SSS Learning May 2024 e-bulletin

Sam Preston 7 May 2024 6 min read

Welcome to the SSS Learning May 24 e-bulletin.

Please feel free to share it. We are passionate about the role we play in safeguarding children and the more people that know about it the better. They can subscribe to our e-bulletin here.

If you are part of a school or academy, we've created some useful online safeguarding resources for parents which you can make available to your parents / guardians via a link on your website, by following these simple instructions.

New Emergency Strategies Course released

Recent events at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Carmarthenshire and Ebbw Fawr Learning Community in Ebbw Vale are shocking reminders of just how necessary emergency response procedures are in all educational settings.

Thankfully, such events are rare in UK schools however, it is still essential to not only develop emergency response strategies but to test them out to ensure they are effective.

As you may be aware, we recently released our new course on emergency response strategies. However, HM Government issued new non-statutory guidance on the 29th April, so we are currently updating our content to include all the latest information. We will re-release two new courses titled ‘Emergency Response Strategies: Protective Security & Preparedness for Educational Settings’. There will be a course designed to support governance, senior leaders and those in key critical incident roles, together with a general information course to support all other staff.

To assist with your planning, the following templates are also included within the course materials:

  • A sample editable policy
  • A Self-Assessment Emergency Planning Checklist
  • A Risk Assessment Template
  • A Post Incident Support Checklist
  • An Evacuation Template
  • An Invacuation Template
  • A Lockdown Template

In addition, we are putting the finishing touches to our latest course on The Control & Regulation of Asbestos. We envisage a release date of June 1st.

Group Training on the SSS Safeguarding Platform

We are delighted with the fantastic feedback on our new Group Training (GT) option, which is proving really popular for group INSET. If you’ve not used it, this option enables you to create fully tracked Group Training sessions which facilitates collective e-learning and discussion as part of a group. Just choose which suits your staff or your approach best. A fantastic way to deliver CPD training as part of INSET. Perfect for learners that prefer group work and a fantastic way to engage in training together as a team promoting discussion and positive learning outcomes. SSS Group Training is so easy to use, you can create your sessions in just a few minutes.

Finally I just wanted to let you know you can keep track of all SSS Learning weekly safeguarding updates, podcasts and articles via our social media accounts:

In The News

  • Sextortion Alert to Schools
  • KCSIE 2025 – have your say
  • The Ofsted Big Listen
  • Sharing nude images
  • Safeguarding failures- Lost in Transition
  • Not in School: Mental health barriers to school attendance
  • DFE Safeguarding EYFS Consultation

Sextortion Alert to Schools

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has sent an unprecedented alert to schools following a worldwide surge in cases of sextortion.

Teachers are being urged to alert pupils to the dangers of sextortion, where perpetrators blackmail victims by threatening to share their intimate or compromising pictures. The NCA’s unprecedented warning is also designed to assist teachers in supporting pupils who have been targeted.

So what is Sextortion?

The term sextortion usually takes place when perpetrators send their victim a nude image, encouraging them to reply by sending their own nude picture back. Once the perpetrator receives the compromising picture, they then blackmail the victim by threatening to share the image worldwide.

Although perpetrators target all age groups and genders, males aged between 14 and 18 make up a large proportion of cases. In 2023, 91% of cases dealt with by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) involved male victims.

Cases worldwide have more than doubled in the year 2022 to 2023, with 26718 incidents being reported. Worryingly, the reality is that the true extent of this abuse is likely to be more prevalent due to the stigma associated with sextortion and non-reporting.

According to an NCA report, this is organised crime with sextortion being carried out by groups based abroad, predominantly in West Africa and South East Asia.

Sextortion can have devastating effects and has led to victims committing suicide. Ros Dowey's son Murray died by suicide after he was tricked into sending compromising pictures by criminals posing as a girl online.

So how can teachers fulfil their duty of care?

This is clearly a safeguarding issue. All teachers should read the alert. Reporting protocols to alert DSLs should be immediately followed. In its guidance to parents and carers, the NCA advise not to pay, stop contact and block the perpetrator. They also warn against deleting any content as it may form much-needed evidence.

KCSIE 2025 – have your say

The DfE has launched a 12-week call for evidence (28th March 2024 – 20th June 2024), seeking the views of schools, colleges, and other professionals on safeguarding practice development and direction, in advance of Keeping children safe in education 2025. Views are being sought on a variety of topics including the role of Designated Safeguarding Leads, child safeguarding information and artificial intelligence.

The Ofsted Big Listen

There is still time to share your views by participating in The Ofsted Big Listen consultation.

This is your opportunity to help reshape the inspection process and methodology and, as Ofsted stated, they are ready to hear ‘difficult messages’.

The consultation closes on 31st May 2024.

You can also access the Ofsted response to Education Select committee.

Sharing nude images

The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKIS), together with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has released updated non-statutory guidance in England on responding to incidents involving the sharing of nude and semi-nude images. The updated guidance now includes advice on:

  • Incidents which may initially present as child-on-child abuse but are actually adults presenting as children;
  • Supporting children, parents / carers;
  • Examples of AI-generated materials.

Safeguarding failures- Lost in Transition

A new report has been published by the Children’s Commissioner, Rachel De Souza, highlighting the vulnerabilities of children who left the state education system last year.

The ground-breaking report, the first of its kind, examines the destinations, pupil characteristics and educational histories of children who left state education.

The research presents concerning safeguarding data, such as:

  • In excess of 10,000 children left the state education system to destinations unknown to their Local Authorities;
  • Of the 13,000 children who left the state education system for home education disproportionately had special educational needs or came from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Over 80% of all children who moved into home education were persistently or severely absent in the previous year;
  • Nearly 3,000 children became a child missing education. These children were much more likely to have come from deprived neighbourhoods and to be known to social care;
  • Local authorities report they do not have sufficient resources or powers to identify and support children missing education or help them return to school.

Not in School: Mental health barriers to school attendance

A new report has been published by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition and Centre for Mental Health exploring the link between mental health and school absence.

The report, based on a review of current HM Government policy and initiatives found that certain groups of children are disproportionately impacted by both school absence and mental health problems. This includes:

  • Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
  • Children living in poverty;
  • Children who have or are experiencing bullying or racism;
  • Children who are young carers;
  • Care experienced children.

The report findings show that many of the current approaches fail to adequately account for the wider determinants of school absence, and recommend change across four key areas:

  • Implementing a whole education approach;
  • Developing wider system support;
  • Improving attendance measures;
  • Addressing the underlying causes.

DFE Safeguarding EYFS Consultation

The DFE have opened a consultation on the proposed changes to safeguarding requirements in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework.

The aim is to strengthen the EYFS safeguarding requirements and to make them more comprehensive for providers to ensure that all children are kept as safe as possible in early years settings.

This consultation is now open and closes on the 17th June 2024.

Sam Preston

SSS Learning Safeguarding Director

Related Training Courses and Products by SSS Learning

Other e-Bulletins

March 2024

February 2024

December 2023

July 2023

May 2023

January 2023

December 2022

September 2022

April 2022

February 2022