112 WORDS: Safeguarding & Child Protection Blog

The information contained within this blog comprises a series of 112* word individual safeguarding posts, specifically tailored and adapted for Expatriate Communities and in particular the International Schools’ global community. In this context I am using the term 112 Safeguarding to mean ‘Emergency’ or ‘First Responder’ Safeguarding. Use the ‘search’ functions at the top or bottom of this page to look for specific topics of interest.

*112 being the International emergency service contact number from mobile phones and some landline phones. See link for global emergency contact details, including those where 112 can be used: Global 112 Usage

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Social World Podcast – Post COVID19 Social Work

Dave Niven, Head of the Social World Podcast, recently interviewed Professor Ngoh Tiong Tan Chair of the Global Institute for Social Work about contributions social work can make to communities in the context of the Covid19 pandemic.

Professor Tan discussed facilitating crisis management with vulnerable groups and the importance of social solidarity; neighbourliness; compassion; social wellbeing and heightened levels of awareness at such times. In line with ITFCP recommendations, he stressed the value of building social networks within host countries including with local social work specialists and agencies. Is your school making efforts to identify vulnerable indigenous staff or others in your community linked to this issue?

See Podcast 091 at http://socialworldpodcast.com

ChildSafeguarding.com Online Course Launch Webinar

We’re officially launching ChildSafeguarding.com’s Online Child Protection Course for support staff in schools on 30 June 2020 – offered in multiple languages. During our launch webinar we will include a tour of the site and a demonstration of the course. There will also be an opportunity to answer any questions people may ask. We would love you to join one of the two webinars we are holding on that day. The details are below:

Webinar 1: 30 June 2020 – 10am Singapore-Beijing / 12pm Sydney / 7 pm Los Angeles (June 29th)
Register here: https://edtch.co/2zFvXcW

Webinar 2: 30 June 2020 – 6pm Singapore / 2pm Dubai / 11am London
Register here: https://edtch.co/2AF4yZ2

 

A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic.

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“When will they actually go back to school?” This is the cry from many parents, as we write and there is no answer. But that does not stop us thinking about what it will be like for each and every one of our children, at whatever age, stage or ability level on the day they walk through the classroom door.

It would be naive of any Headteacher/Principal to think that the child will pick up the Curriculum at exactly the same point at which they left it on the day their school closed. Too much has happened. Listen to what the children are saying (Full report by Barry Carpenter & Matthew Carpenter).

Child Protection Incident Recording

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CPOMS provide safeguarding, pastoral and wellbeing solutions for schools across the world. They have recently been recognised for their innovation by receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Given the current international COVID emergency, and the challenge for schools having to track vulnerable students in disparate locations around the world without having access to key information, CPOMS are offering their digital safeguarding recording system FREE until September 2020 to all schools not currently using a digital safeguarding recording system.

Furthermore, MyConcern Safeguarding Software who provide safeguarding services and software to many thousands of schools is being offered FREE to all schools until September 2020 that currently don’t have an electronic record keeping system.

Online Safety (ii) ‘Whisper’ Anonymous Reporting

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The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) UK have made their reporting app ‘Whisper’ available for FREE for UK and International Schools  at this time. An anonymous reporting service that will enable anyone in your whole-school community to securely raise safeguarding or other concerns by using a reporting form.

There are numerous inclusive encrypted features including Live Chat via Website, so that you can keep in touch with the individual who is reporting. Users need to know how frequently their messages will be reviewed and what the response times are likely to be.

A safe way for parents, staff and students to report safeguarding concerns 24/7.

IMPROVED VISIBILITY – REPORT WITHOUT FEAR

Online Safety (i)

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The global coronavirus pandemic has increased opportunities for online child abusers to target children. We should take measures to ensure that our whole school communities monitor any increased risks – and act to prevent or intervene wherever necessary.

The effect of the pandemic means some IT companies may reduce usual levels of moderation commonly in place to combat sexual abuse online. Many children are not currently at school and are spending considerably more time online at home. They will be using the Internet to stay in touch with family and friends as well as to learn. This could lead to an increased risk of exposure to harmful content and possible sexual exploitation.

Statute of Limitations

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The USA as the only country in the world not to have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC 1989) has recently (2019/2020) been focussed on a review of their respective state ‘statute of limitation’ laws pertaining to child sexual abuse.

In International School settings this raises a significant issue for senior leadership within strategic safeguarding and child protection team discussions. What do you know about the statute of limitations specifically related to sexual abuse – historical adult or child related – and legislative equivalents in your host countries? This knowledge has potential relevance when it comes to responding to and supporting staff or students – current and past.

Bullying (iii)

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‘Ditch the Label’ has published its annual bullying survey 2019. Findings of survey results from 2,347 children and young people aged 12-20 across the UK include: 22% said they were bullied in the past 12 months; of those bullied 62% were bullied by a classmate and 37% by someone at school they did not know; and 33% said that they had suicidal thoughts; while 41% were left feeling anxious after being bullied.

In light of this report now may be a good time to review your Peer-On-Peer Abuse policy; your anti-bullying policy and procedures; curriculum materials and suicide recognition and prevention strategies. If you need help, support or guidance, please contact me.

New Online Child Safeguarding Awareness Course

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The team from ChildSafeguarding.com together with 112 SAFEGUARDING are attending EARCOS 2019 to talk about the planned launch of a new online course in 2020.

The International Schools’ target cohort includes but is not restricted to those in the following roles: gardeners, security guards; cleaners; maintenance staff; contractors; drivers; administration staff including HR, finance, receptionists, PAs and secretaries; chaperones; volunteers; personnel carrying out accreditation processes; guest speakers; long stay visitors; returning alumni; and similar.

The course is designed for these non-teaching employees, volunteers and subcontractors operating within an International School context, no matter their role, seniority, education or background. It is structured for delivery in the languages of the respective host countries.

Safeguarding Challenges for Senior School Leadership (Part Two)

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An externally derived and bespoke safeguarding audit or review can provide your school with baseline measures and related recommendations for developing and improving standards going forward. Accreditation bodies integrate safeguarding assessment as only part of their comprehensive inspection processes.

Alternatively schools can undertake an internal review to yield some baseline data for benchmarking future progress.

Any review should examine efficacy linked to:

  • The ITFCP recommendations as a minimum standard;
  • A safeguarding ‘whole school community’ framework that is fit for purpose;
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or Child Protection Officers (CPOs) sufficiently trained and in adequate numbers for organizational size;
  • Appropriate levels of safeguarding awareness and training for all those within the ‘school community’.