The NSPCC’s Keeping Safe programme for primary schools, developed in Northern Ireland, aims to support schools and parents to deliver sensitive messages to children about recognising abusive behaviours.
We conducted a process evaluation with mainstream and special schools between 2016 and 2018 and explored the experiences of children, parents and school staff taking part in the programme.
We worked with 226 children aged between 4-13, using creative art-based approaches to:
We used a range of qualitative and quantitative methods and engaged 161 adults, including parents, carers, classroom teachers, principals, school governors and other school staff to:
Children from as young as four years, and children and young people with special educational needs, learned key programme concepts when taught using a range of engaging visual and interactive resources, stories and activities.
When introducing a whole-school programme that teaches children about abuse, it is recommended that strong leadership support is secured. This support can help to ensure the programme is built into school development planning and that resources are protected for staff training.
Please cite as:
McElearney, A., Murphy, C., Craig, L., Palmer, L., Monaghan, M., Cunningham, C. (2021) Children’s views on being taught about abuse through the Keeping Safe education programme: lessons from the process evaluation for teachers and policymakers. London: NSPCC.
McElearney, A., Murphy, C., Fullerton, D., Hyde-Dryden, G., Cosette, A., Morris, S. (2021) School staff, parents' and carers' views and experience of the Keeping Safe whole-school education programme: lessons from the process evaluation for teaching children to recognise abusive behaviours and tell. London: NSPCC.
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.
Read our research on how the Keeping Safe primary school programme helped to increase knowledge and understanding of abuse concepts in children, parents, carers and teachers.