University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection receives BERA Award

Eight profile photos of members of the Centre for Child Protection

The University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection has been announced as a joint winner of the 2021 British Educational Research Association’s (BERA) Public Engagement and Impact Award.  This award recognises and celebrates the extensive community engagement and positive impact of the Centre’s research for the wider education community. 

The University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection was co-founded by Professors Reeves and Shemmings, who have, working in partnership with a range of organisations, written 10 innovative child protection gaming simulations. The impressive work of the Centre spans over a decade and is underpinned by strong partnerships 

CCP has written 10 innovative child protection gaming simulations in partnership with a range of organisations over the space of a decade, designed to be directly used with young people. Up until 2020, over 6,000 professionals gained knowledge about preventing young people from being radicalised, benefitting thousands of children and over 14,000 social workers improved their courtroom skills with the help of CCP’s simulations, enabling them to represent abused children more effectively.

Kent’s CCP was announced as joint winner of the Award alongside the University of Oxford’s Teacher Education and Professional Learning Group – The Reform of Initial Teacher Education in Wales.

Dr Tracee Green, Director of CCP, is currently working on initiating a PhD programme and working towards CCP’s next simulation (focused on multi-agency working in child protection). She said: ‘It is a fantastic achievement for CCP to be recognised with this award. Over the years CCP has played a continuous leading role in child protection and has made a huge impact to the child protection sector through its outreach, training and simulation resources. The entire team of the Centre is immensely proud. We look forward to working with our partners to drive further impact in the future.’

A line of cartoon children and adults in sports clothes holding tennis rackets
Lawn Tennis Association simulation

One of CCP’s upcoming projects include developing a ‘Safeguarding Simulation’ for the Lawn Tennis Association; the national governing body of tennis in Britain. This innovative training is the first of its kind within sport and will provide important data on how tennis venues can protect children involved in the sport and will be used to train their Club Welfare Officers and County Safeguarding Officers across Britain. This project forms part of the LTA’s work to continue to be at the forefront of safeguarding in sport and will be in partnership with Professor Jane Reeves who co-founded CCP alongside Professor David Shemmings.

Professor Reeves is also working with CCP on a collaboration with UNICEF via the End Violence Against Children Campaign, which provides the opportunity to gather information on how best to help safeguard children online. The project, in partnership with two international organisations, A21 and ECPAT, has designed two interactive simulations which will be rolled out as pilot preventative education programmes later this year in Thailand and Cambodia – where much online sexual abuse material of children originates.

A cartoon of a girl standing outside a closed shop in the dark with game icons at the top of the image.
Simulation being developed in collaboration with UNICEF

In times of change, the University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection plays a continuous leading role in child protection and the entire team of the Centre is immensely proud to have received the BERA award in recognition of this.  

Members of the Centre for Child Protection include: 

  • Dr Tracee Green 
  • Emeritus Professor Jane Reeves 
  • Emeritus Professor David Shemmings 
  • Vanisha Jassal 
  • Emma Soutar 
  • Dr Aravinda Kosoraju 
  • Isobel Drew 
  • Dr Alice Loving  

Special thanks goes to Dr Ann Kinzer from the Research Excellence Team who supported the application for the BERA award.

To find out more about the Centre for Child Protection’s work, watch this video in which Jane Reeves discusses the development of CCP’s ground-breaking simulation training. If you are interested in consulting or collaborating with the Centre on a project, get in touch with our business and innovation gateway team.


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