Category Archives: Southwark Healthy Schools Partnership

Safeguarding Concerns about Children absent from School

The Ofsted School Inspection update July 2018 reports on safeguarding concerns about children absent from school.

In March 2018, City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board published a serious case review of the tragic case of Chadrack Mbala-Mulo, a four-year-old boy who had learning difficulties and lived alone with his mother, who suffered from epilepsy. His mother died unexpectedly at home in early October 2016 and Chadrack did not know how to call for help or feed himself properly. He died a fortnight later of dehydration and starvation.

The review report has important messages for schools and other local agencies about thinking safeguarding and acting promptly when a child is unexpectedly absent from school.

The report is available here:
As a result of this review, the DfE guidance, ‘Keeping children safe in education’4 has been updated from September 2018 as follows:

Where reasonably possible, schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil or student. This goes beyond the legal minimum and is good practice to give the school or college additional options to make contact with a responsible adult when a child missing education is also identified as a welfare and/or safeguarding concern.’

Guidance: Health Protection in Schools and other Childcare Facilities

Public Health England (PHE) have published this practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings.

This updated guide published in 2017 provides advice on:

  • preventing the spread of infections,
  • which diseases to vaccinate for,
  • how long to keep children away from school,
  • managing infectious diseases
  • and cleaning the environment.

Click on the link to read the guide: Health Protection in Schools and other Childcare Facilities

Helping Schools deliver Relationship and Sex Education

The NSPCC’s Impact and Evidence insights series features a blog introducing a new resource to help schools teach relationships and sex education (RSE).

The resource – Making sense of relationships – includes lesson plans for teachers spanning Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 (age 10-16).

Age-appropriate lessons cover topics including:

  • transition to secondary school;
  • online safety and online friendships;
  • consent;
  • sexualised behaviour;
  • unhealthy relationships;
  • and sharing sexual images.

The resource includes a guide for teachers on creating a safe learning environment for the lessons, what to do if they receive a disclosure and where young people can go for further help.


FGM: Signs that a Girl may be at Risk

Teachers are being advised of the signs a girl may be at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).  The start of the summer holidays is a time when potentially thousands of UK girls could be flown abroad to unwittingly undergo the procedure.

The National FGM Centre says any teacher who suspects a pupil is going overseas for this purpose should follow normal safeguarding procedures.

But professionals can only help protect children by knowing what to look out for.

Some indications may come from the child. She might:

  • Begin to tell her friends about FGM
  • Confide she is going to have a ‘special procedure’, or attend a special occasion to ‘become a woman’.
  • Talk about looking forward to a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent.
  • Approach a teacher or another adult if she’s aware or suspects she’s at immediate risk.

The child’s parents may unwittingly give the following clues:

  • Say they are taking their child out of the country for a prolonged period of time
  • Ask permission to take their daughter out of school during term time.
  • Talk about looking forward to a long holiday to a country where her relatives live and where the practice is prevalent.
  • Mention they are going to a country with a high prevalence of FGM, especially during holiday periods.

To find out more go to the Barnado’s webpage.

Approaches to Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Case Studies

Qualitative research to understand anti-bullying practices schools that are effective.

These include approaches to tackling bullying generally and more specific types of bullying, for example:

  • racial bullying;
  • special educational needs and disability (SEND) bullying;
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) bullying.

The report contains common themes found throughout the research and seven case studies.

It’s intended to be used as a resource by schools and other stakeholders looking for examples of anti-bullying practices.

Click on the link to find out more: Approaches to Preventing and Tackling Bullying: Case Studies


Healthier Weight Promotion: Consistent Messaging

Public Health England has published a suite of resources focused on promoting a healthier weight for children, young people and families. These resources are intended to support health and care professionals to be consistent and provide a core set of healthy weight messages throughout the life course.

The resources consist of:

  • a set of infographics for use in practice;
  • and a set of training tools for consistent messaging – during preconception and maternity, from birth to 5 years, and from age 5 to 18 years.
  • There is also a child obesity video on how to promote a healthier weight.

To find out more click here