Why CSA education isn't suitable for assemblies
We all have a duty to safeguard children, so delivering important messaging in assemblies may seem like a good way to reach all the children in your setting. However, not all education is suitable or safe to deliver in this way, particularly education to protect children from online sexual abuse, such as our CEOP Education resources.
Children and young people need to explore these topics in a forum that enables them to ask questions and seek further help. When delivering this type of education, it should also be delivered on the assumption that children receiving it may have experienced online child sexual abuse, or know someone who has. Simply sharing information is not enough, lessons allow:
Shared understanding: lesson formats give you a chance to check in with pupils understanding of the content; tailoring your approach or answering questions that allow pupils to fully understand the topic, and space to challenge any misconceptions, harmful attitudes or misinformation they may have received.
Nuanced exploration: Online safety, particularly concerning potential sexual abuse is complex and sensitive. Lessons provide the ideal environment for a nuanced exploration, allowing children to develop skills, strategies, and positive attitudes alongside knowledge. It is also important that we deliver this message with consistency in order for children to recognise and report sexual abuse.
Open dialogue: Lessons provide a setting for an open dialogue, encouraging active participation and providing children with a platform to ask questions and seek guidance on topics related to relationships, sex and online safety.
Support of disclosures: Lessons of this nature should be delivered with the awareness of your designated safeguarding lead, recognising that the content may lead to recognition and/or disclosure of abuse or concerns related to the topic. Lessons provide clear sources of support and reporting mechanisms, as well as a member of staff pupils can talk to, providing a safe space for disclosure.
When delivering CEOP Education resources, please ensure that you have read the accompanying guidance in order to best support the children and young people you will be delivering to. All of our resources can be found here.