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Safeguarding Blog


It has come to police attention that E cigarettes / Vapes are getting sold to children under the age of 12!! Darlington Police will be working alongside Trading standards to clamp down on this issue.

The legal age to buy these products are 18+. If you are aware that your children has one of these and are under the age of 18 years please give appropriate advice to your child.

These can affect your child’s health and are becoming HIGHLY addictive. The most common side effects of vaping include: Tongue sensitivity/tongue numbness/loss of taste. Other side effects, such as a fast heartbeat (tachycardia), high blood pressure, and possibly seizures have been linked to high levels of nicotine.

E cigarettes contain nicotine and were created to help people reduce the amount of nicotine they may consume in a day, they are NOT A toy.

Side effects of vaping | Health risks, Side effects, Vape

Darlington students send positive message through hate crime vodcast

Longfield Academy students, left to right: Kaitlin Meikle, Holly Rutherford, Jess Wood, and Ellie Rush with their letters of commendation. Picture: Heather Barron

Four students have received letters of commendation for their part in a town-wide vodcast to raise awareness of hate crimes.

The group were invited to join a live vodcast being produced by Martin Webster, Workforce Development Manager with Darlington Borough Council, during Hate Crime Week in October.

Please click here to read the full article.

Hate Crime Awareness

Hate Crime Awareness Week was initially founded as a Facebook group in March 2009 by Mark Healey and Ryan Parkins to mark the 10th anniversary of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho.

It has since evolved into a small charity called ‘17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign’ registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

The 17-24-30 takes its name from the dates of the three attacks; 17th April, 24th April and 30th April.

Next National Hate Crime Awareness Week is 9th-16th October 2021.

New tool for under-18s to report nude photos of themselves online

Under-18s who want nude pictures or videos of themselves removed from the internet can now report the images through an online tool.

The service – from the Internet Watch Foundation and Childline – aims to help children who have been groomed, or whose partners have posted photos of them online.

The IWF will examine the images and try and remove them if they break the law. It says the tool is a “world first” and could help many worried children. The IWF works to remove child abuse material from the internet.

Click here to read more

DFE : Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges

As you all return to the classroom after the Easter break, we are providing an update on the increasing level of interest in and news coverage of the distressing testimonials posted on the Everyone’s Invited website.

Sexual abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment in any form are abhorrent and it is vital that reports of abuse are appropriately investigated and victims supported and protected.

We know that the majority of schools and colleges take their safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously but the Everyone’s Invited campaign has reminded us that there is more we need to do.

You will now be aware that on 31 March, the Secretary of State announced that he has asked Ofsted to undertake a thematic review into sexual abuse across state and independent schools and colleges. Amongst other things the review will look at whether schools and colleges have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Ofsted has recently published its Terms of Reference and further information can be viewed here: Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools-terms of reference. The review will include a number of research visits that Ofsted will carry out. In some schools, where it is appropriate, Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate will visit together. The review will not report on individual schools and colleges but instead present a picture of good and poor practice across the country and make recommendations for improvement. We are encouraging you to fully engage with the review if your school or college is visited as part of this important research. The review will conclude by the end of May 2021.

A dedicated NSPCC helpline is now available to support anyone who has experienced sexual abuse in educational settings or has concerns about someone or the issues raised. The dedicated NSPCC helpline number is 0800 136 663 and more information is available at: Dedicated helpline for victims of abuse in schools NSPCC.

Our statutory safeguarding guidance and departmental advice are very clear on schools’ and colleges’ legal duties and the policies and processes that should already be in place to safeguard children. These resources should help you handle and respond appropriately to any reports of abuse in your school or college.

In particular, Part 5 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) provides schools and colleges with detailed guidance about child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment, including responding to reports of abuse and protecting victims. Part 5 also signposts to the wider specialist support that is available.

Alongside this, our sexual-violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges advice supports schools and colleges to understand what child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment looks like, how to prevent it, how to respond to reports of it, and how to support victims.

We wanted to take this opportunity to confirm that we will pause publishing revised KCSIE and sexual violence advice, following the recent public consultation, until after Ofsted report at the end of May.

Working together to safeguard children is very clear on how schools and colleges should work with their local multi-agency children’s partnerships as a relevant agency and how any concerns about a child should be referred. Do look to contact your local multi-agency children’s partnership for further advice and support.

The curriculum for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) became mandatory from September 2020. Recently published schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance clarified that schools may choose to focus this year’s RSHE teaching on the immediate needs of their pupils, such as being safe, and staying healthy, introducing a more comprehensive RSHE programme in September 2021.

In teaching the new RSHE curriculum, schools must have regard to the statutory guidance which will ensure that children understand what positive, healthy and respectful relationships look like, on and offline. Domestic violence, rape, harassment and abuse are explicitly taught about in the ‘Being Safe’ topic, as part of relationships education. Schools should teach pupils the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence, a one-stop page has been published for teachers, including non-statutory implementation guidance ‘Plan your Relationships, Sex and Health Education Curriculum’ and teacher training modules, developed with subject matter experts and teachers. Each module covers safeguarding to make sure teachers, pastoral staff and the designated safeguarding lead are equipped to deal with sensitive discussions and potential disclosures.

We always have and will continue to take these matters very seriously. The Everyone’s Invited campaign has rightly served to focus our minds on the need to continue to work together to protect children.

Internet Watch Foundation campaign launched to raise awareness of “self-generated” child sexual abuse material

IWF - Internet Watch FoundationIn the last year, “self-generated” child sexual abuse imagery has increased by 77% and is a third of all child sexual abuse material identified and removed from the internet. These included images of girls aged 11 to 13 whose abuse had been recorded via a webcam in a domestic setting.

To help prevent the creation of this type of abusive imagery, a campaign has been launched by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) backed by the Home Office and Microsoft. It aims to help raise awareness of this type of criminality among parents and carers of young teens, empower and educate girls aged 11 to 13+ to spot the techniques used by sexual predators and give them the knowledge to Block, Report, Tell someone they trust.

It is a national campaign running from Wednesday 21 April for six weeks. You can find out more on the IWF website, as well as specific sites for parents and young people.

Please share this information with parents and carers in your network.

Useful Links

Let’s Talk About It

is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. There are many different types of individuals, organisations and institutions that may be targeted by extremist groups. They may try to take advantage of these individuals or institutions as a way to share their story with others, particularly with people who may be vulnerable to their messages. Let’s Talk About It advocates the value of a strong and united community, prioritising the need for consistent awareness of the threat of radicalisation to become a part of our daily lives.


Harbour works with families and individuals who are affected by abuse from a partner, former partner or other family member.

If you or someone you know is being abused or being abusive to others then use our website to learn about the help which is available.

T: 03000 20 25 25 (24 hours)



Is someone close becoming a stranger?

It can be hard to know what to do if you’re worried someone close is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others. Working with other organisations, the police protect vulnerable people from being exploited by extremists through a Home Office programme called Prevent.

Act early and tell us your concerns in confidence. You won’t be wasting our time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them.


We’re here for you, whatever’s on your mind. We’ll support you. Guide you. Help you make decisions that are right for you. Our tips and techniques, ideas and inspirations, can help you feel more in control. You can access them in your own time, at your own pace! We have many useful ways to provide help and support including free 24 hour helpline, online 1:1 counselling support, information and advice board and toolbox kits

Something’s not right

Things have been very different this year. And it’s been difficult for everyone.

You might be worried about:

  • things that have happened to you or someone else
  • not knowing where to go when you’re scared
  • being at school, your exams or the future
  • coping with your mental health.

Whatever’s happening, you don’t have to cope alone.