workshops, launching a new resource for teachers, Talk Relationships and running a special Abuse in Education helpline following the Everyone’s Invited revelations. 

Today the charity announces that it is putting schools at the heart of its annual Childhood Day by launching the Childhood Day Mile – however you choose to complete your mile whether you walk it, wheel it or space hopper it, all funds will go towards the charity’s vital work.

Leah* from Bedford did not grow up in a happy home environment and was often left outside alone as a child, resulting in her being groomed by a man. She said, “Teachers are such a lifeline to children in unhappy or unstable homes. Sometimes they are the only positive role model they have and for me this was the case. 

“When children have disruptive childhoods teachers and school staff can be a stable influence and be more reliable than any other adult in their lives. Don’t underestimate your influence on children’s lives, as you may be the only one they can trust.”

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO said: “The vital role that teachers play in keeping children and young people safe cannot be underestimated. They are in a prime position to spot concerns, and, in many cases, they are the trusted adults that children turn to when something worrying, or upsetting has happened to them.

“We know that the pandemic left many children at an increased risk of abuse and neglect and since children returned to school, teachers have been key in raising their hand and reporting concerns to ensure they can get the support they need.

“Whilst we recognise that teachers are an essential part of the jigsaw in protecting children, at the NSPCC, we believe everyone can play their part.

“Strong communities are vital in helping to keep children safe, and that’s why we are encouraging people to do their bit in their community and get behind Childhood Day 2023 by taking on the Childhood Day Mile.

“Everyone can get involved from schools, work colleagues and families and by taking part, you’ll be helping the NSPCC ensure child protection is a top priority.”

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