Secondary Schools

Secondary School Safeguarding Education

Young people need knowledge, skills, a supportive space to think and reflect and “tools in their toolbox” to keep safe in today’s world. They are at the highest risk of becoming victims of domestic abuse and we want all young people to be able to spot the signs when relationships are becoming unhealthy.

Our multi-media production “Black eyes and Cottage Pie” tells the story of Jodie who is in an abusive teenage relationship and how, over time, this escalating abuse impacts on her life. The play highlights issues of controlling and coercive behaviours, sexuality, adult domestic abuse, consent, youth produced sexual imagery and sexting, pornography and concludes with a powerful message of positive friendship.

A short film after the performance portrays the young actors discussing issues of consent, sexting and controlling and coercive behaviours and how these issues impact on young people today.

The play forms part of a wider training and education resource for school staff to explore with young people the impact of domestic abuse and how young people can spot the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

The production is suitable for young people in year 7 and above

Watch video here:
Training to School Staff

Prior to the young people seeing the performance and the Essential Safeguarding Team undertaking any direct sessions with young people we offer whole school training to ensure all staff are able to support young people in the event of a disclosure.

Drop Down Days

Using the key themes within the performance we have developed a set of resources to help young people explore their views on healthy and unhealthy relationships and safely explore how they would respond to unwanted attention. We deliver the sessions to young people from year 7 upwards:

  1. What is Domestic Abuse?
  2. Consent Sexting and the Law
  3. Sexual Health
  4. Substance Misuse
  5. Positive Healthy Minds
Safe and Healthy Relationship Resource

Using The Women’s Aid Expect Respect* Resources accredited by the PSHE Association and the Next Steps for Learning model, Essential Safeguarding deliver training to teachers and pastoral support staff in secondary schools on Safe and Healthy Relationships. The resources explore themes of dealing with conflict and difference, spotting the signs of harmful relationships and understanding more about domestic abuse and the law.

The resource supports staff to evidence a child’s learning and identify young people who may need further support. It also supports schools with preparing for the Sex and Relationship part of the curriculum to be introduced in 2019.

The training is delivered in three half-day training days covering:

  1. Training on the resource
  2. Reviewing the use of the resource
  3. Embedding the resource into your school curriculum
Peer Mentoring Workshops

Peer Mentoring Workshops are an integral part of the work we do and we train young people so they feel confident and know how to respond to peers needing help and support about relationships.

*The Expect Respect Toolkit is a free resource available on line on