New mobile technology is to be used to help teachers from across the country tackle child sexual exploitation.
National charity, NWG Network, has developed an innovative Augmented Reality (AR) resource which is designed to help teachers flag potential issues to social care teams.
The step-by-step guide uses videos of NWG staff and young people to bring the referral process to life.
The resource comes in the form of a folder containing 10 cards, each with an embedded video link. Videos are activated by scanning a code with a tablet or mobile phone, with each one giving clear guidance and direction to help make a good quality referral.
It Is hoped that schools will use it as a training aid, to help staff understand what the referral process entails and what evidence and information is critical in helping busy social care teams make the right decisions regarding safeguarding of children.
Kevin Murphy, Education and Community Awareness Lead for NWG Network, said: “Teachers are often the first people who may notice signs that something is wrong and it’s really important that they know how to deal with this.
“All schools will have a Designated Safeguarding Lead and teachers receive training on the issue but it’s very different when you are actually faced with the situation, and crucial that staff know where to go for help and support.”
Mr Murphy, a former Head of Service for a local authority children’s services department, added: “We work very closely with teachers and social care, and we often hear from teachers that they feel frustrated if they make a referral and it’s not dealt with in the way they feel it should be.
“Likewise, we know that social care staff are under lots of pressure, so it’s important that they receive all the information they need quickly and efficiently.”
NWG Network, which is based in Derby, is a national charity working to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE). It has over 14,500 members and supports staff working across a range of different sectors including the health service, education and police.
It worked with design agency MAD from Warrington to develop the resource.
The toolkit will be launched officially today (Friday 6 July) and costs £45 for the first month, rising to £55 thereafter, with all proceeds going back into the charity’s funds. It also includes free membership of NWG Network for the school, giving access to lots of extra resources and training.
It is available to buy from NWG Network’s online shop www.nwgnetwork.org