Support our Nation today - please donate here

90% of teachers in Wales have seen an increase in safeguarding referrals

18 Apr 2023 3 minute read
Image via Pixabay

New research published today by NSPCC Cymru has confirmed that more than 90% of teachers in Wales have seen an increase in safeguarding referrals.

The data, which highlights the worrying scale of abuse and neglect faced by children, is revealed in data from a joint survey of more than 600 teachers in Wales, with the teaching union NASUWT,

The survey findings show that 93% of teachers in Wales who shared an opinion have seen an increase in the number of safeguarding referrals made within their school over the past year.

They also revealed 96% of teachers in Wales who expressed an opinion said they had seen an increase in safeguarding concerns since the pandemic.

These Welsh figures are part of a joint UK-wide survey of 8,329 teachers, which also showed 93% of teachers who shared an opinion said they saw an increase in the number of safeguarding referrals made within their school over the past year.

The survey of teachers in Wales also shows the types of referrals that teachers have seen an increase in over the past year.

–              86% have seen an increase in neglect referrals

–              83% have seen an increase in emotional abuse referrals

–              65% have seen an increase in physical abuse referrals

–              52% of teachers have seen an increase in sexual abuse referrals


Responding to the survey’s results, Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO said: “The vital role that teachers play in keeping children and young people safe cannot be underestimated. They are in a prime position to spot concerns, and, in many cases, they are the trusted adults that children turn to when something worrying, or upsetting has happened to them.

“We know that the pandemic left many children at an increased risk of abuse and neglect and since children returned to school, teachers have been key in raising their hand and reporting concerns to ensure they can get the support they need.

“Whilst we recognise that teachers are an essential part of the jigsaw in protecting children, at the NSPCC, we believe everyone can play their part.”

The charity says the findings of the study underline the vital role that schools play in keeping children safe, and how important it is that everyone connected to education knows how to recognise and respond to concerns whether they happen in the classroom, corridor, or community.

The NSPCC has worked with educators for many years, including visiting primary schools with its Speak out Stay safe assembly and workshop, launching a new resource for teachers, Talk Relationships and running a special Abuse in Education helpline following the Everyone’s Invited revelations.

The NSPCC is urging anyone with concerns about a child, even if they’re unsure, to contact the NSPCC Helpline to speak to one of the charity’s professionals. People can call 0808 800 5000, email [email protected] or fill in the online form.

Today it also announced that it is putting schools at the heart of its annual Childhood Day by launching the Childhood Day Mile – to raise funds will go towards the charity’s vital work.

Childhood Day this year is sponsored by Lidl GB and Sky Cares, Sky’s community outreach programme and takes place on the 9th of June.

People can help the charity through fundraising by taking on the Childhood Day Mile challenge, donating, or volunteering at a Childhood Day collection in their local community.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.