Unit 3 Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people 2. 3a Case Study Chris works as a teaching assistant in a local primary school. As a group of Year 5 children were getting changed for PE, Chris noticed bruising in lines across the back of a boy called Marc. He asked Marc how he had hurt himself but he said, “It’s nothing” and quickly put on his top. As Marc left the room he approached Chris and said, “Please don’t say anything to Mum, or Uncle Paul will be cross with me. * Why does Chris need to take action about this? Describe the action that Chris should take. As Chris works as a teaching assistant and he has seen the bruising on Marcs back, he has to acknowledge that Marc may be being physically abused and this is why he has to report it immediately. Physical abuse is a result of excessive discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate for the childs age. Unfortunately, some children may try to justify for the abusive behaviour or try to hide the physical abuse in fear that it may continue or get worse.
If Chris does not act upon what he has seen, it is more than likely that Marc will continue to suffer physical abuse, which if left unreported may have a serious effect on Marcs well-being or life. Therefore, it is Chris’s duty as a teaching assistant to follow the procedures regarding suspected abuse. Chris has to be very sensitive in this case and he has to take what Marc has said very seriously as children rarely lie about physical abuse and it probably took a lot of courage just for Marc to ask Chris not to tell his mum or uncle.
It is important for Chris to reassure Marc and tell him that he will have to tell someone who can help him. It is not Chris’s responsibility to draw conclusions, it is only his responsibility to report what he has seen an what he has been told. Chris has a statutory duty under the Education Act 2002, to report his concerns to his senior manager. He is then to write a report explaining exactly what he saw and exactly what was said to him.
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