Contextual safeguarding, which has been developed by Dr. Carlene Firmin at the University of Bedfordshire's Contextual Safeguarding Network, recognises that as young people grow and develop they are influenced by a whole range of environments and people outside of their family, for example in school, in the local community, in their peer groups or online. Children and young people may encounter risk in any of these environments. Sometimes the different contexts are inter-related and can mean that children and young people may encounter multiple risks. Contextual safeguarding looks at how we can best understand these risks, engage with children and young people and help to keep them safe.
Our Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy sets out our commitment to protecting children, how we will keep them safe and how to respond to concerns.
Risks outside the home can take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual abuse (including harassment and exploitation), criminal exploitation, county lines, and radicalisation.
At Oaklands, we are also particularly concerned about children's vulnerability to online harms (see our online safety section for further advice and support)
Bullying & Child on Child Abuse
‘Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages, social media or gaming, which can include the use of images and video) and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disabilities, or because a child is adopted, in care or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.’ Preventing and Tackling Bullying, Dfe
For many children, the issue of bullying is seen as something that they have to deal with themselves. They feel that adults are not going to take them seriously and could make things worse. However, we know that bullying has enduring impact on children right through to their adult life and should be taken as seriously as other allegations of abuse or neglect. If left unaddressed, bullying can be a barrier to learning and can have a serious impact on an individual’s mental health. We are particularly mindful that some groups of children are at greater risk of being bullied; this includes children with special educational needs, young carers, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans children.
Bullying can cover a wide range of issues, and as identified on the government’s website, some forms are illegal (e.g. violence or assault, theft, repeated harassment, hate crimes) and should be reported to the Police.
Child on Child Abuse is when there is any kind of physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse or coercive control exercised between children/young people both on and offline. Oaklands School staff understand the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours between children.
We recognise that many of our pupils are still learning about appropriate behaviours for example, being respectful of personal space & understanding public and private parts of the body, therefore this is an important part of our curriculum. There is a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment & sexual violence at Oaklands as ensuring that all children and staff feel that they are in a safe environment is a priority.
The rapid development of, and widespread access to, technology has provided a new medium for ‘virtual’ bullying, which can occur in or outside school. Cyber-bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day, with a potentially bigger audience, and more accessories as people forward on content at a click.
Cyberbullying can take many forms:
As parents, carers, and teachers there is a need to ensure that we help children stay safe when online whilst also accepting that for children today there can be little differentiation between online and offline worlds.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Are You Listening?
Funded by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's Violence Reduction Network, the film entitled 'Are you listening' aims to raise awareness of the issue of CCE, some of the signs that could indicate a child is in danger and where you can go for help and support. It is important we all play an active role in tackling this issue.
A subtitled version of the video can be viewed on YouTube.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse in return for gifts, money, drugs, affection, and status. Children are coerced, manipulated and deceived into performing sexual activities. CSE can happen in schools, in the community and online. Children as young as 8 have been sexually exploited. CSE could happen to any child but is never the victim's fault.
At Oaklands, we always take children seriously. We build relationships with children so they know they always have someone to talk to, whether through signing, pictures of verbally. We work closely with families, supporting to reduce the risks, for example by offering advice about online safety.
Kayleigh's Love Story
Visit the Leicestershire Police's website to access the police news item on the film 'Kayleigh's Love Story' made to warn children of online grooming.
By working together with our children, parents/carers & wider family members, and our local community, we aim to keep children safe at all times, and to teach them ways in which they can keep themselves safe.
For further information see: