‘In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be of primary consideration’ Article 3 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Children in any care situation are potentially vulnerable to all sorts of potential threats from a variety of sources and should be protected. Protecting children from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect, and managing their welfare and safety is the essence of child protection, and effective child protection is a fundamental part of safeguarding children and young people. Safeguarding is a relatively new term and the Government has defined ‘safeguarding children’ as: ‘The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully’ – Ofsted (2008) - Safeguarding Children 2008 Report Recent public enquiries into child death and child abuse such as the Victoria Climbie case (2000) and the Soham case (2002) have highlighted a need for everyone to take responsibility for protecting children in our care and also the necessity for those in key positions to have a clear understanding of their role in protecting the vulnerable. School plays a key role in the lives of children and young people and it is paramount that all adults within the setting are aware of their responsibility to safeguard the welfare of the children within their care, so that they may feel both safe and protected within this environment. Legislation and policy for education has been developed in response to this growing awareness resulting from high profile neglect cases, and priority has now been given to the safeguarding role of schools. Schools use...
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