An NSPCC programme that teaches children how to keep themselves safe from abuse has reached 20,000 primary schools across the UK.
Widney Junior School in Solihull became the 20,000th school to be visited by the charity’s ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ service.
‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ consists of an assembly presentation for children aged five to 11, and a one-hour classroom workshop for children in years five and six.
With the help of NSPCC mascot Buddy, the interactive assemblies and workshops help children recognise the different types of abuse, and understand how to protect themselves.
They also learn where they can turn for help – including the NSPCC-run service Childline.
It comes as latest figures reveal 2,494 child sex offences were recorded by West Midlands Police last year, and nearly 65,000 across England and Wales.
In the 2017/18 school year, more than 25,000 pupils at 82 schools in Birmingham and Solihull were reached by ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’.
But NSPCC Schools Service volunteers and staff are visiting schools across the UK every week.
NSPCC Schools Service Area Co-ordinator for Birmingham, Tracey Hulston, said: “’Speak Out. Stay Safe’ is spreading an important message in a lively, interactive and memorable way, while also helping children feel empowered to talk to a trusted adult or Childline.
“We are delighted to have reached so many children across the UK, but we will keep visiting schools every week to ensure this vital service helps to protect a generation of pupils from abuse.”
Widney Junior School Deputy Headteacher, Marie Kitching, said: “Not only have our pupils really enjoyed today’s assembly, they have learned so much, and it is clear that it has made a lasting impression on them.
“Educating children about the risks of abuse, and how to keep themselves safe, is a crucial part of their development – and ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ does this brilliantly.”
The NSPCC Schools Service relies on volunteers to help deliver assemblies and workshops. To get involved or to find out more, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do, email Tracey Hulston on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07976065088.