Are Britain's Missing Children at Risk of Abuse and Exploitation?

Are Britain's Missing Children at Risk of Abuse and Exploitation?

In 2015, over 30,000 children were reported absent from UK schools for unreasonable periods of time. 4,000 of these missing children were found to be untraceable.

The National Children’s bureau reports that many of these students may be subject to exploitation and abuse. It is expected that forced marriages, radicalisation and female genital mutilation (FGM) may play a part in their disappearance. In response, the Department for Education (DfE) is set to offer revised guidance to schools on prevent duty and safeguarding against these breaches of human rights.

So what can education staff learn from safeguarding training in schools for both The Prevent Duty and FGM awareness?

Why is The Prevent Duty Necessary?

The prevent duty was first introduced in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. 3,995 people were referred to the UK’s flagship deradicalisation scheme last year, including children under the age of nine. Prevent training enables those with a duty of care to spot the signs of radicalisation and other belief-related issues early on.  

Online prevent training offers teachers a way of implementing prevent duty quickly and efficiently. Without the right guidance, it can be difficult to identify the signs of exploitation and abuse. Prevention is critical to the eradication of these practices and should be highly prioritised.

What Can be Learnt Through Online Prevent Training?

Prevent duty is about more than spotting the signs of abuse. It enables educators to take the first, crucial steps towards helping the victim. Online prevent training covers critical subject matter, such as the role of social media in radicalisation and how to report a suspected incident of abuse.

Designed in conjunction with national police standards, online prevent training adheres to all government guidelines. Educators can expect to gain a stronger understanding of their role in prevent duty. With children taken out of education on a regular basis, it’s important that teachers and social workers can tell the difference between unauthorised absences and sustained exploitation.

Making an Early Start on Prevent Duty

Safeguarding procedures should be implemented as early as nursery school, where practitioners have the chance to promote an inclusive mindset at a young age. The main aim of prevent duty is to minimise the chances of prolonged abuse. Children who are forced out of education against their will are susceptible to cultural exploitation. The sooner schools react to the precursors of abuse, the sooner it can be dealt with.

It can be difficult to determine which children are at most risk from exploitation. But online prevent training gives education staff a much better chance of catching it early. Those on the front line of education have a duty to protect and nurture the children in their care. Prevent duty is the first step in addressing child manipulation and the battle to eliminate it for good.

FGM Awareness

Female genital mutilation prevention also remains high on the government’s agenda. Despite being banned in the UK, there were over 5,600 reported cases of FGM in the country in 2015-2016. 43% of the victims were aged between five and nine. While a number of these ceremonies take place outside UK borders, it is still the duty of British educators to understand the lasting implications of this barbaric practice.

FGM Awareness training will provide a thorough guide to help those working with young people spot the signs that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has taken place, or signs that it will take place. EduCare’s online training course is designed to help professionals understand the risks and consequences of Female Genital Mutilation, and how to act if they suspect a girl is in danger.

Identifying common signs of radicalisation, neglect and FGM can result in faster prosecution of these crimes. Any child that is reported missing from school frequently should be flagged as a primary concern. It’s all too easy for vulnerable young children to be led astray, especially if changes in their behaviour aren’t monitored closely.

If you’d like more information on our comprehensive e-learning solutions, call EduCare today on 01926 436 211 or get in touch via our contact page. Free demonstrations of our online safeguarding courses are available upon request.

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