Posted in safeguarding, Uncategorized

Bringing safeguarding into the digital era

In the digital era that we live in, we can no longer think of internet or e-safety as a separate entity when safeguarding children and young people.

In fact, if anyone starts talking about e-safety in the traditional sense, you should just hush them up – this is 2017 and there is absolutely nothing ‘traditional’ about the internet and how children and young people are using it.

Generally, safeguarding within schools deals with e-safety in the context of children’s access to technology and their use of social media; however, it is crucial to consider the more hidden dangers that are away from the mainstream face of the internet.

The “dark web” has created a world in which perpetrators can hide behind a cloak and conceal their identity – making it difficult to track and identify.

Apps like Snapchat and Musical.ly, alongside social media sites such as Twitter, allow trolls a platform to target and groom children and young people. Continue reading “Bringing safeguarding into the digital era”

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Posted in safeguarding, sex and relationship education, Uncategorized

‘Three Girls’ – spotting the signs of CSE

In May, over three consecutive nights, the BBC aired Three Girls – an unflinching drama based on the 2012 Rochdale grooming case, which exposed and prosecuted nine men for the trafficking, prostitution and rape of children.

It was an uncomfortable programme to watch from start to finish ─ to see the girls being groomed, abused and then ignored for so long was one of the most difficult things I have ever seen committed to film.

I will be the first to say that the programme was extremely hard to watch, but this should not mean that people need shy away from it. It showed how, with a few missteps, people can be led into a never-ending cycle of abuse – a cycle that will impact their whole lives and the lives of the people around them.

Three Girls exposed wide-scale child abuse and, until the end, chronic failings among parents, councils, health services and the police. Continue reading “‘Three Girls’ – spotting the signs of CSE”

Posted in mental health, suicide, Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.

Netflix’s controversial suicide drama has sparked debate following its arrival on the streaming service in March.

The debate surrounding 13 Reasons Why, and whether it deals with the subject of teen suicide tactfully, is continuing as schools in the USA are now issuing letters to parents warning them about the drama.

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The adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, follows a group of 12 high-school pupils as they piece together a story described on a series of tapes left for them from their classmate, Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide. Continue reading “13 Reasons Why – shocked? So were we.”

Posted in sex and relationship education, Uncategorized

Let’s talk about sex, baby

It was reported last month that all children from the age of four will now be taught sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools.

Education Secretary Justine Greening is expected to announce a new SRE curriculum which will be introduced to every primary and secondary school in England – including academies, free schools and independent schools.

The move follows months of campaigning from MPs and charity groups who successfully argued that the current curriculum is outdated and does not reflect the dangers faced by young people today.

One of the groups involved in the campaign is BigTalk Education  – a core member of the Sex Education Forum. Interviewing Lynnette Smith, the Managing Director and Founder, she told us that one of the biggest hurdles with teaching SRE in schools is the relationship between teachers and parents. Continue reading “Let’s talk about sex, baby”

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

How to improve mental health in your school

Last week, in a speech at the Charity Commission, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new approach to tackling mental health.

There is no denying that the speech was a breakthrough for mental health sufferers and activists – for the first time in history, the UK has a government seemingly committed to taking mental health seriously, to breaking the stigma and silence around the subject by bringing it the forefront of public discourse.

However, scepticism has been aroused – political rhetoric is, after all, no substitute for concrete action.

We interviewed John Tomsett, headteacher at Huntington School in York and user of TheSchoolBus. Continue reading “How to improve mental health in your school”