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132 NI schools sign up to NSPCC’s online ‘SPEAK OUT. STAY SAFE.’ assembly hosted by Ant & Dec

132 schools in Northern Ireland have signed up to the NSPCC’s online Speak Out. Stay Safe. assembly – and the charity is encouraging more schools to get involved.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the NSPCC’s trained Speak Out. Stay Safe. volunteers were unable to go into schools deliver vital safeguarding messages to primary school children. In response to this, the online assembly hosted by Ant & Dec was launched in September 2020. A total of 3,240 schools across the UK took part.

With the impact of the pandemic continuing to affect many children’s lives it remains vital that young people know what to do and who to speak to if something is happening in their life which is making them feel scared or anxious.

The NSPCC is encouraging all primary schools across the UK to sign up to access the assembly and accompanying resources by visiting NSPCC Learning.

Before the pandemic the NSPCC delivered its assembly face-to-face, in more than 90% of all primary schools across the UK, and in 2019/20 the charity visited nearly 7,000 schools, and delivered workshops to almost 1.6million children before lockdown was imposed.

The assembly helps children understand how to recognise different forms of abuse in an accessible and age appropriate way, and how to speak out if they need to.

In addition, the NSPCC is offering supporting teacher resources with plenty of engaging activities, while the assembly and accompanying materials are also available in Welsh, British Sign Language (BSL) and there is a version available for children with special educational needs.

Hosts Ant & Dec, who’ve been supporting the NSPCC for many years commented on the project:

Ant said: “We’re thrilled more than 3,240 schools across the UK have signed up for the online version of the NSPCC’s Speak Out. Stay Safe. assembly.

“We know that the past year has been a really difficult time for some children and others may be struggling with the challenges they’ve had to face during this time.

Dec added: “This is why the NSPCC’s Speak Out. Stay Safe. assembly is so important as it reminds children that no matter what may be worrying them, there is always someone who can help.

“It is a real privilege to be supporting the NSPCC with this online assembly and we want all children to remember that difficult times never have to be dealt with alone.”

In all Speak Out. Stay Safe. assemblies children are taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or Childline.

The assemblies help to reinforce key lessons about abuse and neglect that are compulsory for all primary schools.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker, School Service Manager for NSPCC Northern Ireland, said:

“The challenges posed by COVID-19 have turned many children’s lives upside down with some having spent months at home in an unsafe environment. As we move out of the pandemic we all need to be there to support children and equipping them with the tools they need to speak out is one vital way we can help ensure their safety.

“I’d encourage all primary schools in Northern Ireland to sign up, so that we can help as many children as possible to recognise and report any worries they have.”

To sign up visit:

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email Children can call Childline on 0800 11 11 or visit any time of the day or night.

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