Are you planning to work with, or support the rights of children or vulnerable people of any age, e.g. in teaching, social work, the law or as a volunteer? How will you ensure their safety?

Learn from leading practitioners about the practice of safeguarding (protecting people from harm, or from harming others) and mufti-agency decision making in this interactive workshop. Scenarios, group exercises and discussions will give you valuable experience of the kinds of ethical decision making you will be faced with in any workplace which involves contact with the public in general, and children and vulnerable adults in particular.

The Workplace Ethics Challenge - Children & Young People is one of the Ethical Grand Challenge options for Year 3 to Final Year students.

Student feedback on the Workplace Ethics Challenge - Children & Young People

In 2018-19 the Workplace Ethics Challenge - Children & Young People workshops will take place on:

  • Semester 1: Wednesday 24 October 2018, 13:30-16:00, The Whitworth Hall
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 12 February 2019, 17:00-19:30, University Place


Key Facts About The Workplace Ethics Challenge-Children & Young People

What is the workshop about?

The workshop will explore ethical responsibilities in the workplace in relation to the practice of safeguarding (protecting people from harm and from harming others), and the challenges posed by social media, and the possible impacts of sexting on children and young people.

The workshop also explores issues such as:

* Privacy and confidentiality for young people, and related challenges for professionals in an age of online communication
* How adolescent independence is balanced against professionals’ responsibilities to keep young people safe
* The appropriateness of legal intervention in young people’s lives

 The workshop is an opportunity to explore ethical issues of relevance to anyone working with, or supporting the rights of, children, or vulnerable people of any age.

Who is the workshop for?

This workshop is for you if you are planning to work with children and young people, or vulnerable adults, in fields such as teaching, social work, policing and youth advocacy and the volunteering sector. 

The workshop has been developed in consultation with graduate recruiters from these sectors to provide you with knowledge and experience that will set you apart in interviews.

The controversial and contemporary topics covered, and insights into multi-agency decision making, will also be of interest to students keen to work in law, journalism and the media, and public relations.

The workshop is available to Year 3-Final year University of Manchester Students only.


"I would argue that taking part in a workshop on safeguarding is almost crucial for every student because, wherever you're working, you're probably going to have some involvement with vulnerable people, whether its a member of your own staff, or the people you are there to serve"

Sir Peter Fahey, Former Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police. 

What will I get out of it?

The workshop offers an opportunity to challenge yourself, learn about safeguarding, and explore your own ethical decision making, in a constructive learning environment, supported by real-world practitioners.

Taking part will also improve your employability by providing you with insights and experiences you can draw on in job applications and interviews.

You will also gain valuable experience of working, and making decisions, in multi-disciplinary groups.

Attendance at the workshop will be listed on your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report).

For students who began the First Year of their undergraduate studies in September 2016 or later, completing a WPE Challenge also counts towards the Stellify Award.

How can I sign up?

The workshop is completely free for Year 3 to Final Year students at the University of Manchester. The dates of Cross-Sector WPE Challenge workshops available in this academic year are provided above.  

Spaces are limited so, to register for this years’ workshop, sign up now take part.

If aren’t able to attend, see the EGC Workplace Ethics Homepage for details of other WPE Challenges available in this academic year.

Once you've registered, look out for a confirmation email from to let you that you have a place. The email will also provide further details and joining instructions.

If you’re a pre-Year 3-Final year student and would like to register your interest in taking part in in a WPE Challenge in your final year, please email

What do other students say about the workshop?

Students that have taken part in the WPE Challenge-Healthcare workshop tell us* found the content of the workshop interesting and stimulating (99%), are more aware of their ethical responsibilities in the workplace after taking part (94%), and that they enjoyed the workshop and valued the opportunity to work in groups with students from other courses (93%). 

Students also told us they thought the workshop provided skills and/or experiences useful to their future career (96%)


*Based on feedback from over 200 students.

“The fact that the workshop discussed topics that are relevant even though sensitive, it makes me think more deeply about my role as an individual in wider society.”

“Very engaging throughout, interesting, interacted with a range of new people, a lot of food for thought.”

“Interactive and explorative, accessible to people from all disciplines”.

“The scenarios were interesting and realistic and relevant.”

“Staff knowledgeable, informed and interested, highly interactive, resources were convincing and interesting.”

“I liked how many thought exercises there were and listening to the feedback from other groups, if there was something we hadn't discussed in our group, it was good to hear the point raised.”

“The chance to work with and listen to people from other disciplines provided a wider overview that I wouldn't have otherwise had.”

“The event allowed a safe place for challenging situations to be discussed.”

“Useful for my future PGCE prospects.”

“A chance to think about the challenges of working with children. A reminder of how big of a difference you can make.”

Who helped create the workshop?

The Sexting, Social Media and Safeguarding Workshop is one of a developing suite of 'Workplace Ethics Challenges' offered to final year undergraduate students as part of the University of Manchester's 'Ethical Grand Challenges' programme.

This workshop has been developed in partnership with leading academics and practitioners in the fields of Law, Teacher Education, Social Work and Volunteering, including:

Zahra Alijah: Lecturer in Education, School of Environment, Education & Development; Councillor for Fallowfield Ward.

Sir Peter Fahy Honorary Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Manchester; former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police; CEO of charity 'Retrack'.

Lindsay Gilbert: University of Manchester Volunteering & Community Engagement Manager; former Head of National Schools Outreach Programme for ChildLine; School Governor: Safeguarding for Medlock Primary, Manchester.

Martin Kelly: Professional Studies Course Leader, Admissions Tutor & Safeguarding Officer, Manchester Institute of Education.

Kirsty Keywood: Senior Lecturer, School of Law

Gary Norton: Lecturer in Social Work, Safeguarding & Socio-Legal Studies, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work

Sian Yeowell: Senior Learning & Assessment Developer (SDCE); former Head of 6th Form.

How can I find out more?

The resources listed below include links to sources of support, training and guidance which are related to the themes explored in this Workplace Ethics Challenge workshop.

The NSPCC Learning website provides a wealth of guidance, including 'Sexting: advice for professionals. Policies and procedures and what you need to do'. For guidance on safeguarding vulnerable adults, the Mencap website is a good place to start.

'Keeping Children Safe: The Role of Volunteers', is a free online module, developed by The University of Manchester Volunteering & Community Engagement Team, that will help you tounderstand and follow good practice guidelines when working with children and young people.

For a review of the literature on children's online activities, risks and safety see the 2017 report produced by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

The workshop explores the importance of information sharing between different agencies. The Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing websiteis a good place to find out more about mutli-agency safeguarding approached and challenges.

How can I take action?

If you’re interested in a career working with children and young people or supporting vulnerable adults, then volunteering is great way to gain valuable insights and experience in the sector, while also giving back to the wider community.

The Unviersity of Manchester Volunteering website  provides an overview of the types of volunteering opportunities through which you can work with, and support, children and young people, and also with adults, who might also be considered vulnerable.

You can also search the Volunteer Hub for current volunteering opportunities.

  • The best way to search for opportunities with children & young people is by selecting the ‘Education’ theme. 
  • If you’re interested in volunteering to support vulnerable adults, then search for opportunities with ‘vulnerable people’.

Many opportunities require DBS checks. However, one off opportunities that don’t require such checks are available.

If you can't find what you're looking for, you can also contact the University Volunteering & Community Engagement Team.