Safeguarding catch-up. March 2021 - Child Protection Support Service Omagh

Published: 4th Mar, 2021

It’s been an extraordinary Spring term and I hope the welcome arrival of a bit of sun is helping you to keep going whilst we all await our vaccines. A huge thank you to you all in theextraordinary, but needed efforts that are being made by schools’ staff to support children’s wellbeing during this pandemic.

  • Starting with some statistics from the CPSS HELPLINE for January 2021– we have noticed a 60% reduction in calls from this time in 2020 – not too surprising given you may not be seeing some of the pupils on your register. However, this begs the question:  if you’re not seeing or hearing them then who is? We’d like to suggest that a focus on feeling safe is made, and are posting the links here for Childline and for ParentlineNI     once again.  We told you about DE funding the Barnardos See Hear Respond programme and now we bring you the posters to go along with that – for sending to parents     and for displaying in all classrooms where you have children     attending. Please consider putting  all these on your websites (if you haven’t already done so) and sending the links out to pupils and parents again and as appropriate.
  • Staff also have a right to feel safe – and here is the link once again to Barnardos guidance that includes school staff: Supporting Whole School Well-being includes the Staff too
  • SIGNS of SAFETY pre-recorded webinar. We received some great feedback on the one hour live workshop so we recorded this webinar for anyone who missed out. Join this Online Learning Area on the EA portal to access the webinar. To create your free account please click on link below or copy and paste this link into your browser; https://www.easds.org.uk/sds/portal2/createaccount/ . One Time Invite Code: 60Px97 (Please note that this is a one time use code and is not your password).  You will be sent an email with a password on creation of your account.
  • FREE online training March 4th 2021:The Anna Freud Centre has launched its 5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework, a simple, free and interactive tool to help schools and education centres develop a whole setting approach on their own terms. Our apologies on the short notice.
  • PRIMARIES and SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOLS. The NSPCC has developed an adapted version of our Speak Out. Stay Safe. assembly to support children through the current lockdown.   This can be found here.   The assembly can be used by parent and carers as part of home learning.   It can also be used by school staff if you are teaching pupils remotely and in school at the same time and would like a resource you can use with both sets of pupils.

With the help of celebrities and NSPCC staff, the assembly reminds children of their right to speak out and stay safe and has been tailored with information relevant to the current situation. It  focuses on changes they may be experiencing and worries they may have during the pandemic - covering topics that are important to children right now and advises where they can get support and how, for example by speaking to a trusted adult or by calling Childline.

To complement this new assembly, the NSPCC has also produced some resources for parents and carers to enable further discussion whilst doing fun activities with their children. These may also be suitable for use by teachers in class and are hosted on the NSPCC website here.

Please note the new adapted assembly does not replace the Speak out. Stay safe. online programme which is only suitable for pupils in class (not as part of remote learning).    If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or schools can contact the NSPCC  at [email protected]

  • DIGITAL SAFEGUARDING. The police team CEOP’s  (Child exploitation and Online Protection) education group has produced an editable online safety newsletter for schools to send to parents. You can simply add in the name of your school – edit the text if you so wish and send it out as a reminder to parents about digital safety for their children. We have attached a copy to this mail for your consideration.
  • DOMESTIC ABUSE. The current campaign to raise awareness around Domestic Abuse during the pandemic has now produced some posters. We have attached one for you to display where you think appropriate and for consideration for your webpage.
  • The EA Head of Safeguarding Welfare and Inclusion has produced a guide to help Safeguarding Teams and others in education to understand the terms and language used in the safeguarding framework in NI: Understanding the Child Protection Structures in Northern Ireland. A guide for staff working in the Education Sector. A copy is attached for your reference.
  • NEGLECT:  The Safeguarding Board for NI has highlighted neglect as one of the main focuses for agencies in the current 3 year business plan. Many of you may already have had the opportunity to join one of the neglect awareness webinars.  However dueto demand – the SBNI Panels are facilitating 2 further webinars on the same theme.   These are FREE, on 19 and 29 March 10am -12pm.  The attached fliers above explain  how to register for one of the free events .
  • Finally, earlier in February, the DE sent all schools’ [email protected] mail accounts a letter to all Principal with attached documents about effective practice in remote learning of features of such practice. They are attached above.

Thank you again for all you do.  We stand with you in all your work and care for our children and young people and look forward to hearing from you whether on the helpline or in a virtual training room.  If there is any further ways we can support and help you let us know.

Your Child Protection Support Service.

Elaine Craig|Head of Service

Child Protection Support Service


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