CHILDREN may need more support and new child abuse reports could emerge now that young people are back with their teachers.

Children’s charity NSPCC believe that many abusive situations are reported thanks to teachers spotting the signs in children at school. However, with the Covid-19 outbreak bringing the UK into lockdown, there are fears that many abusive situations were going unnoticed. It is believed just five per cent of vulnerable children who were eligible for schooling during the height of lockdown attended.

Head of Safeguarding in Communities, and local campaigns manager for the north Helen Westerman said: “For some of them it wasn’t right for them to be in school, they might have underlying health conditions but for some of those children, home isn’t a safe place to be.”

She added that children who live in a chaotic home will have missed the safe environment of their classroom during lockdown. Helen praised the work of schools in adapting to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that schools did a lot of outreach work. Some schools even gave children cheap mobiles to keep in touch. It’s not the same as seeing children day to day.”

She added that abusive situations may have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic in a previously safe home, due to parents buckling under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is a cohort of children who weren’t particularly vulnerable whose parents might have lost their jobs.”

Contributing factors to new cases of abuse could be: “pressures of being locked up all day, you might have a mix of poverty and alcoholism.”

During the height of lockdown, some parents were home schooling their children whilst working from home in a high pressure job. The NSPCC saw an increase in callers to Childline and their helpline during lockdown. Helen said: "In April, May and June we heard from more than 22,000 adults about concerns for a child. We expect we have seen an increase everywhere." Lockdown rules have put an added pressure on young people: "We've spoken to a number of children who feel they were being vilified."