All primary school pupils to be taught about abuse

By Neil Puffett

| 16 September 2013

Volunteers will visit every primary school in the UK at least once every two years under plans to prevent abuse by teaching children about the issue.

Schools will be visited at least once every two years. Image: Phil Adams

As part of the Now I Know programme being run by the NSPCC, more than 4,500 “ChildLine Champions” will teach children between the ages of nine and 11 about abuse, neglect and what to do if it's happening to them.

The charity says that on average two children in every primary class have suffered some form of abuse or neglect.

News of the campaign comes the day before the serious case review into the death of Daniel Pelka is due to be published by Coventry’s Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Four-year-old Daniel was beaten, starved and poisoned by his mother and her partner, who hid the abuse by claiming he had an eating disorder.

Evidence in the recent court case against his abusers suggested Daniel had shown signs of neglect while at school, scavenging for food out of bins and from classmates.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “We want children to be able to say ‘now I know’ – and not 'I wish I had known’.

"And we want everyone to play their part by looking out for children and reinforcing the messages about speaking up."

He added that the charity wanted to inspire people to believe that child abuse can be prevented.

"By helping children understand and identify abuse in an age-appropriate way, we can encourage them to speak out earlier and protect themselves and others from the devestating effects of abuse."

Meanwhile, nearly 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for new legislation to help protect children from abuse in the wake of Daniel Pelka's murder.

Manchester mother-of-two Paula Barrow wants a legal requirement introduced so it is mandatory for people working with children in the UK to report suspected abuse.

Her petition calls on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and Education Secretary Michael Gove to consider the need for legislative change.


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