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Child Sexual Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) continues to have a high profile in the media, particularly with the recent publication of the Independent Enquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham. The report estimates that there were approximately 1400 children who were sexually exploited in Rotherham over a period of 16 years. The report clearly highlights the impact of CSE on the victims:

‘The impact of sexual exploitation on the lives of young victims has been absolutely devastating, not just when they were being abused, but for many years afterwards.’

We know from national data, that whilst most young people who are being sexually exploited are aged between 13 and 15, some are considerably younger than this. Barnardo’s has, with justification, asserted that CSE is the biggest child protection issue for the over 10s in this country.

LSCB procedures for CSE (link opens in new tab or page) can be found on the LSCB website.

CSE Social Media Library: One of the biggest threats facing policing today when tackling CSE is the large scale of cyber enabled abuse where victims have been groomed and abused through the use of social media applications (apps).  There are currently thousands of apps being used with developers creating new ones every day.  As a result, West Midlands Police have created an excel spread sheet to record any apps that have been linked to the commissioning of CSE.

There are currently 80 different apps in the library, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.  It is not a list of all social media apps, but merely a list of all apps that have been identified as being linked to the commissioning of CSE at a point in time. This library should be treated as a living document and will be updated when new apps are identified.

Key messages from research on child sexual exploitation: Professionals in school settings (June 2017): This briefing paper is for all professionals working in schools. It brings together key messages from research on child sexual exploitation (CSE) with implications for practice and the allocation of school budgets. It should be read in conjunction with the DfE guidance for professionals (Feb 2017) 

The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) have produced a series of leaflets for professionals, parents and carers, and young people. You can find the leaflets under the ‘Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation’ on the BILD website.


We are delighted to share with you the recently updated Healthy and Safe Relationships  unit of learning. This resource was commissioned locally and is written specifically for use in Solihull schools and settings. It is aimed predominately at Key Stage 4 students and builds upon learning about healthy relationships and keeping safe in Key Stage 3.  Much of the resource is appropriate for pupils in key stage 3, particularly where young people have been identified as being at risk of CSE. The learning opportunities covered by this unit are wide-ranging, including: promoting positive sexual health; understanding the features of equal, respectful and consensual relationships; tackling abusive relationships; managing risk and keeping safe; and safeguarding against grooming and child sexual exploitation (CSE). An Adapted 1 to 1 Healthy and Safe Relationships version is also available to support one-to-one or group work with those who have been identified as being at risk from CSE.

Following on from the success of the Healthy and Safe Relationships written for secondary age pupils, a unit of learning has now been produced for primary age children entitled Happy and Safe Relationships . This resource is aimed at pupils in lower key stage 2 but could also be adapted for other ages. We know that schools play a vital role in supporting children and young people to develop the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed to establish and maintain a range of positive relationships. This unit of learning will support teachers delivering PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Education in addressing the often sensitive areas of relationships and personal safety both on and off-line.

Online child exploitation and abuse resources: NCA-CEOP have launched a website to support professionals across the children’s workforce to deliver education and raise awareness of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The website includes: a searchable resource library: guidance area: and information about training opportunities.

Bwise2 Sexual Exploitation is a preventative education pack developed by Barnardos for use with 12 to 17-year-olds in pupil referral units, residential units and schools.

Exploited (link opens in new tab or page) is the latest education resource from CEOP’s Thinkuknow programme. Based around an 18-minute film, Exploited helps young people learn to stay safe from sexual exploitation by recognising the signs. It educates young people to identify features of an exploitative friendship or relationship in contrast with the development of a healthy relationship, and gives them clear information about how to report abuse and access support.

‘Wud U’ (link opens in new tab or page) is a free app developed by Barnados and Microsoft aimed at teaching young people about the dangers of child exploitation.

Real Love Rocks (link opens in new tab or page) is a programme developed by Barnardo’s Safer Futures West Child Sexual Exploitation Service to promote healthy, consensual, safe, relationships amongst children and young people. It seeks to raise awareness of grooming, child sexual exploitation and online safety. It has two editions to allow age appropriate learning for children and young people in both primary and secondary school. Whilst the primary edition focuses on the importance of feeling free, happy and safe in future relationships, the secondary edition also allows for discussion and activities around the importance of consent, and the impact of sexting and watching porn.

Barnardo’s ‘Real Love Rocks’ resources hub now contains resources for both primary and secondary schools exploring gender identity and sexuality. Links are made between the particular potential vulnerabilities of LGBT young people and CSE.

Barnardos have also produced a useful film entitled CSE and Me accesible via ‘The Hub’, an online membership space for professionals working with children and young people about Healthy Relationships, Keeping Safe and Child Sexual Exploitation.

Alright Charlie is a resource designed for use with children aged 9-11 in primary schools and aims to highlight the warning signs of grooming in an age appropriate way. It has been developed by the BLAST Project.

Parents Against Sexual Exploitation (PACE) (link opens in new tab or page) have produced an online interactive package for parents on the signs of child sexual exploitation. This free tool is designed to equip parents with the information and knowledge to safeguard children from this abuse. Although the course is aimed at parents, safeguarding professionals will also find this e-learning training course a valuable source of introductory information on what child sexual exploitation is, the impacts of this abuse on families and how to take action in reporting or stopping sexual exploitation.

Loudmouth Theatre in Education Company have developed ‘Working for Marcus’, a powerful theatre in education programme on child sexual exploitation (CSE) including online sexual exploitation and abuse by individuals, organised groups or gangs. The programme includes workshops and lesson plans to provide a strong educational base that is informed by the research based drama.

The Friend-or-Foe education resource was developed by Sheffield Futures to help schools and other settings explore positive and negative relationships, peer pressure and sexual exploitation.

The University of Bedfordshire have produced a series of short films to inform professionals about CSE.

This YouTube clip, featuring Lucy Fallon (Coronation Street),  gives advice on how to spot the signs of grooming and how to get support if you’re worried that you or a friend are being groomed.