Safeguarding in the Secondary curriculum

Safeguarding in the secondary curriculum at Atam

Things we explore with our students include:

  • Challenging homophobia and transphobia
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Developing healthy, safe relationships
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Forced Marriage
  • Gangs and Youth Violence
  • Homelessness and Running Away
  • Parental Drug and Alcohol Misuse
  • Pornography and the sharing of sexual imagery
  • Radicalisation and Extremism
  • Peer on peer abuse
  • Up skirting

Safeguarding through the curriculum

Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding children and young people. Keeping children safe in education makes the link between safeguarding and the curriculum

Atam Academy considers how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This includes covering relevant issues through personal, social health and economic education (PSHE), and through sex and relationship education (SRE).

The following links and pages will inform you about some of the things we teach our students.


Bullying undermines confidence and causes misery and distress. It can affect a child or young person’s attendance and progress at school. It can also have a detrimental impact on a child’s mental health. Fear, isolation, anxiety and diminished self-esteem can lead to self-harm, depression and suicidal thoughts or actions. Research has shown that children who are bullied and/or bully others are more likely to suffer from mental health issues.

The rise of cyberbullying is a frequent cause of emotional disturbance in children and young people. Cyberbullying is insidious; technology enables perpetrators to have the power to reach their targets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Latest information about the prevalence of bullying can be found here: Bullying in England, April 2013 to March 2018: Analysis on 10 to 15 year olds from the (PDF)
Crime Survey for England & Wales

Bullying is a safeguarding issue for schools.

DfE Preventing and tackling bullying: Advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies (PDF). This guidance was updated in July 2017 and outlines the Government’s approach to bullying, legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying, and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools. It also lists further resources through which school staff can access specialist information on the specific issues that they face.

The Department for Education (DfE) (PDF) June 2018 has published a report on the prevalence of bullying across several case studies and schools in England. The DfE commissioned Cooper Gibson Research (CGR) to conduct qualitative interviews with senior leaders in schools, identified by anti-bullying organisations, as exhibiting some examples of promising practice to combat bullying.

Drug and alcohol education

Drug and alcohol education are important components of PSHE and contribute to safeguarding children and young people from the potential harms associated with their misuse.

The Institute for Alcohol Studies has produced an interesting and useful factsheet (PDF) summarising  major trends around underage alcohol consumption, analysing its prevalence, how it varies by sociodemographic group, and how these have changed over time. It also looks at the drinking behaviours of underage drinkers – how much they drink, what they drink, how they access it, where they drink, and who they drink with. The evidence on the health and social impact of drinking in childhood and young adulthood are reviewed, including neurological risks, development problems, risky sexual behaviour, crime, injury and violence and educational outcomes. The information contained within the factsheet could be used with parents, staff and young people.

The latest advice from Government is the 2012 Department for Education and ACPO Drug Advice for Schools (link opens in a new tab or page). Schools are advised that as a minimum, there should be:

  • early access to support for pupils with drug or alcohol issues (or affected by family use);
  • a written drugs policy available to all staff; and
  • a senior member of staff with responsibility for policy and liaising with the local police and support services.

It is also made clear that a school’s response to drugs and alcohol is most effective when:

  • it is supported by the whole school community;
  • drug education is part of a well-planned programme of PSHE education delivered in a supportive environment, where pupils are aware of the school rules, feel able to engage in open discussion and feel confident about asking for help if necessary; and
  • staff have access to high quality training and support.

Additional information can be found on the Parental alcohol and drug misuse page.

Although rates of smoking amongst young people are falling, concerns still exist for particular groups. 

Online Safety – Support Directory

Children and young people

Childnet resources for young people
Information and advice for primary and secondary school age groups about mobiles, gaming, downloading and social networking.

Relationships and Sex Education

TeenBoundaries app is for young people who are exploring advice and information on issues such as sexting, relationships, sex, porn and consent. The app is suitable for those aged 13-18 and can help them explore these issues in-depth.

Worth Talking About is a website from the NHS providing information, advice and guidance for young people aged 12-18 on sexuality and sexual health. Issues dealt with include contraception, pregnancy, family planning clinics, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure and relationships.

Rise Above – New website from Public Health England for secondary aged young people where they can find inspiring and useful stories, videos, games and advice. It includes issues around drug and alcohol use, relationships and sex education, body image, emotional health and wellbeing.

The Stonewall website contains information and resources about their campaign to tackle and prevent homophobic bullying in schools and colleges. It has a ‘Youth’ section where issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are explored.

Fflag (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a registered charity which offers helplines and regular meetings for parents and their gay, lesbian or bisexual sons and daughters. It provides a network of local parents’ self-help groups and telephone contacts for advice, information and a listening service. It also assists people who wish to tell their parents they are lesbian or gay.
Helpline: 0845 652 0311

Mermaids is a support group for gender variant children and teenagers, and their families. Their goal is to relieve the mental and emotional stress of all persons aged 19 years and under who are in any manner affected by gender identity issues, and their families and to advance public education in the same.

Gendered Intelligence provide and signpost to a range of resources and organisations that support trans young people. They also aim to engage the wider community in understanding the diversity and complexity of gender.

The Kidshealth website provides information about health, behaviour, and development from before birth through the teen years. It has separate sections for parents, children and teenagers.

Brook is a registered charity giving professional, confidential free advice to young people up to the age of 25 on contraception, STI, sex and relationships.
Telephone Helpline: 0808 802 1234.

The Safer Schools Network has been created by the ATL drawing upon the expertise of leading organisations, practitioners and academics to signpost education professionals, young people and parents to resources, debate and support linked to safeguarding issues.

ParentInfo is a regularly updated and free feed of information, advice and sources of support that schools can deliver to parents and carers – a pipeline of information they can integrate seamlessly into their own websites and use in other formats.

The service aims to deliver information on a whole range of parenting themes, the emphasis being on helping parents and carers develop their children’s resilience to the risks and pressures they face in today’s world. The articles and videos cover difficult topics about sex, relationships and the internet, body image and peer pressure, as well as broad parenting topics like ‘how much sleep do teenagers need?’.