Inspiration for the book
So far, the agendas for child protection, safeguarding, and the safer recruitment of people working with children have been driven mainly by a small number of very high profile and shocking cases involving physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Those cases have invariably highlighted failures in established procedures that are supposed to prevent these things from happening. The resulting initiatives have put a great deal of effort into reforming relevant social work and law agencies, and how they work together.
However, as a consequence of most focus being placed on those cases because of huge media and political pressure, other issues have not received the attention they need.
Emotional abuse can have a profound, long-lasting impact on a child, as can emotional well-being. The classroom environment can have an impact well into adulthood. Most adults have experienced emotional abuse in some classroom at some time In a similar way, a positive classroom environment can also lead to life-long happy memories. .Research results are clear about all of this. What research is not so clear about is the extent to which teachers may realize their effect but there is no doubts that good and bad teachers leave a life-long mark.
The UK's Every Child Matters (ECM) programme has identified a much broader range of issues affecting child well-being beyond many of the specific problems lying behind those tragic high profile cases. Combined with observations by UNICEF, including where the UK has been at the bottom of several league tables for child well-being, there are issues mentioned in ECM, but for which very little is done, and few resources are available to help professionals and interested parties.
This project involving book and website is focussed on emotional abuse, specifically emotional abuse in the classroom; the book is essential reading for all who need to know about these aspects of safeguarding: teachers, parents, social workers, school managers, politicians, and pupils themselves. It provides research-based self-evaluation tools for teachers and pupils to help identify potentially problematic classroom situations. This website provides additional resources to supplement the book.
The book and website contain several important tools and ideas, including:
- practical self-evaluation checklists so teachers can check their own behaviour and pupils can check their own experiences - these tools can help teachers to provide positive happy child classroom experiences;
- essential material to supplement ECM and bring UN children rights into schools;
- suggestions for school policy changes;
- references into relevant literature for those who wish to study further;
- this website associated with thebook, to stimulate discussion and research classroom emotional abuse in more depth.
Whatever your view about safeguarding and ECM, you will find this website and associated book stimulating, challenging, and thought provoking. Everyone with an interest in the topics raised by the book and website, is encouraged to participate.