NSPCC trainers were in school last week updating Fairmead staff on Safeguarding our students.
Suzi Moore and Chris Mullane from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children delivered the training to teachers, LSAs, admin staff, caretakers, cleaners and lunchtime catering staff – in fact anybody who works at our school on a permanent and regular basis was obliged to attend.
Chris Mullane gave the morning’s presentation about neglect and Child Sexual Exploitation based on his experiences working as a former police detective in South Wales. Fairmead staff were taught CSE screening tools to help identify vulnerable children and risk indicators. Chris also explained that persistent willful neglect is a crime and therefore dealt with by the police, whereas neglect resulting from dysfunction and difficulty within the family is dealt with by Social Services.
Suzi Moore gave the afternoon presentation based on her professional specialism which is Child Sexual Exploitation involving boys. Suzi explained the difficulty of bringing this issue to light due to to a number of significant factors that are more specific to boys, such as the fear of homophobic prejudice, different language and communication styles from girls, the prevalence of male gangs and boys being drawn into the male-dominated adult world of crime.
We also learnt that within Social Services and schools, there are not many male role models, so disclosing abuse is more difficult for boys in a predominantly female gendered setting. There are quite literally not enough people there speaking their language. Suzi also explained that boys tend to demonstrate a very different emotional response from girls; causing self-harm by creating fights for example. Boys are also more likely to be targeted through use of media and technology.
The NSPCC training was the second part of a two day course; the first part was held at the start of the summer term and focused on different types of child abuse, how to spot them, and our responsibilities as staff to report concerns and how to report them correctly. We also talked about how to respond when a child makes a disclosure.
Staff were provided with an information booklet for both training days so we can refer to them when needed. Sadly our SEN students who we care so much for at Fairmead School are vulnerable to CSE, therefore staff were unanimous in feeling that the training given by the NSPCC was of great value.