Safeguarding Briefing - 8th January 2023

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Safeguarding Briefing from Andrew Hall





Safeguarding Briefing - 8th January 2023

Dear Colleagues,
Child Safety and the Metaverse

Christmas has now come to a close and a new year has begun. As pupils and staff return to school, the annual playground inquisition will begin. Among their peer group young people will begin to discuss what they got for Christmas. For many the answer will almost certainly be ‘a Fortnite battle pass, a new PC, a PlayStation 5 etc’. All devices which allow both unfettered access to the internet and expose children to voice chat, text chat and photo sharing with complete strangers. This year presents an acceleration of vulnerability window as, VR headsets, connected to Facebook’s Metaverse have been released onto the marketplace. The Metaverse seeks to link users to the internet as a Virtual Entity through the use of Virtual Reality Headsets. This amplifies the danger children are exposed to online. Over the coming months it will be vital for DSL’s to understand these Christmas gifts and the issues linked to them. To help you understand this new, fast changing issue the NSPCC has published a guide to both the Metaverse and VR headsets. To find out more please follow the link:

 Understanding the Playground - Fortnite

Since its release 2017, the battle-royale simulator – Fortnite, has become ubiquitous in classrooms and playgrounds throughout the world. The game, which features cartoonish renderings of characters, bright colours and non-visceral consequence free violence, has had a mass appeal to children. Each Christmas another draft of young pupils are induced into its overcrowded multi-player lobbies, to the point that there is not a school pupil in the country who hasn’t owned it, begged their parents for it or played it round a friend’s house. As a result more children than ever are exposed to multi-player chatting with strangers, and financial exploitation via the game’s spend-to-gain-advantage operating style. Allowing children to use real world money to gain perks and costumes. From criminal blackmailing, to the coercion of nude exchanges by online ‘friends’ posing as children, the danger this game presents from a safeguarding perspective is clear. As an added complication, the verbiage surrounding the game used by pupils is near-incomprehensible, frustrating adepts to secure their safety. Fortunately to allow for greater comprehension of reports to staff involving the game, has published a guide to understanding the game and its terms. You can find the link below:

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A Guide to Online Safety and Gaming

As a new generation of young people arrive onto using multiplayer games and the internet in general this new year, it is more important than ever to make your pupils aware of how to stay safe online. The SWGfL has published a pamphlet on how to best keep safe whilst using online software and games. With advice on reporting and blocking, online socialization and the considerations on online gaming, the pamphlet can be a useful resource for any teaching staff, giving lessons on the topic. You can find a link to that resource below:

Introducing Kitt Medical

In June 2020, Zak Marks was undertaking his final year studying Industrial Design at the University of Loughborough. A long-time nut allergy sufferer, Zak faced the danger of going into anaphylactic shock upon contact. After growing frustrated with the options on offer, he turned his focus onto finding a solution. The objective: to design an emergency device which could rescue peanut allergy sufferers from the consequences of contact. The result has been the production of the Anaphylaxis Kitt. This life-saving device contains two sets of auto-injectors containing 300mcg or 150mcg doses of adrenaline. To fulfil its emergency function the device is fully portable, coming in the form of a small handheld case. To provide immediate recognition, the device is coloured in an eye-catching orange. Drastically cutting down solution-to-patient times. Once you’ve subscribed to the Kitt Medical service, the company provides a suite of after-purchase support services. These include a dependable supply of adrenaline auto-injectors, expiration alerts, an online training suite and incident reporting software, all available through Kitt Medical’s website via the staff portal. 

The company has achieved several milestones, achieving a significant second investment round in October last year before going on to win the Santander X Launch Award the following month. You can find more about both the device and the company itself by following the link below:

Building Healthy Relationships whilst Socializing Online

The use of the internet among young people is now everywhere. The rise in the cultural acceptance of internet relationships between young people and strangers that they play or talk with online, has opened the door to dangers. Yet it is only a small amount of these relationships which turn out malicious, but children and young people may find it difficult to understand when that arises. The Information Commissioners Office, the UK’s information rights agency, has published guidance on what to look for when these relationships turn sour. And more importantly, what to do about it. This guidance, is applicable to teachers and parents alike. For teachings staff it is an excellent source of help when discussing with pupil’s their internet social life. Aiding to bring educational personnel up to date when it comes to the social world within which their pupils exist, outside of school. To find the guidance please follow the link below:

