b'another child at the school. Having this discussion will make it easier for a child to come to you with anything theyre worried about.When visiting a school, inquire about the steps taken to safeguard children in the same way you might ask about bullying or learning support. As always, much can be gleaned from the heads attitude when questions about child protection are asked. Is he or she ill at ease or happy to engage and proud of the steps their school has taken? Openness is what youre looking for. You could also ask about how a child or parent would go about reporting an incident. Schools make this possible in a variety of ways; what matters is that passing on concerns is a routine thing (children and parents do it about lots of things all the time), and is welcomed by the school. Doing this should be low-stakes, in other words the person registering the concern knows that they are not putting their relationships within the school at risk, let alone threatening someones place in the school. That may seem an odd thing to say, but if you fear to report, say, careless management of a museum trip because it could harm an otherwise much-loved teacher, you might choose to keep quiet. An environment that seems hostile to raising such concerns may mean you never pass on those troubling observations that may be the outward indication of serious problems. To be safe, schools need to hear the little voices, not just the shouting. And nally, do not think less of a school because a case of abuse has been brought to light there. Tabloid coverage can be the price the school has to pay for handling a case of abuse or bullying openly. It is inevitable that abuse will occur somewhere. What matters is how well the school deals with it, how well it performs in bringing the abuse to light and how open it is on the subject with current and future parents.77'