Speak out Stay safe (SOSS) is the NSPCC’s safeguarding programme for primary schools across the UK and Channel Islands. It aims to help children understand abuse in all its forms and ensure they know how to access support from a trusted adult or Childline, if they need it.
We commissioned an independent evaluation to examine the programme’s impact on children’s understanding of abuse and harm and their help-seeking behaviour.
The evaluation focused on 40 UK schools receiving the SOSS programme, comparing them with 34 UK schools that had not received SOSS in the last two years. It also captures the experiences of children, teachers, volunteers and staff participating in the programme, including how the programme’s safeguarding messages were perceived.
A total of four reports are available to download. These include a Welsh version, a summary and appendices.
Authors: Nicky Stanley, Christine Barter, Farwa Batool, Joanna Charles, John Devaney, Rhiannon Tudor Edwards, Nicola Farrelly, David Hayes, Denise Kasperkiewicz, Berni Kelly, Zain Kurdi, Annemarie Millar, Claire Monks, Ugur Ozdemir, Lorraine Radford, Trevor Thompson, Eira Winrow
The majority of primary school children have a good understanding of what abusive behaviour looks like and which trusted adults they can speak to.
The SOSS programme was responsible for:
However, the research also found that SOSS appeared to have a smaller impact on the help-seeking behaviours of pupils aged 5-7, compared to 7-to 11-year-olds.
Children engaged well with the visual and interactive elements of the programme. Staff, pupils, and programme facilitators did however raise concerns about:
Please cite as:
Stanley, N. et al (2021) Evaluation of the NSPCC Speak out Stay safe programme: appendices. London: NSPCC.
Stanley, N. et al (2021) Evaluation of the NSPCC Speak out Stay safe programme: final report. London: NSPCC.
Stanley, N. et al (2021) Evaluation of the NSPCC Speak out Stay safe programme: summary. London: NSPCC.
Stanley, N. et al (2021) Gwerthuso Rhaglen NSPCC Cofia Ddweud, Cadwa’n Ddiogel: Adroddiad Terfynol - fersiwn Gymraeg. London: NSPCC.
Kurdi, Z. et al (2023) The devil’s in the detail: implementation fidelity in evaluating a school-based prevention programme for children under 12. Journal of Family Violence, 10 April: 1-13.
Kelly, B. et al (2023) Speak out, stay safe: including children with special educational needs and disabilities in an evaluation of an abuse prevention programme. Child Abuse Review, 28 February: 1-12.
Stanley, N. et al (2023) What makes for effectiveness when starting early – learning from an integrated school-based violence and abuse prevention programme for children under 12. Child Abuse & Neglect, 139: 1-14.
Barter, C. et al (2022) Conducting large-scale mixed-method research on harm and abuse prevention with children under 12: learning from a UK feasibility study. Children & Society, 00: 1-18.
A programme available to primary schools in the UK which teaches children about abuse and neglect in a child-friendly and age-appropriate manner through assemblies and workshops.
Read how the NSPCC’s Keeping Safe programme has been implemented in schools for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Northern Ireland.
Explore our full range of training, lesson plans, guidance and resources for schools and colleges to help keep your pupils safe.