Protecting our children against the risk of CSE

CSE remains woefully under reported and many victims are unaware they are being exploited

CSE ImageChild Sexual Exploitation (CSE for short) is a type of child abuse which occurs when a young person is encouraged, or forced, to take part in sexual activity in exchange for a ‘reward’ which can either be emotional or a physical gift, such as money or alcohol. Whilst some children are considered more at risk, CSE can happen to any child from any race, community or background and the exploitation can happen both online and offline.

The last 10 years have seen CSE hit the headlines with the prosecution of gangs in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford but only last month, the NSPCC warned that the CSE still remains woefully under reported.

Whilst children can be targeted at any age, teenagers are notably most vulnerable, particularly between the ages of 13 and 15 when they are learning to become young adults. This can be an emotional time when they are easily influenced, want to fit in with a crowd or may crave attention or recognition. With offenders using manipulative tactics, many child victims are unaware they are being groomed or exploited. Groomers can give them access to alcohol and drugs and make them feel grown up, which makes them feel they are choosing those relationships, when in reality they are being exploited. The very nature of grooming makes it difficult to recognise as groomers often succeed in deceiving both the victim and those around them. Many adults are therefore not able to recognise the signs that a young person is being exploited.

In a recent report by the Independent, NSPCC’s policy manager, Lisa McCrindle highlighted the importance of relationship education in schools “so young people know what a good relationship looks like and what an unhealthy, abusive relationship looks like.” This follows research by CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) which affirms that nearly three quarters of secondary education teachers say school lessons are the most important way to teach children about sexual exploitation. Messages about healthy relationships and risky behaviour can be taught through Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). Topics that can be explored include: respect and responsibilities, understanding of dangerous and exploitative situations, exploring gender stereotypes and gender roles and assessing risk and its consequences. The video ‘Exploited’ which was released in 2012 is an excellent tool that helps teach young people about exploitative friendships. Produced by CEOP with support from a range of national partners including the NSPCC, Brook, the Sex Education Forum and Barnardo’s, the video follows the story of fictional teenager Whitney to explore how children and young people can be made vulnerable to sexual abuse, highlighting the grooming and manipulation techniques used by abusers.

For teachers, knowing how to recognise the signs of CSE plays an important part in its prevention. Young people who are being sexually exploited may be involved in gangs, hang around with older groups of people or have older boyfriends or girlfriends. They may regularly go missing or be away from school for long periods of time. By giving our teachers the skills to identify those most vulnerable and engage them in discussion about their experiences we are able to protect them from any further longer lasting damage. The NSPCC’s Protect and Respect Service, launched in 2011, is open to children and teenagers aged 10 to 19, and works with teachers, police officers, nurses and youth workers to identify and support youngsters who have been sexually exploited or are at risk of falling victim. The service has directly helped 1,866 children and young people so far, including 1,493 children between the ages of 10 and 15.

There’s also positive news from the Government, who are taking further steps to support the cause. Ministers have pledged an extra £40 million to help agencies do more to fight sexual abuse, trafficking and exploitation. The drive includes the launch of a new centre of expertise and plans to create a new national database of missing people.

CSE Girl ImageConcerned about CSE among students in your school?
E-safety Support can help.
Developed by Tim Pinto, e-safety consultant and member of the Educational Advisory Board for CEOP, our CSE training course explores the stages of CSE and how to recognise it. It is available for distribution exclusively to our Premium Plus members.

Not sure if your school has the right policies in place to deal with any risks associated with CSE?
Our CSE checklist is available for free when you sign up for a free E-safety Support membership - this also includes access to a selection of e-safety resources along with previews of all the online training courses.

Written by E-safety Support on June 15, 2017 08:42

No Tech 4 Breck Day

The Breck Foundation are proud to announce their new challenge - No Tech 4 Breck Day


Breck FoundationThe Breck Foundaton have launched this awareness fundraiser to help promote safe and moderate use of technology by young and old people alike.

In today’s world, so much of what we do online not only offers opportunities and helps us to be efficient and communicate more readily, but overuse can also cause loss of quality free time, relaxation, sound sleep and used without education and caution can become a danger.

In their efforts to raise awareness of the very real dangers our young people face online every day from online bullies and predators, the Breck Foundation hope to see family and friends together have a day off technology between 9th February (Safer Internet Day) and 17th March, which would have been Breck’s 17th birthday.

They are encouraging everyone to find ways to enjoy each other without the gadgets in our hands. Make plans the day before to meet up, go for a walk, cook a meal or bake a cake together or just play board games or playing cards. Spend time ‘being’ and just being together.

The Breck Foundation was formed to share awareness of the dangers of online predators who may bully, groom or sexually exploit our children online through lies, manipulation and control. The predator can say anything and be anyone behind a screen which can lead to a false sense of security. A predator will spend months or years befriending young people online until they are able to convince a child to do something they wouldn’t normally do.

This can happen to boy and girls, young and old, rich or poor, happy or sad, and anywhere in between. A predator will stop at nothing to get to the child they want. The Breck Foundation are striving to bring about awareness so that everyone from teachers, police, social workers, health professionals, parents and children are educated and empowered to make the right choices to stay safer online.



The Breck Foundation is raising awareness for playing safe whilst using the internet. Breck Bednar was a 14 year old boy, from Caterham, Surrey, who loved technology and on-line gaming. He was groomed via the internet and sadly murdered on February 17th 2014 by someone he met on-line. This foundation has been set up in his memory to help other young people to enjoy playing on-line but to be aware of some simple rules to stay safe. Remembering that the friends you make on-line are not like your real friends. “Play Virtual/Live Real”.​

If you would like to be involved in No Tech 4 Breck day, you can download a sponsor form here

Written by E-safety Support on March 14, 2016 14:04

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 July 14, 2015 13:37


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