Children holding hands

British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We believe that child protection requires everyone to take responsibility and that every child matters. We recognise that the care, protection and welfare of children is paramount and that all children have the right to be protected from all types of harm.

The British Council recognises that it has a fundamental duty of care towards all children where its programmes and operations facilitate contact with children or have an impact on children. This includes a duty to protect children from harm or risk of harm as a result of misconduct by our staff or partners, of poor practice, or of the poor design or delivery of our programmes and operations.

We achieve this through compliance with UK child protection laws and the relevant laws in each of the countries where we operate, as well as by adherence to Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child  (UNCRC) 1989.

A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or in their home country.

The purpose of the policy is:

  • to help make sure that children who engage in British Council English for children activities are protected
  • to provide a common understanding of child protection issues and inform staff planning and practice
  • to provide step by step guidance to staff on what action to take if there is an allegation of or concern about actual or suspected situations of abuse.

This policy is mandatory for all British Council staff world wide. This includes anyone who works for the British Council, in either a paid or unpaid, full or part-time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, trustees, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and anyone working on behalf of the British Council.

 The British Council is committed to:

  • Valuing, respecting and listening to children.
  • Ensuring all necessary checks are made when recruiting staff
  • Maintaining strong child protection systems and procedures for staff
  • Training its staff and providing a common understanding of child protection issues to inform planning and practice
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children and parents/carers
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
  • Providing effective management for staff through clear processes, supervision, and support.

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.


Tips for children

The British Council takes the care and wellbeing of children very seriously.  

We believe that every child should be looked after properly and kept safe. While children can play an important part in looking after themselves, it is an adults’ responsibility to make sure children are safe. 

If you feel that you have not been treated properly or are unhappy, upset or concerned about anything, please let us know.  This can be if you are unhappy because of the way that an adult or another child has behaved.  Or perhaps someone has said something to you on the internet or you have seen something that makes you uncomfortable. You can also let us know if you think another child may be in trouble or you are worried about them. 

We know that it can be difficult to speak out and tell someone what is happening, but we can’t help if we don’t know! 

If you tell us something, we will try to work out with you the best way to solve the problem.  Normally we will keep things private, and not tell anyone else, but sometimes it may be necessary for us to speak to someone so that we can find the best way to help. If we do need to speak with someone else, we will always let you know first. 

The best person to speak to might be a worker that you know well, such as your teacher. 

If you prefer you can reach out to the Child Protection Focal Point team based in the office in Nigeria; they are there especially to make sure that children are protected.  You might find it easier to talk with them as sometimes it is easier to speak to someone about something private when you don’t know them.  You won’t be in any trouble for speaking out.   

You can contact to the British Council’s Child Protection Focal Point via email:

Safe Internet Tips for Parents.

Dear Parent,

The digital world is moving fast and constantly changing, and for children today, is not a thing, but is a place to go and socialise, and it provides an excellent source of knowledge, opportunity and enjoyment. However, there are risks involved, for which children need support and guidance from adults. It is essential that they understand how to be a good digital citizen in order to keep themselves and others safe from harm and/or abuse.

For many parents, there is a gap between what their children know and what they know about the digital world. These tips are designed to highlight some of the areas of risk for your child.

Did you know…?

 Risks are not limited to social media. Children use devices, apps and games which allow them to connect with a growing list of contacts. Some of these apps/devices/tools (including: Bluetooth and Airdrop) download information, allow remote access, and enable contact with other people without having to be connected to the internet. Be aware of what your child is doing, ensure you understand how their devices work, and consider using parental controls on devices reduce risks.

 Friends are not always what they seem. People like to be popular, and many children ‘collect’ friends on social media/ apps. Some tips are: look at the number of ‘friends’ they have – is it realistic? Look at friends’ connections and be wary of people only connected with your child, or those with only one or two connections. Are their friends of a similar age? Have any friends posted upsetting content?  

 Inactive profiles can be misleading. You may think because your child’s social media profile has very little activity, that they are not posting anything. However, it is possible for posts to be hidden to certain people, so you may not be seeing everything that is happening.

 Location apps can be dangerous. Many parents want to use location apps so they can locate their child at any time. However, if you can find your child, it is likely that others can too. Some apps share locations even when not being used, so ensure location settings are only used when it is necessary and safe to do so; and teach your child how not to identify their location to others.

A digital footprint lasts forever. Talk to your child about what they post online about themselves, and make sure that they understand that anything posted online is permanent. Some employers and universities search for an individual digital footprint when making decisions. Make sure that both you and your child are aware that what they post now may have an impact later. Remember, information you post about your child also creates their digital footprint.

It’s not all bad news! There are significant opportunities in the digital world, so start the conversation early to help your child learn how to be safe online.

Download safe internet tips for parents below.


Additional resources and advice can be found here: