Education: Staff and Professional training

Flying Child Statement: 8 March 2022

The Flying Child Project encourages educational staff to look at the bigger picture when it comes to ‘red flags’ of concern. Using the lived experience of many survivors, the overarching message to staff is not to shy away from trusting instinct, as CSA is a very hidden form of abuse, and the signs can be subtle. We stress the importance of logging causes for concern as these records will become evidence if needed in the future.

“Where information was disclosed, around 6 in 10 callers who spoke to NAPAC were over the age of 45 years (59%; Table 50a).16 This indicates that many adults do not disclose their abuse and do not seek support until later in life. This is consistent with evidence provided by Survivors UK to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, which found that the average wait for people to disclose their experience of child abuse was 26 years.” (The ONS report on Child Abuse extent and nature March 2019).

Considering the average age of disclosure, we were unaware and shocked to discover that these records are destroyed when the individual reaches the age of 25yrs old. (Education act 2002 s175). This needs to change. So few people receive justice. Many non-recent cases never get to court due to lack of specific evidence. The Flying Child CIC would like to be instrumental in raising awareness and changing the way records are kept and the length of time they are kept for life, until there is no longer the opportunity for justice. The Flying Child CIC has formally submitted this concern, and the immediate need for change, to the DfE. Watch this space…

It is our belief that all staff who come in to contact with children in education should have training on what factors to look out for and how to manage disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse. We provide context to the statistics, via lived-experience, which is invaluable in raising critical awareness of the behaviours and mindset displayed by an abused child. Teachers can feel anxious or misinformed about the way a child will present or how to approach a conversation where concerns are raised. This training aims to support existing safeguarding training, bring policies to life, and instil confidence in the professional, allowing them to use their professional skills and judgement effectively in a very difficult area.

“This is definitely going to change the way I think…” Early Years Teacher
“It already has, one hundred percent changed the way I teach, the way I think about the children in my care, the way I think about the children in the whole school community.” Year 4 Teacher
“I thought it was an excellent reminder never to assume that it’s not happening in our school…” Year 1 Teacher

Read more staff testimonials here.

What we offer:

  • Keynote speaking on lived experience.
  • Bespoke safeguarding support.
  • Question and answer sessions.
  • Interactive case study sessions.
  • Consultation and feedback services.

What we cover:

  • Real life case studies of children and their reasons for non-disclosure. 
  • The language and behaviours exhibited by victims/survivors in the school environment.
  • We challenge stereotypes of the abused child.
  • Examples of good practice when it comes to talking with children and creating a safe environment that will allow them to disclose where they need to.

We encourage the school to look at the wider school community, as the ripple effect of abuse trauma will impact on staff and parents too, having consequences for the children they support.

For further information contact us at admin@theflyingchild.com

The idea that you brought up several times – that it is far better to spend a few minutes reporting a concern that turns out to be nothing, than to sit on a concern which if reported could contribute to the protection of a child – will stay with me for a long time.

Primary school staff member
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