Applications in this year’s International School Awards Safeguarding category reflect some of the challenges that international school communities and wider society are facing today. Several safeguarding initiatives that were submitted have the potential to become good and sustainable initiatives in time and the judging panel urges schools to apply in future years once their initiative is thoroughly implemented with clear evidence of success and sustainability.
Two safeguarding initiatives were selected by the judges for shortlisting.
Safeguarding is a guiding principle for the school
The British School of Tashkent in Uzbekistan has been shortlisted for a whole school safeguarding ethos that puts safeguarding central to several initiatives.
As a guiding principle, safeguarding is a common thread throughout the school community. All staff are thoroughly and continually trained, reporting procedures are clear and transparent for everyone, student council and other groups regularly address safeguarding within their meetings, student enrichment programmes focus on specific safeguarding themes including internet safety, cyber security and anti-bullying, and assemblies and classroom conversations are scheduled to allow all students to feel safe and comfortable in being open and knowing who to turn to about safeguarding concerns.
Addressing suicide ideation in an informed way
North London Collegiate School Jeju in South Korea is also shortlisted for an initiative to confront suicidal ideation.
Suicidal action is a major issue amongst young people today, South Korean statistics are particularly high, and there is societal discomfort in addressing suicidal ideation. The initiative has involved a partnership with external experts to train members of the school community on skilled intervention and to develop and implement a sustainable safety plan. This has resulted in staff able to lead destigmatising discussions which help students to know they can reach out for counselling. A student welfare activity group scaffolds and delivers student support.
The application includes evidence of progress and impact of the initiative on the school community and across the wider region.
Both international schools received praise from the judges for facing challenging issues.
Thanks go to The Safeguarding Company for sponsoring the Safeguarding category this year.