Pupil Voice Week: 25th - 29th September

Pupil Voice Week 2017 will be celebrated by schools both nationally and internationally with the theme ‘It’s Your Voice’.


What is Pupil Voice Week?
Coordinated by tootoot, Pupil Voice Week is designed to encourage primary and secondary schools to raise awareness of key issues, such as bullying, cyberbullying, racism, mental health and e-safety issues, that children and young people may face on a daily basis.

This year the theme is ‘It’s Your Voice’. We aim to celebrate the diversity and individuality of The Pupil Voice, encouraging pupils to use their voice be themselves and create positivity for those around them.

Pupil Voice Week will also have a focus on pupils' mental health, ensuring that they are encouraged to use their voice to speak-up about their mental health and wellbeing.

Pupil Voice Week calls upon pupils, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, councils, companies and policy makers, to join together and explore ways that they can empower pupils, giving them the knowledge and tools they need to feel confident to use their voice.

Why is it important?
Within the past year 1.5 million children and young people have been bullied.

Children and young people can be bullied for all manner of reasons from appearance and accents to gender and race. And although not their fault, it can still have a huge impact on their self-confidence, mental health and wellbeing.

As much as 36% of children and young people who have been bullied said it made them feel depressed and at least half of suicides amongst young people are related to bullying,

This is why we want to celebrate the pupil voice, the fact that’s it’s good to be different, and that a pupil’s voice is the most important part of them.

When is Pupil Voice Week?
Pupil Voice Week is the 25th – 29th September 2017 with activities running throughout the week in schools, organisations and online.

Celebrating Your Voice – Our Call to Action!
We want Pupil Voice Week 2017 to empower pupils, helping them to understand that their differences are to be celebrated.

With this in mind we’re challenging our staff, partners (and their staff!), and schools to share with us what makes them unique! All you need to do is print-out the speech-bubble task and tell us what makes your voice unique. Is it your Confidence? Kindness? Friendliness? We can’t wait to see. Take a picture, boomerang or video of you and your speech-bubble and share with us on social media by using #PupilVoiceWeek and tagging @tootootofficial. You can download a blank speech bubble here

How else can we get involved?
There are a range of ways you can support with Pupil Voice Week:

  • Use the resources on pupilvoiceweek.co.uk to help inspire and shape your own campaign.
  • Speak to your schools and partner organisations, let them know about Pupil Voice Week and the ways that they can get involved.
  • Write a blog raising awareness of the importance for pupils to know it’s their voice and it’s good to be unique! – make sure you send it to us so we can share it too!
  • Send a newsletter to your key audience groups, encouraging them to participate in Pupil Voice Week.
  • Contact local press and key decision makers, speak to them about the importance of raising awareness with pupils nationally, and ask them to help promote the week.
  • Join the conversation on social media during the lead-up to, and throughout the week, using the hashtag #PupilVoiceWeek and tag @tootootofficial.
  • Send us pictures or videos of what you get up to, to pupilvoiceweek@tootoot.co.uk, and we’ll feature them across our social media – you might even make it into next year’s video!
  • Speak to your schools and partner organisations, let them know about Pupil Voice Week and the ways that they can get involved.

    Need some help getting started?
    We have a range of free resources to help you kick-start your campaign, you can find them at pupilvoiceweek.co.uk. As well as those, feel free to use any of the facts and figures below to help shape your Pupil Voice Week campaign, both on and offline.

  • Within the past year 1.5 million children and young people have experienced bullying (Ditch the Label).
  • 83% of young people say that bullying has a negative impact on their self-esteem (Ditch the Label).
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds (World Health Organisation)
  • 64% of children who were bullied did not report it (Petrosina et al, 2010)
  • 3 in 5 young people say that homophobic bullying has a direct impact on their school work and it made straight A students want to leave education entirely (Stonewall).

    For more information visit pupilvoiceweek.co.uk

  • Written by Michael Brennan on September 21, 2017 11:00

    The Pupil Voice

    Recording incidents of extremism and radicalisation


    The counter-terrorism and security bill was granted royal assent on 21 February 2015, which places a statutory duty on named organisations, including schools, to have due regard towards the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.

    Ofsted inspects how schools carry out safeguarding and other duties, including the effectiveness of these arrangements to ensure all pupils are safe. This includes the approach in keeping pupils safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, including what is done when suspected pupils are vulnerable.