Exclusions and Criminal Exploitation

It is an unfortunate fact that as pupils return to school this winter, some will be excluded. Whether through a pattern of poor behaviour or the consistent breaking of school rules, this last resort in a headteacher’s tool box is sometimes the only solution. Yet when making a decision to implement this heavy penalty, staff must be aware of the potential consequences. The Children & Young People Now magazine, a journal aimed at professionals work with young people, has published an article examining, the link between exclusion and child criminal exploitation. Authored by a coalition of children’s charities led by youth justice organization – Just for Kids Law, the article contains compelling arguments, for factoring in deliberate criminal influences upon children, aimed at forcing their exclusion. To read this fascinating article follow the link below:

The Pupil Safeguarding Review

In partnership with survey authoring company – Edurio, educational thinktank ‘The Key’ has undertaken a survey of 70,000 pupils across 373 schools. The survey is England’s largest review of how children perceive their safety in school. Keeping pupil’s safe is an ever growing part of what schools do, but to do that effectively the largest pool of data possible is needed. The survey was designed to provide answers to questions such as ‘How many pupils are missing school because they don’t feel safe’ and ‘How does your curriculum compare to others when it comes with equipping students with the skills they need to stay safe.’ Put together with the aid of DSL’s safeguarding audit specialists and research experts the review is a superb conclusion of the national safeguarding picture. The report’s findings will be released on the 19th of January 2023, and can be found by following the link below:

New Resources from the NYSCP

The North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (NYSCP), is now running a hub of resources and information linked to raising awareness of safeguarding. The hub, designed for use by parents, carers, and young people, is also aimed at tackling child exploitation. You might recall that last year, we examined the issue of victim blaming and the language we use around crimes perpetrated against children. A portion of the NYSCP’s website is dedicated to this issue. And an excellent next step for those interested in this vitally important topic. To find out more please follow the link below: 

Forthcoming Courses

Implementing the role of the Senior Mental Health Lead (DfE Course Code SMHL105)

This is our DfE Quality Assured course for Senior Mental Health Leads. The course offers self-paced learning using the resources in our SMHL.Pro Hub, which is available for 12 months. Each month there is a live online member check-in to catch up with your tutors and each other. The course cost £397+VAT, some schools are eligible for a grant to cover this cost.

For more details, go to:

Advanced Safeguarding for DSLs

This is a four-session course for DSLs over a full-day. The course is offered live and as a recorded replay. When the course is live, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute with observations, questions or answers. As a recording, the interactions from other people are included and feedback notes that this makes it feel like you are not on your own.

"I came to a session in Birmingham back in 2019 (the day after the GE I think) and it was superb. Today [online] was just as good, if not better. The use of video mixed with live speaking was excellent and goes way beyond what other safeguarding courses provide. You've been there and done it, and your openness with your own story is inspirational." 

LIVE ONLINE Thursday 12th January 2023 BOOK NOW 

LIVE ONLINE Tuesday 21st February 2023 BOOK NOW 

...and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience BOOK NOW

LIVE ON LOCATION remember that you can book Andrew to visit your school, cluster or MAT to share his DSL course. Please contact us for details and bookings.

Whole School Safeguarding CPD Online Session for 2022/2023

In this two and half hour online presentation aimed at staff in all roles, specialist safeguarding consultant, Andrew Hall, explores important aspects of safeguarding in schools including child protection, learning from case studies and the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

"In my excitement, I forgot to add our star rating to the Safeguarding training we have just watched. If we could, we would give it 10 stars! That was the best Safeguarding training we have ever had, thank you so much. Feedback from staff has, so far, been overwhelmingly positive…I can't thank you enough."

"I would like to extend my thanks to Andrew for his fantastic online training. It was filmed so well - almost as if he were here with us! We were kept engaged throughout and felt so well informed - a huge thank you. It was a real success, and we look forward to booking you again in the future - with the staff team saying it was the best safeguarding training they have ever had. We really appreciated Andrew's real-life storytelling and the way such sensitive information was shared - it was excellent training."

You book your online session here:


Until next time, keep safe and thank you for all the work you're doing,


Andrew Hall
Specialist Safeguarding Consultant,
Success In Schools Ltd. 







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