Parents’ and carers’ views: working together to prevent sexual abuse of disabled children

Parents’ and carers’ views on how we can work together to prevent the sexual abuse of disabled children

Children and young people who have disabilities are at an increased risk of being abused compared with their non-disabled peers (Jones et al, 2012). 

Seeking the views and expertise of parents and carers is a vital part of understanding what we need to do to help keep disabled children safe from sexual abuse.

We wanted to find out what parents and carers of disabled children think about:

  • the most effective ways to keep their children safe from sexual abuse and where they feel they need more support
  • how they have conversations with their children about sexual abuse
  • who they go to for advice and support and how they would like professionals and other community groups to engage with them on preventing child sexual abuse

How safe are our children?

For the past six years our annual How safe are our children? report has compiled and analysed data from across the UK to show the current child protection landscape.

This year, for the first time, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have taken on this task, with the first edition of its compendium of child abuse data sources for England and Wales due in winter 2019/20.

We have taken this opportunity to refocus our 2019 report on statistics relating to the issue of online abuse.

Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS)

The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.

The framework:

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential

The national plan for dealing with social mobility through education.

The plan – Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential – sets out how we will remove obstacles that could stop people from achieving their potential.

We have 5 core ambitions: 4 which span across each life phase – the early years, school, post-16 education, and careers – and a fifth overarching ambition focussing on delivering better educational and career outcomes more evenly across the whole country.

We want to deliver this plan working together with all partners across education, business, civil society and beyond.

School attendance guidance

School attendance: Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities

This is guidance from the Department for Education. This guidance is non-statutory, and has been produced to help schools and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance and plan the school day and year. It would be helpful to read this alongside the statutory guidance on parental measures for school attendance and behaviour.

Keeping children safe in education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education (the department) issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. Schools and colleges in England must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. For the purposes of this guidance children includes everyone under the age of 18.

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England: Statutory guidance

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England: Statutory guidance for those with legal responsibilities in relation to exclusion

This document from the Department for Education provides a guide to the legislation that governs the exclusion of pupils from maintained schools, pupil referral units (PRUs), academy schools (including free schools, studio schools and university technology colleges) and alternative provision academies (including alternative provision free schools) in England.

The ‘guide to the law’ sections in this guidance should not be used as a substitute for legislation and legal advice.

  • The document also provides statutory guidance to which head teachers, governing boards, local authorities, academy trusts, independent review panel members and special educational needs (SEN) experts must have regard when carrying out their functions in relation to exclusions. Clerks to independent review panels must also be trained to know and understand this guidance.
  • The phrase ‘must have regard’, when used in this context, does not mean that the sections of statutory guidance have to be followed in every detail, but that they should be followed unless there is a good reason not to in a particular case.
  • Where relevant, this document refers to other guidance in areas such as behaviour, SEN, and equality, but it is not intended to provide detailed guidance on these issues.
  • This document replaces the version published in 2012 for schools in England.

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused. Advice for practitioners

This advice is non-statutory, and has been produced to help practitioners identify child abuse and neglect and take appropriate action in response.

This advice replaces the previous version of What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused, published in 2006, and complements Working Together to Safeguard Children(2015) statutory guidance.

Who is this advice for?

This advice is for anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and families, including those who work in early years, social care, health, education (including schools), the police and adult services. It is relevant to those working in the statutory, voluntary or the independent sector, and applies in relation to all children and young people irrespective of whether they are living at home with their families and carers or away from home.