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It doesn’t matter if you’re the headmaster or a teaching assistant. If you work in a school, you will be required to abide by the organisation’s safeguarding policies.
In education, safeguarding refers to the rules that schools have established to honour their responsibility of care to their pupils. Safeguarding policies help promote the welfare of the students and keep them protected from harm. Schools will also put clear processes in place to save children who are being abused.
Below are some of the safeguarding tips to help improve your teaching career.
The Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance which came into force last September 2018, has outlined that schools should provide a safe environment for kids and young people. It includes vetting staff to ensure that none of the adults poses a risk to students.
The school is also responsible for teaching students about staying safe online and in school. They should maintain an approachable front so that students will feel confident in bringing any issues they may have against the teaching staff. It’s the responsibility of the school to create a safe environment and implement a proactive approach to ensuring that students will always feel safe.
Part of creating a safe haven for students at school is making the staff undergo Safeguarding Training. The training will discuss the different measures to put in place to help teachers appear approachable to students. It will also talk about the various techniques that can be useful for staff working with kids.
Child abuse can take on many forms. The signs can manifest themselves in various ways and knowing what signs to watch out for will give teachers a chance to intervene and help the student in need.
Educators play an essential role in keeping a child protected from all forms of abuse. They can offer support for students to understand and report abuse and foster their safety by establishing preventative measures in the school setting. There are many reasons why students will find it hard to report abuse, but the biggest reason behind this is fear. Educators that provide safe and supportive environments for their students could receive reports of all forms of abuse. A child who will work up the courage to report may only work up that courage once, so take every report seriously.
Unfortunately, the majority of child abuse goes unreported. And when a child works up the courage to report abuse, educators need to know the right words to say and do. They should stay calm, help the kids feel safe, and reassure the child that they have done the right thing. Responding the right way can make a huge difference in minimising the fear, shame, worry, and other negative feelings that the abused child could experience during and after reporting.
The safeguarding training of teaching staff will include key information about recognising any signs of neglect and abuse in kids and younger people. These include unexplained changes in the child’s behaviour, becoming withdrawn, aggressive, etc. All these are key indicators that a child is experiencing abuse and some form of neglect.
While it is possible that the change of behaviour is not necessarily due to abuse, the affected child or young person must be followed up on to figure out the real reason behind the disturbing behaviours. Teachers should immediately raise any concerns through proper channels, which should also involve examining any indicators of abuse and discussions between the headteacher and student.
There are several different ways to determine a suspected case of abuse or neglect, and what the teachers will witness, as well as your relationship with the child, will have a big impact on how you should respond in cases like these. Teachers should immediately remove the child in a dangerous situation the moment they witness abuse in action.
It’s important that every reported case be dealt with individually and that all facts be taken into account without excessive intrusion. If the abused child starts to narrate what happened, teachers should display positive body language to encourage the child to continue.
The teacher must also be aware of cues and consider these when responding to the child. In some cases, the child might want to be comforted physically, but there are also cases where the child will feel uncomfortable when touched. At this point, it’s more important that you actively listen instead of commenting or asking questions. Listening carefully to the child is very important. However, there are times when the child may not be able to verbally share what is actually happening. That’s why teachers must remain observant throughout.
Occasionally, the child will spontaneously disclose some episodes of abuse. While the story might seem doubtful, the teachers must believe the child. Remember, the child is taking a significant step in trusting you enough to share the abuse. Betraying the child’s trust will only make things worse as it will repeat the betrayal that the child has experienced.
Teachers must be given up-to-date training about Safeguarding. In fact, everyone working for the school must also undergo Safeguarding Training, whether they are working with children or not.
Everyone in the school needs to know how to spot even the smallest signs of abuse. Thus, schools should be able to implement an effective and well-rounded approach to educating everyone about abuse. The Safeguarding Training course can also be tailored to suit the organisation, most importantly, the learners. It will cover everything, from safeguarding children and young adults to e-safety and trafficking.
The most useful safeguarding training courses will also provide teachers with the necessary skills to distinguish those at a high risk of abuse or neglect. There are many ways that a child safeguarding concern can arise, and it’s important to handle any concerns of abuse appropriately. This is why undertaking up-to-date Safeguarding Training should be a priority for every school. Safeguarding kids should be a collective responsibility of every educator, and it is the moral duty of teachers to take appropriate action in mitigating any possible harm to the kids.