The first three weeks of lockdown in England: the challenges of detecting safeguarding issues amid nursery and primary school closures due to COVID-19

Tehmina Khan*, Eva Mikuska

*Corresponding author for this work

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With the outbreak of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, educators worldwide are facing a major challenge in how to adapt, become resilient, and to monitor/detect potential safeguarding issues amid nursery and school closures. Online communication between parents, children and early years practitioners/teachers rapidly became a new ‘norm’ during the first lockdown in the UK. This paper reports on quantitative and qualitative findings from 55 participants compromised of early years practitioners and primary school teachers working with 3 to 8 years old children in the South-East of England. Methods of data collection deployed online surveys and a qualitative focused questionnaire, to capture what measures nurseries and primary schools adopted to ensure children are safeguarded. We argue that pressure on early years practitioners and teachers to monitoring safeguarding children by using various online platforms is physically and emotionally challenging. This paper highlights the difficulties of detecting safeguarding issues amid school closures, which should be avoid during further future closures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100099
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Sciences and Humanities Open
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Safeguarding
  • Early years practitioner
  • Teacher
  • Lockdown

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