CHILDLINE ADVICE: The need to work together to make education a safe space

For most children, school is a place where they can feel happy, safe and secure, surrounded by friends and members of staff who care for them and have their best interests at heart.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:00 am

Recently, through anonymous disclosures made on the Everyone’s Invited website, we’ve all become aware that for many pupils and students this is not the case.

Stories of abuse and harassment in education have been very difficult to read, and have been very worrying for parents because as much as you want to protect your children you can’t be with them all the time.

No child should ever be subject to abuse or harassment no matter where they are.

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Where this is happening in schools we all need to work together to find solutions and make education a safe space for all young people.

We need to create a culture that encourages healthy relationships, but to do this we need to make it easier for everyone to challenge and report harassment, abuse and unacceptable behaviour.

The NSPCC has set up a helpline specifically for children who have suffered abuse in schools, and for adults wanting to report their non-recent experiences in education.

While this offers young people a way to report what has happened to them, we know that talking about their experiences will be very difficult for some children.

Just as in Childline, the NSPCC Helpline have trained counsellors to help children and young people navigate any abuse and harassment they may have been subjected to at school, college or other educational settings.

Counsellors can help them talk through what happened, and what they want to happen next.

If any young person would like to contact this helpline, they can call 0800 136 663 for support or email [email protected] if they prefer to write down their experiences.

Some children may prefer the familiarity of Childline, and we are still here for children no matter what their worry or concern. They can find plenty of information on our website, and can use our message boards to find support from their peers in a safe, moderated environment, and can contact our counsellors 365 days a year on 0800 11 11 or on childline.org.uk