As a new school year gets underway the NSPCC are aiming to visit a record number of primary schools to help children stay safe from abuse and neglect.
Through its Speak out. Stay safe. programme the charity last year visited more than 7,800 schools and spoke to over 1.6 million children about protecting themselves from abuse and neglect – numbers they are looking to top in 2017/18.
According to research at least two pupils in the average primary school class, have suffered from abuse or neglect.
To encourage more teachers to sign-up to a visit, the NSPCC has released a new video showing the impact of the Speak out. Stay safe. assemblies and workshops.
Head of the school service, Karen Squillino said: “It’s hugely important that the next generation are given the knowledge they need to help protect themselves against abuse and neglect, as well as being empowered to speak out when they feel something is not right.”
“We are proud to have reached such a huge number of children with the Speak out. Stay safe. programme, which is delivered by our fantastic volunteers and staff, and we are looking forward to visiting even more primary schools in 2017/18.”
There are two assemblies, one for reception pupils up to Year 3, and the other for pupils in Years 4 -6. There is also a more in-depth interactive workshop for older students.
Children are taught about all the different forms of child abuse, such as neglect, bullying and physical and sexual abuse. With the help of NSPCC mascot Buddy, the programme encourages children to speak to a trusted adult or to Childline about any worries they may have.
In some cases Speak out. Stay safe. has directly resulted in children reporting abuse, leading to offenders being prosecuted and convicted of their crimes.
Abby’s* daughter Laura* was sexually abused by her friend Jessica*. Abby remembers things between the girls changing all of a sudden, as Laura didn’t want Jessica to come round for tea anymore or to stay at her house. However, she didn’t suspect that anything was wrong and thought the girls had fallen out as children do.
After seeing one of the NSPCC’s Speak out. Stay safe. assemblies Laura disclosed the abuse to a teacher. The school’s safeguarding officer told Abby what had happened, the police were informed and Laura was assigned a social worker. Abby believes that Laura would not have come forward without Speak out. Stay safe.
Many of the free assemblies and workshops are delivered by volunteers who make up a vital part of the charity’s aim to visit every primary school in the UK once every three years.