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Child Protection Statement

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

NOVA International School Skopje has a diverse community with a variety of cultures and beliefs. Having this in mind, we follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) definition of abuse and neglect. 

The WHO states:

“Child abuse and maltreatment constitute all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.” 

NOVA International School aims to provide an educational setting for all students that is safe, positive, and stimulating and promotes their academic, social, physical, and moral development.  

To help achieve this, our Child Protection procedures aim to:

  • Raise awareness of all staff for the need to safeguard children and their responsibility in identifying and reporting possible abuse.

  • Maintain structured procedures followed by all members of the school community in all cases of suspected abuse.

  • Develop good working relationships with external agencies responsible for the social welfare of children.

  • Ensure that all staff and volunteer members that have any form of contact with children have been checked for suitability.

  • Oblige all staff employed at NOVA International Schools to report suspected incidences of child abuse or neglect whenever the staff member has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse or neglect. Reporting and follow up of all suspected abuse will proceed in accordance to the steps outlined in this policy.

  • During school closure NOVA International Schools follows adapted guidelines that help keep students safe and protected during distance/virtual learning environments

Addendum to our current Child Protection Policy during time of school closure

As with all aspects of daily living during the COVID-19 crisis, changes in Child Safeguarding practices due to the different risk factors highlighted by new stressors in online and offline life during school closure , need to be implemented. Some specific risk factors identified that could possibly heighten risk for children are:

  • risk of lack of access to statutory child protection services

  • risk of child sexual abuse through the virtual learning environment that the school is made aware of

  • risk of online peer-on-peer abuse through the absence of normal face-to-face contact and heightened use of social media

  • risks related to youth-produced sexual imagery

  • risk of neglect of children where parents are too ill, anxious,  too burdened with work, or not in the country to be able to care for them

  • risk of children not having access to usual pastoral and welfare support within the school

  • risk of increased barriers to children reporting concerns to responsible adults

  • risk of staff members not having access to Child Protection Officers or not reporting concerns

  • risk of distress or anxiety related to the health or welfare of family members or friends

  • risk of anxiety, stress, or mental health posed by isolation, excessive screen time, worries around academic work, exams or qualifications, or simply by exposure to worsening news reports

  • risk posed by the inability of the public health system, private or charitable professionals to provide medical or psychological support for existing or developing health conditions

  • risk of abuse or stigmatization on the basis of infection, race, or nationality