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How Do You Know

‘It could happen here….’ shouldn’t the phrase be ‘How do I know it doesn’t happen here?’

‘It could happen here’

Having heard this phrase time and time again through the safeguarding and child protection training I provide and the statuary guidance of Keeping Children Safe has made me think of the phrase in a bit more depth. I understand the phrase as it is evident that some people in some organisations often think that it couldn’t happen in their place of work and only bad safeguarding stuff happens in bad schools. I am generalising here, but I understand that people feel removed from it all and that they are only exposed to extreme cases during their training when the trainer shares serious case reviews with them.

My thought is really, shouldn’t the phrase be, ‘How do you know it doesn’t happen here?’ Well, how do you know it doesn’t happen in your establishment? How do you know that all staff are following policies and procedures? How do you know no one is abusing children in your school? How do you really know the children feel and are safe? How do you know? Really know….

It is easy to become blinkered by what ‘normal’ for your school is. And it is easy to start saying phrases like: that’s just the way they are; they are friendly with everyone; they would never do anything like that, you must be wrong; of course, they know how to conduct themselves, they have access to the code of conduct. You can become so enclosed by other pressures that you don’t see tell-tale signs, mishearing comments or even ignore whistleblowing as you believe it’s something to do with broken relationships between two people. So again, how do you really know it doesn’t happen here?

It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children. Everyone has that responsibility. So surely it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that you really know ‘It doesn’t happen here!’

If you need a fresh set of eyes or feel there is something not quite right, please email me at – if you feel a child is at risk from an adult in your school, call your LADO ASAP!! Do not hesitate.

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