Domestic abuse support and advice - EduLincs

Schools are often best placed to observe when children and young people are affected by domestic abuse. They have regular contact and are able to notice changes in behaviour and emotions. Schools can be a safe haven for those experiencing domestic abuse at home, and a place of safety for the adult to receive support. Schools are able to carry the Lincolnshire ethos that 'domestic abuse is not to be tolerated'. They nurture the shared set of values that all people are to be treated with warmth and respect.
Identifying domestic abuse is part of the school’s safeguarding responsibilities. We can support and advise you on how to demonstrate the effectiveness of your safeguarding procedures. We can also help you promote a culture of vigilance where pupils’ welfare is actively promoted.
This service will support staff to:
  • identify when a pupil may be at risk of:
    • neglect
    • abuse
    • exploitation
  • how to listen to their concerns
We will support you in developing domestic abuse policies and procedures. We will also assist you to:
  • identify domestic abuse
  • assess risk
  • ensure positive action takes place
This will give educational settings the confidence to then raise the issue with pupils, their parent or carers as well as any staff who are affected by domestic abuse. It will give you the tools and resources to support you appropriately.
The free support on offer to any educational setting within Lincolnshire covers:
  • support on the Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Partnership, protocols, policies and referral pathways
  • resources including posters and leaflets
  • direct access to the monthly domestic abuse newsletter
  • advice regarding domestic abuse training for staff
  • support in developing internal policies and procedures
  • opportunity of developing new resources
The support will be provided by our domestic abuse team, who have years of experience and expertise.

This support for schools compliments the government’s drive to ensure that domestic abuse is everyone’s responsibility as part of the latest national Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy.

Domestic Abuse is a safeguarding issue, thus educational settings have a duty of care for all its students to keep them safe from harm under the Education Act of 2002.
The Department for Educations ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ recognises domestic abuse as a specific safeguarding issue. Therefore, it is important that schools also identify it within their safeguarding policy and ensure all staff are aware of the procedures with regards to safeguarding children from domestic abuse.
In correspondence with the PSHE Association it has been informed to educational settings that Ofsted Inspectors “will want to consider evidence that children and learners are able to understand, respond to and calculate risk effectively". Domestic abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage were but a few of the examples of risks associated with this statement and that "children and learners are taught how to keep themselves safe and are aware of support available to themselves.”

‘Educating and challenging young people about healthy relationships, abuse and consent is critical. Working with partners like the PSHE association, leading headteachers and other practitioners to improve PSHE education, we will ensure schools have access to effective and high quality resources for teaching healthy relationships in classroom settings.’ - from the government’s VAWG strategy.

Comments from schools.

'Domestic abuse is now firmly embedded in our school’s PSHE curriculum across both key stages.'

'We continue to make students and staff aware of domestic abuse issues and keep up with events as and when they happen. We have a more open and effective reporting system due to the help and training we have received.'

'It was very beneficial for staff especially those who haven’t received any previous training in this area. It was very informative and quite an eye opener regarding statistics.'

'We are now more aware as a whole school on what domestic abuse is, so therefore are more equipped to support young people and, or parents.'

'As time constraints are a worry at any school, it’s not taken the staff a lot of time to prepare, as it’s not a bolt on, it’s part of our normal curriculum. The children got a lot out of it and are taking these messages home with them and are having healthy discussions at home about respectful healthy relationships.'