ChildLine brings Schools Service to NI Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education has shown its support for ChildLine’s brand new service for primary school age children across Northern Ireland, by sponsoring a ‘school assembly’ at Parliament Buildings.
ChildLine brings Schools Service to NI Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education has shown its support for ChildLine’s brand new service for primary school age children across Northern Ireland, by sponsoring a ‘school assembly’ at Parliament Buildings.

The innovative new service, which aims to help younger children recognise and protect themselves from all forms of abuse – including bullying, will particularly focus on seven to 11 year olds and will help them understand what abuse is, how to protect themselves and how to seek help if they need it – including through ChildLine.

Research undertaken by the NSPCC shows that the majority of children who contact ChildLine for advice, information and support are over 11 years old.  However we know that the majority of children on the child protection register in Northern Ireland are under the age of 11 and it may be more difficult for them to speak up.

The ChildLine Schools Service wants to educate children earlier and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe or seek help if they need it.

Chair of the Education Committee, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: The Committee was delighted to be asked to sponsor the use of the Long Gallery for this event and to show our support for what promises to be a very valuable service.”

Shaun Friel, national manager for the ChildLine Schools Service, emphasised its importance: “By reaching children younger, educating them to understand what is – and is not – normal behaviour, and empowering them to seek help, we can prevent abuse starting and intervene earlier to minimise its long-term devastating impacts.

“School is a good place for this education to happen. It is a non-intrusive way to provide children with the advice and support they need. The NSPCC and ChildLine have 20 years' experience of working in schools on which to build, and already the service has received a hugely positive response.

“Volunteers will be central to the delivery of this exciting new service.  They will be trained to deliver safeguarding assemblies and interactive workshops in primary schools.  All materials will be provided and volunteers will be given regular training and support.” 

By 2016 the aim is to visit every primary school in the UK at least once every two years. 

To find out more about the new ChildLine Schools Service and volunteering opportunities please visit www.nspcc.org.uk/schoolsservice.

 

Added by
Emma Stewart