Safeguarding: Children and adults in education

The past year of national lockdown has been undoubtedly testing for everyone in different ways and at different points. I joined the Cathedral staff team in April 2020, just a month into the first lockdown, having worked in education for the past 20 years. Over the past year, the difficulties facing the adults and children in education has often played on my mind.

As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, educators are focussed on three areas that are likely to have affected pupils over this time:

  1. The impact on the children themselves and how the various lockdown arrangements have affected the mental health and well-being of our young people
  2. The impact on their family set up – we must remember that a proportion of our children live in split families and will have travelled between the homes of their parents during this time too
  3. The impact of lockdown on our children’s education and ultimately their futures.

Today, I am going to focus on one area of potential impact of lockdown on our families.

In a study undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, they found that there had been a significant increase in child to parent violence in lockdown.

The Diocese of Winchester’s safeguarding pages have a leaflet from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner detailing the current service arrangements and relevant contacts for Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) interventions across Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

They help us to understand what is APV/CPV:

Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) or Child to Parent Violence (CPV) can be defined as ‘abusive behaviour perpetrated by a son or daughter against a parent, who is legally recognised as a child and is most likely still living in the family home. Abusive behaviours which are recognised to be involved in APV include but are not limited to, threats, name calling, humiliation, threats to harm themselves or others, property damage, physical violence and theft (Holt, 2015). APV is not restricted to violence by an adolescent against a parent; it extends to violence against a family member who is acting as a parent i.e. common-law in-laws, foster family, grandparents, aunt or uncle. It must be acknowledged that there is the potential for APV to occur even when the adolescent does not live in the same property as their parents.

The Who’s in Charge website also offers practical advice on this topic.