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Children: Protection

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps his Department has taken in schools aimed at protecting children from domestic abuse. (244666)

Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (2006) makes clear that everyone in the education service should help keep children and young people safe. They should do this by identifying those who are suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, and take appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home an in the education setting.

Through the school curriculum children are supported to develop their capacity to empathise, show respect and form positive relationships with other people. Schools have specifically reported less conflict, calmer classrooms and better relationships as a result. As part of the National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence the DCSF continues to work with the Home Office and in June 2008, new materials were launched specifically for schools and for young people to raise awareness of forced marriage. These were sent to all secondary schools, pupil referral units, local authorities and Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

To support the most vulnerable children, including those whose childhood is being ruined by abuse of any kind, the DCSF is providing £30 million to support the expansion and integration of the NSPCC's listening services. This money will allow the NSPCC to expand their services significantly so that more children can be given the advice and help that can be so important. The Government are also investing £102.5 million over 2008-11 in the deployment of parent support advisers (PSAs) with over 1,500 PSAs and similar professionals currently working in schools. These professionals support families across a range of issues, which can include domestic abuse, and in particular focus on prevention and early intervention.