Expert child safeguarding advice and support for international schools

Everyone who comes into contact with children and young people plays a part in keeping them safe from harm and abuse. Creating a safe learning environment, identifying pupils who are suffering or at risk of harm and then taking appropriate action, are vital to ensuring children are safe at home and at school.

International schools face a number of challenges to safeguard children. Operating under different governments means facing different laws (for example, the age of consent), as well as different standards, behaviours and the kind of support available should a safeguarding concern arise. When an international school is in a country where the laws that protect children from harm are inadequately enforced or available support for responding to a safeguarding concern is not up to the standard that the school requires, then the responsibility lies squarely with the school. This makes the school especially vulnerable if it is not prepared to meet these challenges.

Every international school needs a comprehensive child safeguarding policy that addresses safe recruitment, risk assessments, a code of conduct, the use of images and confidential information, and measures to protect children when they are online, as well as reporting procedures should a safeguarding concern arise. Such a policy needs to be integrated across all of the school’s operations and should ensure upward and downward accountability.

Keeping Children Safe was established in 2001 in response to the growing realisation that children are vulnerable and at risk from harm or being abused in many international environments. It represents a commitment to promote a set of safeguarding standards that all schools and organisations can follow.

“Thank you for the child safeguarding workshop. It was very informative, positively challenging and we are very happy that we finished with a good draft of a policy to take forward next year. We very much appreciated your knowledge and experience and also your support in adapting this to our needs.”   -- Tian Bersey, Director, National Committee Development, United World Colleges (UWC)

Our experts have supported international schools across the globe to strengthen their child safeguarding policies and procedures. Among the services we have provided are:

  • Assist with developing or strengthening a child safeguarding policy and procedures;
  • Provide your school with accreditation that you are doing everything you can to protect children from harm;
  • Carry out a robust child safeguarding audit to identify your strengths and weaknesses, followed by an improvement plan;
  • Mentor your designated child safeguarding focal persons, matching them with experts in their field;
  • Facilitate in-house child safeguarding workshops for staff and associates, tailored specifically to meet your needs; and,
  • Investigate serious child safeguarding concerns when local law enforcement agencies are unwilling or unable to do so.

“This document (Keeping Children Safe: A Toolkit For Child Protection) provides the necessary standards and means of meeting them for agencies and organisations working with and for children. “It provides a good basis for the development of effective measures to prevent and respond to violence: from awareness-raising strategies to safeguarding measures. It offers an excellent opportunity not only for the improvement of the quality and professionalism of those working with children, but most importantly, it will help to achieve a greater impact for children.”   --Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Independent expert for the UN study on violence against children

If you have any questions or would like a free consultation, please contact Paz Redondo, Global Capacity Building Coordinator. Telephone: 44 (0) 207 250 8325; Email: Paz.Redondo@keepingchildrensafe.org.uk.