Safeguarding and Ethical Practice

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Tuesday 22 April 2025
Friday 27 June 2025
18 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

In this module, you will be reading a range of texts concerned with policy, ethics, and professional conduct in the workplace in relation to children. The texts will be accessed via your Moodle course.

It is important to give equal weight to ethical matters alongside practice-related and theoretical matters and to familiarise yourselves with your wider responsibilities towards the workplace, your discipline, and particularly towards the children and yourselves as professionals.

You will be exploring a range of policy, ethical, and conduct issues emerging from the readings in order to begin preparing for a professional career working with children. These issues will be placed within a professional context using examples made available to you in your readings and from your own experience. In particular, you will consider issues around Safeguarding, Positive Touch, Physical Restraint, Early Years Foundation Stage framework, Discrimination, Whistleblowing, British values and Prevent duty, and the role of the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (OFSTED).

In addition, you will also be considering how a psychodynamic perspective sheds light on the emotional processes involved in dealing with children in everyday contexts as well as those who may be in care, in crisis and under duress. You will be asking questions about why the processes and procedures that organisations and agencies set up in order to safeguard and protect children sometimes appear to fail. Are the policies and regulatory guidance and procedures we use guaranteed to ensure children and staff are kept safe, and organisations are effectively run? What are the processed involved when regulated areas of our work falter or spiral beyond control and what can the individual professional do to support more effective practice in these circumstances?

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To inform students about the policy frameworks place around work with children and to facilitate responsible practice.

  • To focus students attention on areas of professional conduct and ethical considerations.

  • To explore and debate professional practice and responsibility utilising a psychodynamic understanding of the issues and dynamics involved.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Be informed about the statutory and ethical frameworks which guide the education and care of children.

  2. Have learned to give equal weight to ethical matters alongside practice-related and theoretical matters.

  3. Be familiarised with their wider responsibilities towards their organisation, their discipline, the children, and themselves.

  4. Develop further understanding of and the application of codes of professional conduct; ethical responsibilities and socio-political norms and mores.

  5. Have learned to apply psychodynamic understanding to the wider context of work in early years and childcare settings.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The teaching is structured over 10 teaching events of 2 hours each, each session comprising of:

  1. One hour seminar, and
  2. One hour discussion group.

The seminars will introduce two topics each week with a discussion group to follow. Structured debates, workshops and a variety of in-class activities will take place where appropriate.

The module will be co-taught with PA126-4-SU.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

Prof Heather Montgomery
The Open University
Professor of Anthropology and Childhood
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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