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Discuss the range of strategies used to tackle child abuse in primary school.

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Introduction

Discuss the range of strategies used to tackle child abuse in primary school. There are various strategies used within schools to tackle child abuse. In order to discuss the strategies fully there is a need to define what exactly is meant by child abuse. It is also necessary to be aware of what advice and guidance there is offered through Government documentation and circulars to schools on their role in preventing child abuse. Having put child abuse and the school's role into context, then the strategies used by the school as a whole and by the teacher within the classroom can be discussed. Therefore what exactly is meant by child abuse? There is a tendency to automatically assume that abuse means sexual abuse. The 1986 draft report by the Department of Social Security [DHSS], Child Abuse - Working Together defined child abuse as falling into six categories: physical abuse, physical neglect, failure to thrive, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and potential abuse. The present definition for child abuse according to Department for Education and Skills [DfES] Circular 10/95 has been narrowed down to include only four categories: > sexual abuse -physical signs or a substantial behaviour change > emotional abuse -excessive dependence or attention seeking > physical abuse - regular broken bones, bruises, lacerations and burns > physical neglect - inadequate clothing, poor growth, hunger, or apparent deficient nutrition These are the guidelines from which schools work. ...read more.

Middle

The policies that a school develops go towards creating within the school a safe environment where children are able to feel safe and valued. Children wherever possible should be offered the opportunity to participate in determining school policies, which have a direct impact on them such as behaviour, bullying and equal opportunities. There is a move recently to rename a school's behaviour policy to policy for effective teaching and learning. Immediately this creates a positive impression [St Teresa's 2001]. Many schools are now forming School Councils, which are actively supported by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC] in their Full Stop campaign [2000]. By encouraging children's participation, this will encourage their ownership of the policies, which will increase the chances of the policies being implemented successfully. Children may also be involved in peer support schemes, which are again supported by the NSPCC campaign. Scoresby argues that children's involvement in school councils offer a way of encouraging greater dialogue between teachers and pupils and she concedes that many of these schemes are pivotal to reducing bullying and promoting positive attitudes to behaviour [Utting, 1998]. Yet teachers can play a major role in prevention of child abuse by changing behaviour and attitudes via the curriculum [Parton, 1991]. ...read more.

Conclusion

Webb and Vulliamy [BERJ, 2001] suggest that listening to parents and providing assistance and /or contacting other agencies which could help them was regarded as vital for building positive relationships with parents which could then be used to secure improved progress for their children. They imply that this is primarily the role of the headteacher but from experience and observation I would argue that the class teacher also takes on this role. The class teacher is usually more approachable and the person who is seen on a daily basis. S/he has most contact with the child. If there is a problem it is often the case that the teacher makes the first approach to the parent/guardian in order to undercover what it is that perhaps may be upsetting a child. Within the government guidelines there would appear that teachers have a major role to play in the prevention of child abuse. The strategies used are two sided. There are the whole school policies and procedures and there is the curriculum content and delivery. However Braun argues that there are limits to what teachers can actually do. He contends that it would be na�ve to believe that child abuse could be prevented in the future in total [Braun, 1990]. The view of what constitutes child abuse varies from society to society. ...read more.

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