A teacher of 12 years who set up a business to ensure children and young people are safer across the UK is calling for more to be done to protect youngsters.
Teacher Tom Stead launched his safeguarding and child protection consultancy business X2Consult last year to help companies do more to protect young people.
He is now calling for more to be done to protect children and young adults from coming into harm in all settings.
He says that safeguarding has become a buzzword and is often used as a box ticking exercise, if at all.
He said: ‘Safeguarding goes beyond just a DBS check and is needed in a lot more places than people might think. It seems like safeguarding is becoming a bit of a tick-box exercise, meaning it isn’t always done properly and therefore putting children at risk. It’s about time that this changes.
‘Just doing the bare minimum is not good enough, particularly as there are more risks than ever. Youth clubs are dying out, meaning kids are either turning to the streets or social media. Either way, there are a plethora of potentially harmful situations that can come from both, whether it’s attempting a dangerous stunt they’ve seen on TikTok or getting involved with county lines. My job is to help companies to do more to protect children from coming into harm’s way both in and out of school.’
Tom is the designated safeguarding lead and the leader of the youth anti-terrorism team at his school and is trained in counterterrorism and leadership.
He uses his experience in this, as well as his 12 years’ experience as a teacher, to give companies and organisations the advice and resources to ensure that the safety of children and vulnerable groups is upheld at all times.
He is hoping that he can make a positive change and that his consulting will enable staff at these organisations to spot and prevent harm from happening to these people.
He is looking at working with hotels to help them spot red flags and enable them to prevent anything untoward from happening.
He said: ‘By just training employees at every level to spot the signs of something that could be going on, we could potentially save someone’s life. A young person could come and check into a hotel late at night and they might think nothing of it, but there could potentially be something going on that needs investigating. It’s simply being able to spot these signs and knowing what to do that is what makes a change.’
Tom is urging organisations of all types, whether it is events or to reconsider their safeguarding and child protection policies to ensure there aren’t any gaps that could lead to unsafe incidents taking place.