    The most important part of this security bill is ‘keeping pupils safe from the danger of radicalisation and extremism.’

    With such a recent surge of activity and emphasis for schools to adopt and embed a prevent strategy within a very short space of time, senior leadership are struggling to educate themselves – let alone their staff and pupils. Educating staff and pupils is extremely important and as best practise prevails, educating through a whole school approach and zero tolerance policy is helping schools to raise awareness and identify incidents of extremism and radicalisation at it’s early stages.

    But whilst waiting for education to filter through to schools and training to be delivered to schools on an ever changing and adapting problem, what can be done to strengthen the prevent strategy in a school.

    Report and Record.

    Providing pupils with a voice and a safe and secure way to report worries or concern’s directly to a school is the most important short-term measure that should be taken within a school. If not a face-to-face reporting route, a technological solution in which students can speak up, is vital in flushing out and raising awareness of incidents as and when they occur. Although students may not understand what extremism or radicalisation truly is, they certainly are at the forefront of these incidents whether they know it or not. By encouraging students to speak about what they see and hear in the community and at school, this may lead to a disclosure, which not only raises awareness but also can save lives.

    Having a system in place in which teaching staff and non-teaching staff are able to report and record incidents, as and when they happen, is vital to ensure that any face-to-face disclosures from students can then be evidenced and monitored. Something as simple as a student sharing a personal video or talking about extremist activity in a class, if picked up and recorded by a member of staff, major incidents can be prevented from escalating immediately. Having a reporting system in place also ensures that you are meeting the requirements of Ofsted as part of the prevent agenda.

    Sharing best practise within schools and amongst other schools within the community is key in the fight against extremism and radicalisation. Best practise currently being used in over 500 schools across the UK provide pupils with a technological reporting and evidencing platform and app, is through the introduction of tootoot.

    www.tootoot.co.uk is a free resource and is the first safeguarding platform that provides your pupils with a safe voice to report incidents and worries directly to your school. Tootoot also allows your staff to record incidents off extremism, radicalisation and many other safeguarding incidents whilst providing SLT with a live dashboard of reports and disclosures as evidence for Ofsted.

    To date over 98,000 pupils are protected by tootoot in schools across the UK. Find out more

    Written by Michael Brennan on December 17, 2015 11:43

    Protecting and safeguarding your school from Extremism

    Extremism has suddenly arisen within the compounds of schools across the UK, and pupils are in danger if schools do not provide a channel to report such behaviour or activities.


    E-safety grooming extreemismSafeguarding and protecting pupils should be a schools number one priority according to 86% of parents asked in a recent questionnaire. John Hayes, Security Minister and the Department for Education has recently outlined that all schools and staff have a duty to report incidents of extremism, radicalisation and safeguarding.

    Yet what measures are schools putting in place to protect pupils and staff against the latest safeguarding threat. Ofsted are focussing heavily on a schools ability to recognise, understand and report incidents of extremism and radicalisation. However services that support the school network are failing to provide adequate answers, resources and training to help schools deal with this new and ever growing threat. SLT teams are being expected to quickly become experts on this new safeguarding issue, yet without a guided support network, how can any school or member of staff be expected to provide the evidence and information required if they don’t know what this is.

    Pupils of the 21st Century are at much greater risk than they have ever been. The introduction of technology and social media, and the interaction between cultures has brought pupils closer together than ever before. In order for a school to protect their students is to engage and educate their students around the signs and dangers of radicalisation and extremism particularly when using technology and social media.

    One recent method that schools have been adopting to help protect their school pupils is to provide a communication channel to allow pupils to report any incidents of extremism that they themselves may be susceptible to. However a number of schools that have used a communication method have found that it has been most powerful allowing pupils to report and raise concerns for their friends or family members directly to their school. Proactive schools have found that tackling these new issues head on by engaging the wider community to educate have also proven to be an excellent starting point.

    This new safeguarding issue within schools is unfortunately one that is going to increase if schools do not put the relevant communication, reporting and action policies in place.

    Michael is the founder of Tootoot, the safeguarding application which allows pupils to report incidents such as extremism as well as bullying, racism etc. Find out more.

    Written by Michael Brennan on August 06, 2015 08:52


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