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Issue:- 20 June 2013

Stephen Twigg visits Monksdown Primary School

SHADOW Secretary of State for Education Stephen Twigg MP, paid a visit to Monksdown Primary School in Liverpool on Friday 14 June, to see first-hand a workshop being delivered as part of the NSPCC's new ChildLine Schools Service.

The ChildLine Schools Service aims to ensure that children have an understanding of abuse in all its forms, including bullying, how to protect themselves, and how to access help and sources of help, including ChildLine.

Mr Twigg observed a ChildLine Schools Service workshop being delivered by volunteers to a total of 30 children in year 6 at the school in Norris Green, Merseyside.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Twigg said:- "I'm delighted to attend Monksdown Primary School to hear first-hand about the work of ChildLine in schools. Many children fail to recognise some of their experiences as abusive and where they can go for help, but all children have the right to be happy and safe, and this new service plays such an important role in educating young people in our local community, about how to protect and safeguard themselves against abuse."

The schools service is provided free of charge and focuses on primary school children, aged nine to 11 years old. It is led by volunteers who deliver assemblies at local schools followed by an interactive workshop a week later. The presentations and messages delivered at schools have been developed alongside children, parents, carers and teachers. They are sensitive, age appropriate and engaging.

Mrs Stephanie Gough, Headteacher at Monksdown Primary School said:- "We are delighted to welcome ChildLine and Mr Twigg into our school today. The ChildLine Schools Service is a valuable service that we are happy to have delivered in our school. Raising the profile of this work with children helps to build their confidence, resilience and to know what to do to protect themselves as well as others"

Since the service began, 6500 children in 83 schools have received the service across Merseyside, and by 2016 the charity aims to visit every primary school in the UK at least every two years.

Tom Clift, ChildLine Schools Service manager for the North West said:- "Research tells us that the majority of children who contact ChildLine for advice, information and support are over 11 years old. However we know that the majority of children who are subject to a child protection plan are under the age of 11. These children are not connected so much with the outside world. In fact, their world is quite small. So if abuse is happening to them at that age, then it's very difficult for children to speak up. That's why we want to educate children earlier and ensure they know how to keep themselves safe or seek help if they need it."

The service is currently being rolled out across the UK and now needs to recruit a national team of 4,000 volunteers to reach the 23,420 schools and over 1.8 million children in three years. The service in the North West is looking for volunteers from the Merseyside area to deliver the programme to all primary schools in the City.

If you are interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities with the ChildLine Schools service or if you are a primary school interested in hosting an assembly and workshop, please visit the NSPCC website or contact Helen O' Sullivan, ChildLine Schools Service area coordinator on:- 07971 673 805 or email:

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