Embed Ethics and Values Into Safeguarding Practice:
Contextual Safeguarding and The Student Voice

Safeguarding Children and Young People

The Challenge: Embed Ethics and Values Into Safeguarding Practice with a focus on Contextual Safeguarding

The Opportunity: Create Courageous, Respectful, Honest and Responsible Young People

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) carried out a thematic investigation into the effective leadership of state and non-state institutions that have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. The inquiry investigated the quality of leadership and practice within institutions being critical to protecting children and preventing and responding to child sexual abuse. During this investigation the inquiry considered a total of twelve themes.

The Student Voice will provide a blog series that seeks to provoke thought and to challenge us all in our ability to consider the following thematic questions posed by IICSA:

  • What ethics and values are important for ensuring child protection?
  • How can these ethics and/or values be embedded into an organisation?
  • How do leaders promote a positive culture for safeguarding children and tackling child abuse?

We will apply the four central values that led to the creation of The Student Voice tool and relate these relevant values and ethics to our young people and how, by doing so, we can contribute to creating a safer living and learning environment for our children.

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Week 1: COURAGE

Are our communities safe for young people?

Week 2: RESPECT

Do we know the issues that our young people face?

Week 3: GROWTH MINDSET

Are the interventions we put in place to keep young people safe effective?

Week 4: RESPONSIBILITY

Do we provided young people with the opportunity to have a say in how their communities function?

For the past 25 years I have been in education and during that time I have learned the most from the children and young people I have worked with. Children rarely let you down and they will try to rise to your expectations. Perhaps that is the greatest lesson to be learnt. The purpose of the next four weeks is to proactively use this time of lockdown to allow for reflection, thought and learning and to contribute to the organic challenge of how we can ever more effectively safeguard the young people under our care.

Through collaboration and contributing to the conversation we will all benefit and learn, and this will positively impact the young people under our care – we cannot fail and will only learn.

Written by Jason Tait, Director of Pastoral Care and Designated Safeguarding Lead at TASIS The American School in England and Co-Founder of The Student Voice

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