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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 11:41 GMT
Child safety pilot to be expanded
The programme encourages children to judge risks
A pilot project aimed at helping children to protect themselves from abuse is to be rolled out across the Forth Valley.

"Feel, Think, Do" aims to encourage primary six and seven pupils to judge risks and act on gut feeling.

NHS Forth Valley, which piloted the programme last year, pointed to NSPCC research showing children did not get information on sexual abuse at school.

The initiative will now be available in 76 schools across the area.

The programme encourages children to talk about personal safety issues, through drama and group work.

A key part involves children picking five adults who they can go to if they need help.

NHS Forth Valley health promotion officer Pamela Vannan said encouraging children to communicate their emotions was key to the scheme.

She said: "Discussing how to recognise when they are scared can help children decide whether a situation is safe, or whether they should try to call a stop to it.

"It's essential they know where to seek help and that nothing is too awful or small they can't tell anyone."

'Protect themselves'

Ian Campbell, Head Teacher at St Margaret's Primary School in Polmont, added: "Around 60 pupils took part in Feel Think Do over the seven-week pilot period.

"The training package is new, tackles a sensitive subject head on, allows children to discuss real issues and possibilities and provides very real routes and means to protect themselves."

The initiative was devised by NHS Forth Valley, in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council and Open Secret.

In June 2006, 1,820 children responded to an NSPCC survey on the issue, with 93% saying sex education classes at school did not cover information about sexual abuse.

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