Teaching Assistants: The Dangers of teaching by echo

The role of the TA is among the most controversial in schools. However, much of the debate focuses on numbers, not what TAs do. TAs undertake a vital role to ensure inclusion of pupils with special needs and disability. However, there is too much concentration on TA supporting learning which all too often ends up as ‘teaching by echo’, rather than preparing children for learning, so they can engage with the teaching first hand. Continue reading

Information on DfE Guidance on sexual violence and harassment between children.

This new guidance is DfE advice and so highlights best practice, but is not statutory guidance. The Statutory guidance will come when Keeping Children Safe in Education is updated in September 2018.

It contains much that is new, while remaining true to the underlying safeguarding principles of

• protecting all children from harm,
• the welfare of the child is paramount
• listening to the voice of the child.

Sexual violence and harassment between children should be considered within the wider safeguarding context of the school and be consistent with the whole school approach to peer-on-peer abuse. Continue reading

Teaching empathy to move beyond our bubble

The word of the week seems to be  ‘bubble’ Not the soft soapy kind that children play with or that helps us to clean, but a hard, impermeable shell that stops us from understanding and knowing each other. The leaders in two schools, I have worked in this week, have spoken about ‘our school bubble’.  By this they mean that they are a good school in a nice, affluent area and so, for some members of their community, there is no perceived need for change. This ‘niceness’ both prevents the children (and their parents) from wanting to know about the world and creates a feeling they need to be protected from it. Continue reading

What do schools need to do to support children experiencing sexual abuse?

In 2019 schools will be required to teach Relationship Education in Primary Schools and Relationships and Sex Education in Secondary Schools. At the same time, schools are increasingly being expected to support children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. We need to use these curriculum changes to consider what is needed in PHSE teaching, how it fits into the curriculum and its role in preventing Child Sexual Abuse.  Continue reading