Teachers feel overwhelmed and helpless due to a large number of safeguarding concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A “tsunami of safeguarding disclosures” is feared when pupils do return to the classroom, according to one safeguarding lead. It has been reported that schools and PRUs may struggle to cope with the huge rise in cases.
When learning from home, schools remain responsible for safeguarding students. But are schools doing everything to safeguard their students and can they do more? This blog post explains.
Safeguarding issues are on the rise
Ceri Stokes, assistant headteacher and designated safeguarding lead (DSL) was speaking during a virtual roundtable which focused on safeguarding during the pandemic.
She said pupils may have suffered from bullying and isolation during their time away from school.
But with students set to be placed in small groups with less “space” to talk about how they are feeling or they may not feel they have a relationship with the teacher leading the group.
Ms Stokes said: “I’ve got to support staff. If they’re suddenly getting loads of disclosures they are going to feel drained; they are going to feel helpless; they are going to feel overwhelmed; it could bring up their own baggage.
“I don’t really see how it’s going to work from a safeguarding point of view for the first few weeks, where we’re trying to give people time to talk.”
School return led by safeguarding
Speaking in April, the Education Minister said vulnerable children were a priority during the coronavirus pandemic. She told the Education Select Committee that the Department for Education “would be prioritising vulnerable children” when assessing how to manage the education process.
The Department for Education added:
We want children back in schools as soon as possible because being with their teachers and friends is so important for their education and their wellbeing.
What can be done to ensure safeguarding for students?
As a school you have a responsibility for safeguarding.
Having a system which protects children at it’s heart will help maintain safeguarding.
By using EDLounge to teach students virtually, protecting students is fundamental. Students will be asked if they have anything to report when they log on to the system, alert mechanisms can always be accessed, the system features a contact directory for a range of charities, eyes-on learning is available and staff are contactable using instant chat and are enhanced DBS checked.
For more information on how we can help with your safeguarding needs, click here.
For more information, call 01909 568 338.