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Pupil support and safeguarding

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NAHT members are at the forefront of safeguarding children. School leaders are committed to keeping children safe, so they can learn well. NAHT believes that all pupils should receive the support they need to maintain their well-being and achieve their potential, both within school and from wider services including health and social care.

NAHT is campaigning to:

Enable schools to play their part in supporting pupils' well-being

  • Lobby for pupils and schools to get the support they need from wider services including health, social care, police and youth services
  • Influence the implementation of the proposals from the mental health green paper, including the senior lead for mental health and mental health support teams
  • Support schools to access relevant, high-quality training and resources to enable pupils to exercise their right to support for their mental well-being.


Support schools to safeguard and protect pupils

  • Engage with the DfE over proposed changes to the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Influence changes to Keeping Children Safe In Education, Working Together and Sexual Violence and harassment guidance
  • Campaign to improve online safety for children and young people
  • Press the government to ensure home educated children are adequately safeguarded
  • Promote guidance and resources to support schools to protect children at risk of harm including involvement with violence and other crime.


Enable schools to support vulnerable groups of pupils

  • Campaign to ensure pupils with SEND can receive the support they need from schools and wider services
  • Press for improved alternative provision and collaborative approaches across communities to support pupils excluded from school
  • Provide information to schools to help them to support disadvantaged children
  • Enable schools to make informed decisions regarding parental requests to home educate
  • Ensure reforms to behaviour guidance and networks is evidence-based and appropriate for all schools and a diverse pupil population. 

Operation Encompass: Child's Victim Support Code

Operation Encompass is a partnership between police and schools and is now in place in all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Operation Encompass is a police and education early information-sharing partnership, enabling schools to offer immediate support for children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

Recently, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has made a number of positive changes, including that children are to be recognised as victims of domestic violence and abuse in their own right.

In response, Operation Encompass has published a handbook that includes the Child's Victim Support Code, which, as below, sets out the key rights and minimum level of support that children experiencing domestic violence and abuse should expect from all professionals.

The Child's Victim Support Code

  • Children have the right to live without fear, abuse and trauma.
  • Children have the right to have their voices heard.
  • Experiencing domestic violence and abuse should be recognised as a children's rights issue as defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
  • Children have the right to support, dependent on their needs and wishes.
  • Children have the right to be dealt with by people, including police officers, who understand the impact domestic violence and abuse (DVA) has upon children.
  • Children have the right to experience day-to-day understanding and support from all professionals including their school.
  • It is a child's right for the police to share DVA information, in a timely fashion, with those who can best support them.
  • Children have the right to be involved and consulted in the decision-making process following DVA.

Operation Encompass has also published:

NAHT has endorsed the Child's Victim Support Code and recommends that schools support its implementation in their settings. Find out more about Operation Encompass and the resources available to help you to do this


First published 20 December 2021