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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: supporting children and young people exposed to domestic abuse

Operation Encompass is a partnership between police and schools, and it 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.

Operation Encompass ensures there is a simple phone call or notification, to a trained member of school staff, before a child arrives in school. The call or notification is triggered by police recently attending the child's home or being involved in a domestic abuse incident, that the child has experienced.

Operation Encompass is very simple and easy to implement within a school.

Every school appoints a trained key adult, who is the person who receives information about police attended domestic abuse incidents. The key adult will be notified prior to the start of the next school day that the police have attended an incident of domestic abuse. This timely information sharing enables appropriate support to be provided for that child so that all interactions, from when the child first arrives at the school gates, are of a positive nature.

The Operation Encompass website provides free training for key adults that:

  • creates an awareness of Operation Encompass throughout a school
  • informs the participant about key facts concerning domestic abuse
  • explains how Operation Encompass mitigates the effects of domestic abuse on children and explains its broader consequent benefits.
  • explains to school staff how to communicate the school's Operation Encompass participation to the broader school community and stakeholders.

You can also find resources to support schools, including a number of handbooks covering topics such as:

Operation Encompass has produced a template statement that schools can add to their safeguarding policy to highlight their participation in Operation Encompass.

Recently, Operation Encompass has published a new handbook in response to the recent recognition of children being recognised as victims of domestic violence in their own right. In this booklet, they set out the Child's Victim Support Code, which you can read more about here.

If you have received an Operation Encompass call about a child in your school, or are concerned about a child or children in your school who are experiencing domestic abuse, Operation Encompass provides a helpline for school staff.

For free advice from an education psychologist about how best to support a child, call the Operation Encompass teachers' national helpline on 0204 513 9990, Monday to Friday 8am-1pm.

First published 19 May 2021