What is safeguarding?
The UK Government’s definition:
“The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully”.
“Safeguarding Children is a multi-stranded identifying concept that reaches beyond basic child protection to incorporate the additional aims of preventing the impairment of children’s health and development, ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, as well as protecting children from maltreatment……” Read More
What does ICNIRP say?
The UK government relies on such agencies as ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) for advice. Under the Commission’s section entitled “People being protected” ICNIRP pays recognition to the fact that some groups in the population may be more vulnerable, or more affected, than others: We quote.
People being protected
Different groups in a population may have differences in their ability to tolerate a particular NIR exposure. For example, children, the elderly, and some chronically ill people might have a lower tolerance for one or more forms of NIR exposure than the rest of the population. Under such circumstances, it may be useful or necessary to develop separate guideline levels for different groups within the general population, but it may be more effective to adjust the guidelines for the general population to include such groups.
Some guidelines may still not provide adequate protection for certain sensitive individuals nor for normal individuals exposed concomitantly to other agents, which may exacerbate the effect of the NIR exposure, an example being individuals with photosensitivity. Where such situations have been identified, appropriate specific advice should be developed-within the context of scientific knowledge.
In some circumstances, it may be advisable to distinguish between members of the general public and individuals exposed because of or while performing their work tasks (occupational exposure). In its exposure guidelines, ICNIRP distinguishes occupational and public exposures in general terms. When applying the guidelines to specific situations, it is ICNIRP’s opinion that the relevant authorities in each country should decide on whether occupational or general public guideline levels are to be applied, according to existing (national) rules or policies. Environmental conditions may also influence the effect of whole-body exposure to optical or RF radiation.
More on ICNIRP:
Other safeguarding issues:
You will see from the leaflet below that the UK Chief Medical Officers recommended that children under the age of 16 should use mobile phones for essential calls only:
Mobile Phones in Schools:
Please note at that The Conservative Party Conference 2023, Gillian Keegan, as Secretary of State for Education, announced a ban on the use of mobile phones in the classroom. For some time this has been a safeguarding issue.
Many schools still seem unaware of the advice given in the above government leaflet (in the above link) but nevertheless now welcome the possibility of having the remit to enforce a ban as and where they see fit, to restore order in the classroom so that effective teaching can indeed occur. Gillian Keegan stated:
“Today, one of the biggest issues facing children and teacher is grappling with is the impact of smartphones in our schools.
The distraction, the disruption, the bullying.
We know that teachers are struggling with their impact and need support.
So today we’re recognising the amazing work that many schools have already done in banning mobile phones, and we’re announcing that we will change guidance so that all schools follow their lead.
Because the focus should be on children learning. In. The. Classroom.”
Parents who wish to explore the wider pedagogical issues may be interested in referring to our page devoted to this..
and in particular to these links: