Teachers in Scotland given guidance on how to spot signs of domestic abuse

New guidance has been given to teachers to help them spot signs of domestic abuse as children return to Scotland’s classrooms after lockdown.

Amid concerns abuse increased during the pandemic, Education Scotland has teamed up with Scottish Women’s Aid to produce a new resource for school staff.

It highlights the impact abuse can have on children and young people, as well as how to deal with it.

In May, it was reported calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline had increased by 25% since the lockdown began in March.

Gayle Gorman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and chief executive of Education Scotland, said: “This new resource to help teachers identify signs of domestic abuse is extremely important for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

“Emerging evidence suggests that the Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in those experiencing domestic abuse being at increased risk.

“Domestic abuse can affect the development and wellbeing of children and young people but supportive adults can make a difference.

“This new resource will help staff understand the important role that they can play.”

Susie Dalton, policy officer for children and young people at Scottish Women’s Aid, said with youngsters returning to the classroom it is “a pivotal time for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland”.

She added: “Returning to schools means that, for many children and young people experiencing domestic abuse, they will have access to a safe space, trusted adults and peer support for the first time in months.

“Schools must be prepared to identify and respond to disclosures of domestic abuse in a safe and effective way, which includes working closely with specialist domestic abuse services to ensure children and young people access the support they need.

“This guidance outlines how teachers can do this, and we hope that it will help teachers feel confident in keeping children and young people safe at this time.”

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