In advance of our inaugural Safeguarding Awareness Week, we asked school staff to share their thoughts on the state of safeguarding in their school today*.
The key findings of the research are:
- More than three quarters (78%) of school staff surveyed feel that there are more safeguarding concerns raised now than before the pandemic.
- Almost a quarter (23%) of school staff surveyed do not think pupils feel safe at their school.
- Almost a quarter (23%) of school staff surveyed do not think pupils feel confident in reporting concerns they have to a member of school staff.
- A quarter (25%) of school staff surveyed do not feel confident in handling reports of sexual harassment, abuse or violence.
- More than four in 10 (43%) of school staff surveyed do not feel that there is sufficient guidance for schools overall on how to deal with allegations of sexual harassment and violence.
The research shows that the majority of school staff feel that there are more safeguarding concerns raised now than before the pandemic. Data also shows significant minorities of school staff who do not think students feel safe in school and who do not feel confident handling reports of sexual harassment, abuse or violence.
Last year, the DfE updated the Ofsted inspection handbook so that schools must have adequate processes for dealing with harmful sexual behaviour, but as this new data shows, teachers and school staff are still concerned.
During Safeguarding Awareness Week, we shared with schools a range of tools and resources, as well as live webinars on online sexual harassment and handling sexual abuse disclosures, hosted by experienced safeguarding experts, to examine what it means to feel safe and how schools and colleges can put preventative measures in place to guard against sexual harassment and abuse.
You can view the webinar recordings, download expert safeguarding resources and get tips and advice from Tes Magazine on the Safeguarding Awareness Week website.