The Spectrum Project is an all Wales programme funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by experienced teachers in primary and secondary schools.
The free, bilingual, workshops are linked to the Health and well-being Area of Learning of the new draft curriculum for Wales 2022 and promote the importance of healthy relationships whilst raising the awareness of children, young people and adults about the issues of domestic abuse, sexual violence and violence against women. The engaging activities are designed to be thought provoking and promote peer discussion but are not intended to be so emotive as to cause distress.
The conclusion of every session provides information for young people on where they can access help and support both inside and outside of school. Spectrum also delivers training for school staff and governors about understanding the impact of domestic abuse on a child and raises awareness by looking at a whole school approach to tackling domestic abuse.
The Spectrum project can also facilitate a Peer Education Programme with Primary Schools on the subject of safety, after the sessions the older pupils of the school will be equipped to disseminate the messages they’ve learnt to the younger pupils of the school in a Peer Education event.
The Spectrum project features in the Estyn review of healthy Relationship Education report 2017, where it is noted that schools who engage with the Spectrum Project display best practice in Healthy Relationship Education.
Worried about a child – Governors & Parents information
During the Spectrum school visits, we conclude each session with information on where a child can access help and support.
If there is a disclosure by a child during these visits, we follow this procedure:
- Complete a Concern Form
- Pass on the information to the Child Protection Officer
- Ensure the form is signed and dated.
What can staff working outside of the classroom do to support children / young people affected by abuse? How can this be achieved?
- Recognise and have awareness of the signs of DA
- Report any concerns however small to the Designated Senior Person /Child Protection Officer
- Attend training on Domestic Abuse
- Governors should lead on and Support a Whole School Response to Tackling Domestic Abuse
- Encourage training events for all governors and parents on Domestic Abuse
Here is a list of websites of organisations that provide support to children, parents and governors.
https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
http://threshold-das.org.uk/ – Threshold DAS
https://gov.wales/live-fear-free An All Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline
Information booklet for primary parents and guardians
Information booklet for secondary parents and guardians
Parent Governor Presentation Aims and Objectives
Safeguarding Spectrum Process maps
Worried about a pupil
If the School Liaison Officer is concerned about a child, all staff follow the Child Protection Procedures outlined by the school.
When a child/young person discloses DA it is highly likely that:
- a number of incidents have occurred
- the child/young person wants the DA to stop
- the child/young person trusts the person to whom the disclosure has been made
If there is a disclosure:
- listen to the child/young person
- not interview or ask him/her to repeat the account
- avoid leading questions as these could jeopardise current or future prosecutions
- avoid interrupting when the child/young person is recalling events
- not suggest any alternative explanations
- check out how safe the child/young person feels now and in general and ask him or her about plans for the rest of the day.
- not promise the pupil person confidentiality, if he/she has witnessed DA it must be reported to the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection (DSP)
- Explain to the pupil what is going to happen next i.e. that the DSP will be informed.
- Explain that the information needs to be written down. Carefully note what is said on the Spectrum Concerns Form, or as near as possible, including details such as timing, setting, who was present and what was said, what action was taken
- Explain that only the Child Protection Officer will be told initially: If it is decided later, in the interests of safety, that other members of staff need to know, the pupil will be informed
What statutory organisations support young people affected by abuse?
- Children’s services
- LA Education
- Domestic Abuse Officers (DAO)
- CEOP: Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Other community organisations that offer support include:
- Hafan Cymru
- Relate Cymru
- Threshold DAS
A-Z community directories for each county can be accessed on our website.
Following staff training:
- ‘Concise, informative and well presented.’
- ‘Helpful to identify what the school is doing and where we need to improve.’
- ‘Important to recognise the signs of abuse.’
- ‘Raising awareness and promoting discussion.’
- ‘Very useful and practical all children and staff should be aware of the signs/symptoms of Domestic Abuse.’
- ‘It helps children to become aware of what is healthy and may help them come forward and say if they feel something is wrong.’
- ‘The delivery was clear, excellent resources. Questions were answered well. Friendly atmosphere.’
- ‘Important and useful information in identifying Domestic Abuse and how it can affect behaviours in the children I teach.’
- ‘Very informative session – lots learned in a short amount of time.’
- ‘Very informative training. Activities enabled discussion about signs to watch out for and the various types of abuse.’
- ‘Hyfforddiant pwysig I bob unigolyn fod yn ymwybodol o.’
- ‘Wedi codi ymwybyddiaeth o arwyddion cam-drin domestig a’r effaith ar blant. Hyfforddiant gwych – cyfleoedd i drafod a dosbarthu datganiadau.’
- ‘Ehangu gwybodaeth staff o gam-drin.’
- ‘Codi mwy o ymwybyddiaeth o arwyddion cam-drin domestig yn y cartref.’
- ‘Provides strategies which can be put in place to support the while school approach.’
- ‘Very clear and informative, very well presented. Some statistics surprised and shocked me.’
Primary Staff after pupil session:
Would you recommend this sessions to other schools?
- Yes – ‘Because it is a vitally important topic to cover and pupils need to know this.’
- Yes – ‘Children need to be aware of Healthy Relationships and what is acceptable before they get into relationships themselves.’
- Yes – ‘It helps to raise the children’s awareness of domestic abuse and what a positive relationship looks like.’
- Yes – ‘Because it is very informative.’
- Yes – ‘Not all staff aware. Many people together can make a huge difference.’
Secondary Staff after pupil session:
- Very thought provoking and set out well for students to understand such a sensitive area.’
- Informative and practical. Good use of activities to break up session and keep students engaged.’