New resource to help teachers tackle domestic abuse

A new resource has been developed by Education Scotland for education staff to help them understand the role they can play in tackling domestic abuse, which evidence shows increased during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Domestic abuse information for educators resource, created in partnership with Scottish Women’s Aid, outlines the nature of domestic abuse, the indicators and impact on children and young people, and how to respond to potential cases of domestic abuse.

For many children and young people experiencing domestic abuse, their early learning and childcare setting, school or youth work setting may be the only place they feel safe. Even in a remote learning or blended learning context, staff can still provide lifelines to these children and young people.

Gayle Gorman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Chief Executive of Education Scotland, said: "This new resource to help teachers identify signs of domestic abuse is extremely important for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

"Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in those experiencing domestic abuse being at increased risk. Domestic abuse can affect the development and wellbeing of children and young people but supportive adults can make a difference. This new resource will help staff understand the important role that they can play."

Susie Dalton, Children and Young People’s Policy Officer at Scottish Women's Aid, added: "This is a pivotal time for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland. Returning to schools means that, for many children and young people experiencing domestic abuse, they will have access to a safe space, trusted adults and peer support for the first time in months.

"Schools must be prepared to identify and respond to disclosures of domestic abuse in a safe and effective way, which includes working closely with specialist domestic abuse services to ensure children and young people access the support they need. This guidance outlines how teachers can do this, and we hope that it will help teachers feel confident in keeping children and young people safe at this time."