Updated statutory safeguarding guidance, including new information on domestic abuse, online safety, and child-on-child (not peer-on-peer) sexual violence and harassment, has been published ahead of implementation in September.
The dramatic and alarming increase in the number of children and young people being treated for mental health problems is just the tip of the iceberg.
The legacy of COVID-19 lockdown is a frightening ‘new normal’ for the online grooming and sexual abuse of young people, with many images and videos being created by the victims themselves. Schools must be on alert.
The latest version of the Keeping children safe in education guidance for schools in England is now available following consultation over a number of proposed updates (DfE, 2022).
Notable updates to the guidance include a new paragraph on domestic abuse which has been added to the list of safeguarding issues all staff should be aware of (paragraph 43).
The update advises all school staff that ‘domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents’.
It continues: ‘That abuse can be, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional. Children can be victims of domestic abuse. They may see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse at home and/or suffer domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (teenage relationship abuse). All of which can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, wellbeing, development, and ability to learn.’
Another update in the new guidance is the change in terminology to the use of ‘child-on-child abuse’ instead of ‘peer-on-peer abuse’.
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