The NSPCC is developing a preventative ‘Keeping Safe’ education programme for primary schools.

Preventative 'Keeping Safe' education programme

‘Keeping Safe’ is about teaching children messages to keep them safe from sexual, domestic and all other types of abuse and neglect. The programme will be piloted in ninety primary schools across a range of school management types within the five regions of the Education Authority between 2015 and 2018.

‘Keeping Safe’ is a preventative whole school education programme which offers lessons for every child in every class from P1 to P7, as well as assemblies and homeworks to involve parents. This programme will include a comprehensive package of professional development training and support to equip teachers with the skills and materials they need to effectively communicate sensitive messages. ‘Keeping Safe’ will also help build the capacity and skills of other members of the whole school community to communicate and reinforce these messages, everyone from parents to caretakers and catering staff.

The ‘Keeping Safe’ programme will be evaluated using a randomised control trial (RCT) to gather robust evidence about its effectiveness. This will inform Department policy on preventative education in the future so that all children in Northern Ireland will eventually benefit from this work.

Participating schools will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group will receive and teach the programme from 2016 to 2018. The second group will not receive the programme until 2018.  Both groups will take part in the evaluation from 2016-2018. This will involve children, teachers, and parents completing questionnaires at the beginning, middle and end of the evaluation.

You can find more information on the NSPCC Learning website at Keeping safe: preventative education in Northern Ireland.

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