NSPCC invites Scottish primary schools to join online Ant and Dec assembly teaching children about abuse and neglect protection

NSPCC Scotland is urging primary schools across the country to sign up to its free virtual programme hosted by TV duo Ant and Dec to help children learn about their right to be safe from abuse and neglect.

TV duo Ant and Dec are hosting the programme to help children learn about their right to be safe from abuse and neglect (Photo: NSPCC).

The online assembly was first launched in October and the children’s charity is highlighting the programme once more as Scottish schools re-open for the summer term.

The ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ 30-minute long virtual assembly aims to help children understand, in an accessible and age-appropriate way, how to recognise different forms of abuse.

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This service which is being offered to all primary schools in the UK hopes to help children speak out if they need to.

The assembly and resources – which are also available in British Sign Language (BSL) – focus on worries that children have been experiencing during the pandemic.

It also lets youngsters know about the Childline counselling service, which is run by the NSPCC.

Alan Stewart, service manager for NSPCC Schools Service in Scotland, said: “Over the past year, because of the pandemic, children have spent a lot of time away from school and cut off from their usual support networks.

"We know for some children home isn’t always a safe place and that many will have faced increased risk of harm.

“Although our trained ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ staff and volunteers can’t currently go into schools, it is essential that every child knows who they can turn to if they need help and support.

“I encourage all primary schools to sign up, so that we can work alongside teachers to help as many children as possible to recognise and discuss any worries they have.”

In the Autumn term, 171 primary schools in Scotland signed up to the virtual programme and more than 32,000 children across the country watched the assembly.

Carronshore Primary School, in Falkirk, was one of those that signed up.

A teacher at the school said: “I found the materials excellent and extremely worthwhile.

"The pupils engaged really well and evidenced their learning through our Pupil Talking Circles, which reflected on the programme and how safe the pupils felt in the school building and in the playground.”

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