Specific Safeguarding Issues

Specific Safeguarding Issues

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Preventing Radicalisation (Prevent)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Forced Marriage

Gangs and youth violence

Teenage relationship abuse

Faith abuse

Domestic abuse


Mental health


Bullying / online

Fabricated or induced illness

Private fostering


Specific Safeguarding Issues Factsheets



The DfE published in August guidance for schools on preventing and responding to bullying. There are three publications:

Preventing and tackling bullying

Cyber bullying: advice for headteachers and school staff

Advice for parents and carers on cyber bullying

Racist Incidents

A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.

The Race Relations Act (1976) states that schools have a duty to ensure that staff and pupils do not face any form of racial discrimination, including attacks and harassment.

The Home Office Code of Practice on Reporting and recording Racist Incidents states that all schools should deal with racial harassment and that this aspect of school discipline should be subject to inspection.

There is no national requirement for schools to report racist incidents that occur at school to any external bodies, whether these incidents involve pupils or not. Incidents should only be reported to the police if the school believes a crime has been committed.

Where a racist incident occurs between parents of pupils, it would be for either of the parents to decide whether to call the police. However, if the incident occurs on the school premises and the school believes pupils or others are at immediate risk of harm, the police should be informed.

A bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’ under the Children Act 1989. Where this is the case, the DSL should report their concerns to their local authority (LA) children’s social care.

Surrey Guidance on Responding to Racist Incidents


Faith Abuse

Faith and belief-based child abuse, including practices around ‘spirit possession’ and ‘witchcraft'.

Abuse can be separated into five different areas;

  • Abuse as a result of a child being accused of being a ‘witch’
  • Abuse as a result of a child being accused of being possessed by ‘evil spirits’
  • Ritualistic abuse which is prolonged sexual, physical and psychological abuse
  • Satanic abuse which is carried out in the name of ‘Satan’ and may have links to cults
  • Any other harmful practice linked to a belief or faith

Further details are available here.

Child Mental Health

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has developed a free toolkit for school leaders to help them face the ever growing issue of student mental health and well-being. The toolkit allows schools to assess and improve the support their school provides. The framework has four stages: deciding to act and identifying what is in place already; getting a shared understanding and commitment to change and development; building relationships and developing practices; implementation and evaluation. Supporting resources are also provided.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Knowledgeable staff can have a direct impact on a child’s safety when they are able to recognise and act on concerns about sexual exploitation. Surrey Police and Surrey County Council have produced useful posters to display in schools to promote awareness of the indicators of CSE.

Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool

This traffic light tool can help identify the level of response required to sexual behaviours that may be displayed by children in various age ranges.

Sexual Behaviours.pdf


Following the release of ‘Sexting in Schools and Colleges: Responding to Incidents and Safeguarding Children and Young People’, non-statutory guidance from UKCCIS, the NSPCC have published additional guidance. Aimed at professionals it outlines recommendations for policies and procedures.

Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children DfE Guidance

December 2017

GLF Sexual Harassment summary.pptx

Preventing Radicalisation

Surrey County Council has produced a toolkit on the Prevent duty for schools and childcare providers, which may be helpful when forming your risk assessment.

Appendix B, on pages 8-9, lists 40 questions and indicators that could help you identify signs of extremism within your school.

The indicators are divided into the following areas:

  • Vulnerability
  • Access to extremism/extremist influences
  • Experiences, behaviours and influences
  • Travel
  • Social factors

The pack also has a self-evaluation form (pages 6-7) and an action plan template (pages 10-12) to help effectively implement the Prevent duty.

The self-evaluation template has space to record the owner of each task and evidence, and uses the red/amber/green (RAG) system of self-assessment.

The action plan is subdivided into actions to be taken, outcomes, deadlines and updates.