How an NSPCC ‘Speak out Stay safe’ session can safeguard pupils at an early age

A Speak out Stay safe session provides pupils aged between 5-11 with a safe space to learn how to recognise the warning signs of abuse and how they can seek help

What is Speak out Stay safe?

The Speak out Stay safe programme is a free service delivered by NSPCC staff and trained volunteers that provides child-friendly, interactive assemblies and workshops that enable pupils to learn how to recognise and report abuse.

By engaging pupils at a young age, the programme aims to create a network of support amongst pupils, their classmates and their teachers in order to be able to identify and report any instances of abuse from as early as possible.

The NSPCC works with schools to deliver the assemblies and workshops, and teaches a generation of children to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or to Childline. These assemblies and workshops can complement the news of the compulsory Relationships Education curriculum for primary pupils which states that by the end of primary school, pupils should know ‘how to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so’.

The programme’s direct links to the curriculum can be crucial for helping schools build a culture of safeguarding and is offered at no cost to schools. Supported by trained volunteers, Speak out Stay safe is available to all primary schools across the UK with tailored provision for special schools.

With the beginning of the new term, we encourage all schools to book a Speak out Stay safe session – whether it’s your first visit or a repeat session

How the Speak out Stay safe sessions can help your pupils

In order to convey our messages to pupils, we will bring along our mascot Buddy, the speech bubble, who encourages children to speak out and teaches them:

  • Different types of behaviour that aren’t okay
  • The importance of speaking out against behaviours that aren’t okay or make children worried or upset
  • The ‘trusted adults’ that children can speak to if they have a worry about something
  • What Childline is, what they do and how they can help all children

Our visit will include assemblies for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, which last 20 and 30 minutes respectively. The content within these assemblies is specifically tailored to the age ranges within each Key Stage, ensuring that the content is age appropriate. We also deliver hour-long workshops with years five and six, usually within their normal classes, which offer a wider discussion of the topics discussed within their assembly.

We are able to fit these deliveries into your normal school day to minimise disruption to the children’s usual routine. As well as assemblies and workshops, the NSPCC also offer specialist resources, lesson plans and training to help embed the messages delivered after the assemblies have finished. All such resources are available on our website.

How do I book a visit for my school?

You can easily request an NSPCC school visit at nspcc.org.uk/speakout. With the beginning of the new term, we encourage all schools to book a Speak out Stay safe session – whether it’s your first visit or a repeat session.

What do teachers say about Speak out Stay safe?

The Speak out Stay safe programme has been backed up by teachers and students alike as shown in the testimonial below from Tiffany White, head of juniors at Newcastle School for Boys: “I was incredibly impressed with the way the sessions were taught. The children were able to understand how to identify the signs of harm and abuse in a very sensitive and age appropriate manner.”

The Speak out Stay safe programme has already had proven results with the initial evaluation finding that it did inform pupils on bullying, neglect and harassment topics, as well as providing learning opportunities for school staff. By working with children, Speak out Stay safe can make life safer for every school child in the UK.


About NSPCC

The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.