Through our work in the Malaysian Education landscape in the past decade, we at LeapEd have observed that:
- there is limited contextualized support and training for schools on Child Protection and Safeguarding
- while schools may have guidelines, these may not be commonly understood for a speedy response when faced with a concern
- although well-intentioned, Child Protection and Safeguarding activities tend to be ad hoc
- despite local legislation, many schools still require support to ensure all team members know their roles and responsibilities
- we are not doing enough to ensure consistent and effective safeguarding of children under our duty of care
Post pandemic, more independent NGOs, schools and organisations are moving towards the right direction with Safeguarding. However, depth and breadth are needed in collective action. Some pivotal questions for educationists include questioning if safeguarding practices are merely a tick box activity (obtaining a certification and ‘being done with it’) or does it capture the rigour that is inherent in it and the valor that is required to challenge mindsets and beliefs?
Here is a checklist for your school or institution to consider as you plan for 2022:
- Does my institution have adequate policies, procedures, and guidelines to inform all matters around Child Protection & Safeguarding and hold a uniformed understanding on all safeguarding matters?
- Do my learners know where to go to seek help in a protection/safeguarding issue?
- As an individual with ‘duty of do I know how to manage disclosures and report accordingly?
- As concerns can vary in extremities and severities and urgency, do I know exactly what to do and when or whom to go to for support?
- Does my school/institution conduct refresher training so they are ‘always ready’ for an unexpected event should this occur?
- Is there support readily available for Child Protection and Safeguarding incidences?
- Is there transparency in internal safeguarding processes to constantly address gaps and new and emerging areas?
- Is there advocacy and partnership with agencies (multi-agency approach) and parents enough t make a difference?
- Do policies and procedures reflect changes in the environment/legislation and context?
- Do staff attend enough professional development and upskill themselves to stay ONE STEP AHEAD?
Child Protection and Safeguarding is a culturally sensitive and difficult topic. At LeapEd, we can help schools navigate the cultural nuances of Malaysia as we work towards a safer environment for children. There has never been more urgency around Child Protection and Safeguarding than now and our professional development programmes raise awareness of best practice and build skillsets for all adults who work with children and young people.
Wanting to know how we can help parents/caregivers and educators? Need refresher training or want to enact a change team for sustained change? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. For more information about our upcoming Child Protection partnerships and upcoming training in February, visit our website for more info and look out for our upcoming Designated Safeguarding Lead course in the new year!