What are the basic safeguarding policies that a state should pass in order to protect children welfare concerns? Do our state have separate guiding regulations for children with disabilities and SEN (Special Education Needs)? What guidelines a government should present to the staff to handle peer on peer abuse or sexual abuse? The government has published a copy of Keeping Children Safe in Education that came into force last year. Children who are adopted, those who were previously looked after and now needs counselling. The Guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019” provides rules and regulations that the institutions should follow to maintain educational safety and harmony.
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With the provision of adapting individual protection policy for every school, the staff would be able to handle various kinds of issue that might arise in a community. Each institution must include processes and procedures that they think is relevant to them.
This post highlights some of the major guidelines that would help safe children while acquiring their academic career.
Children with SEN and Disabilities
Keeping in view the behavioral changes, mood swings or any psychological disability, special care and support must be displayed to SEN chilren. The major concern is that the disabilities of such children must be kept into consideration and then their potential for abuse. Such children might behave in unusual manner; they might look distress and out of anxiety they can act differently. In such cases it has been clearly advised that instructor should consider it as a part of their disability first and then later a sign of potential abuse.
Maximum mentoring must be provided to SEN children where do not feel left out or alone and not easily be a target of maltreatment. Special educational needs are a must follow for such students in order to maintain safety in their educational period.
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Importance of ICE for Children
It has been reported in past couple of years that institution that has a single or no emergency contacts of their students have faced serious issues handling with emergency situations. One major aspect of providing safety in education is that a school must have at least two emergency contacts for every student. This would not only help in contacting with their parents or guardian in case of any emergency, schools can contact their ICE (in case of emergency) numbers in case of welfare concerns.
A child might ask for using mobile data for writing a research proposal, but what if he might end up being misused through some insecure or unethical context? Since most of the children use data network (3G or 4G) on their phones inside their school premises, there comes a need for a policy where staff needs to keep a check and monitor the online activities a child make while he is at school.
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Peer on Peer Abuse or Physical Bullying
The policy clearly guides on how to handle peer on peer abuse, physical bullying, sexual harassment or sexual violence. The school must adapt an effective approach in handling such situations. School staff should be given a clear understanding and identify the meaning of peer on peer abuse; the ways they can deal with it and what they should do in such siuations. They should take into account on how these abuses can be minimized, how the schools can carry out investigations and then later deal with victim and the assailant. If the schools take this abuse extremely serious rather than part of growing up, there are high chances that an institution can completely eliminate it in future.
Children Disappearing from Schools
The staff should take notice of those children who miss out their schools on regular basis. This is a clear warning sign of safeguarding issue. The school should be able to determine different reasons behind their disappearance from school; some reasons could be a child’s forced marriage, sexual abuse etc.
Since forced marriage is considered as a crime as the two parties have been forced to enter into an agreement where their consent is not taken into consideration, this factor should be well considered. Once the school is able to acquire adequate statistics, they can carry out counselling sessions for their current students which might help in molding the young minds not to drop out of their schools and should continue their education.
Students Criminal Exploitation
This part of guidance looks into a child’s criminal abuse for example a child might get into some criminal activity or drug trading. To ensure safety for a child, staff must be trained to keep an eye on their students activities on regular basis.
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A major risk for child’s welfare is being homeless. In such situations, the homeless family is at a risk of house rent arrears, household debt or domestic abuse. The procedures and guidelines clearly indicates that a child must not be harmed or be at risk at any time and to cater this the leads have to make proper referrals for child’s safety. The safeguarding heads should have all the contact details and must be completely aware of local housing authorities which would help-in raising concerns in case of requirement.
Any kind of extremist ideology or radicalization is very harmful for young minds. They can be easily diverted to wrong paths and might disown their fundamental values. Students might get involved in supporting terrorism or extremist ideologies and any kind of medium (like friends, family or social media) can be the cause of it.
In such cases, trainers or mentors should be alert if they see a child’s changing behavior. They should be able to take it as a sign of warning for other students too. Serious actions must be taken to eradicate radicalization from educational institutions.
If an educational institution establish the basic guidelines keeping in mind all the highlighted factors in “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019”, they can bring about major change in safety of their students educational background. If the students educational safety is ensured in a society, the society will nourish and will be able to move towards progressive growth.