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Child Safety

learning about foodEvery adult in Scotland has a role in ensuring all our children live safely and can reach their full potential.

Schools play an important role in child protection. They can help spot problems and take action to ensure children get any help they need.  School staff provide support to children and young people in their daily work and have a vital role in helping protect them from harm.

Every Local Authority has a designated officer for Child Protection who will ensure schools work effectively to keep children safe. All schools have a Child Protection co-ordinator who will co-ordinate the schools response to concerns for children and young peoples safety and wellbeing.

School staff help keep children and young people safe and well by:

  • Helping them learn about personal safety
  • Being a trusted adult who children and young people may turn to for help, and will take them seriously
  • Identify when children and young people may need help
  • Understanding the steps that must be taken when there are concerns for children’s and young people’s safety and well-being

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is illegal in Scotland and in the UK – it is considered a form of child abuse and is a violation of the child’s right to life, their bodily integrity as well as their right to health.  It is illegal for anyone in the UK to circumcise or assist in the circumcision of a girl.  It is also illegal for any UK national or any UK permanent resident to circumcise or assist in the circumcision of a girl outside of the UK.

The Scottish Government has recently written directly to all schools, Directors of Education, Directors of Children’s Services, Child Protection Committees and the Care Inspectorate highlighting this issue and suggesting resources that may be useful.  A copy of the letter can be found here

Keeping children safe online

Most children have access to the internet whether it’s at school, at home or on their mobile phones. In the virtual world, as in the real one, children can be vulnerable. However, young people can surf the web safely if they and those responsible for them, take sensible precautions.

When used appropriately smart phones, laptops, computers and tablets provide excellent opportunities for supporting their learning.  Adults have an important role to play in explaining to a child or young person their rights and responsibilities when using these devices.

The most effective way is to educate children and young people from an early age about the risks they may encounter when online, what these risks are, how to spot them and what action to take. There are a number of online age-appropriate resources available to parents/guardians and teachers and children themselves covering every aspect of online safety for children.

To help keep your child safe online:

  • Talk to your child about the dangers posed by the internet
  • Tell them what they should do if they become worried or concerned
  • Explain that anything shared online or by mobile phone could end up being seen by anyone
  • Understand what your child does online and know which websites they visit
  • Put the computer where the whole family can see it, not out of sight in a bedroom
  • Use filtering software to block inappropriate sites
  • Encourage your child to use websites where then can find advice and guidance (but fun) use of the internet
For useful tips on surfing safely, please visit:

A full list of legislation relevant to all aspects of online safety can be found here