Start of term safeguarding: signs to spot

Get back into your safeguarding role and learn what signs to look out for at the start of term, as pupils come back to school after the holidays. Find tips to help support pupils, families and staff.

Last reviewed on 2 August 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 46985
  1. Be aware of the safeguarding risks over the holidays 
  2. Look out for changes in pupils
  3. Let pupils and families know you're there to support them 
  4. Support staff with training and information
  5. Be proactive and chase information sharing

Be aware of the safeguarding risks over the holidays 

Safeguarding issues can crop up over school holidays – especially over a longer break such as summer.

The cost-of-living crisis could also increase these safeguarding risks. With fewer families able to afford activities or childcare, children may spend more time at home alone or without any supervision over the holidays.

This means some of these children might spend more time:

  • Online, and be exposed to more risks online, such as harmful content, online bullying, grooming (including child sexual exploitation or child criminal exploitation) and radicalisation
  • Out and about, making them more available and vulnerable for groomers, gang members or extremists to find and target

A stressful home environment as families struggle with debt Lack of basic care, like heat, shelter or food Eviction, moving around