Latest News and Info

Safeguarding policy review

Newsletters and Bulletins

Our newsletters and bulletins provide important and relevant safeguarding updates. This includes sharing updated government guidance, changes in safeguarding legislation, multiple training opportunities, and information about the support provisions available to you and the staff within your educational setting.

If you’d like to receive our bi-weekly News Bulletins direct to your inbox, you can sign up here.

26th August 2022

2nd September 2022 – Keeping Children Safe in Education Updates 1st September 2022

Recruitment for schools: a practical legal update

Recruitment can be a minefield in any sector but for schools, operating within a robust legislative framework and with safeguarding an overarching obligation, the risks of getting it wrong can be significant.

We will be joining Schofield Sweeney Solicitors for their next schools and academies webinar.

We will be covering the following:

How the changes in DBS filtering rules effects safer recruitment in education to include:

self-disclosure declarations
the main wording changes for the application form
your responsibilities in signposting potential employees to filtering guidance
juvenile automatic filtering
retaining copies of DBS certificates

Best practice for the single central record to include:

mandatory & best practice recording
EEA sanctions (from 1/1/2021)
what training is available for managing SCR
References and requesting/providing details with regards final warnings and reprimands, and disclosing sickness absence

Health questionnaires

The recruitment process: must we advertise all posts externally?

Top tips for avoiding discrimination

Our webinar is perfect for HR leads, departmental heads and those who manage staff in schools and academies.

Click HERE to reserve your place.

This event is not open to freelance HR professionals or recruitment agencies.

We are a Digital Enterprise TOP 100 business!

I was thrilled to receive the news this week, that Safeguarding Support Ltd has been named as one of the Top 100 Innovative, Digitally Transformational and Resilient Companies, and recognised as one of Leeds City Region’s most innovative, digitally transformational and resilient businesses. 

Over the last 12 months, there have been many challenges, and digital technology has been crucial in helping many SMEs to continue operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have risen to this challenge, we have invested in new technologies and we have adapted to ensure we were able to continue to offer a high-quality, consistent service provision. The response to these changes has been positive and we have seen a big change in attitudes towards digitalisation.

The Digital Enterprise said the latest campaign has proven to be highly competitive and I couldn’t agree more that this truly is a testament to our success.

We are blessed with an amazing, hard-working and supportive team and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our clients, referrers, suppliers and friends for your continued support. 

Yvonne

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020)

Hi, as we speedily approach the new academic year, understandably many of us are still feeling a little uneasy. Guidance around the reopening of schools remains ‘a bit up in the air’ and how things are going to look and work, we are still not entirely sure. These are strange times indeed but as always you will endeavour to do the best for the children in your care.

In July, I delivered a free webinar summarising the updated KCSiE 2020 (draft) guidance. I thought it may be useful for me to send out a briefing of the changes for all those who were unable to join in with the session, to help support with the implementation of safeguarding arrangements from September. The final version of the guidance is due to be published 1st September 2020. Once it has been released we will be sending it out via our social media platforms; twitter, facebook and linkedIn, as well as being available on our website.
My aim of this information bulletin is to summarise the main changes and allow you to focus on the areas that may relate to your setting. To support you further you can find a ‘Summary of Changes and suggested Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy checklist and a PDF of the webinar slides HERE

Following the cancellation of the formal consultation in March 2020, the DfE have updated this minimised guidance which looks to focus on changes in the three areas below:

  1. Where legislation requires it e.g. reflecting mandatory legislation RE, RSE & HE
  2. To add helpful information e.g. around mental health, domestic abuse, CCE & CCE
  3. To provide important clarification

However, I would still highly recommend reading to consultation document as this may give you an indicator of some future updates.

Religious Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education
The changes to the new curriculum with regards RE, RSE and HE means it becomes compulsory from September 2020, to help children understand abusive and toxic relationships, talking about the red flags that may appear. Additions of information were also made, to support schools in protecting their pupils in areas such as mental health, domestic abuse and child criminal and sexual exploitation. This new information highlights the schools’ responsibilities to help children talk about these issues, as well as signs that indicate to education staff where action may be needed, if it is – or could become – a safeguarding issue. Schools should start teaching from that date if they meet statutory requirements. However, if schools are not ready, or are unable to meet requirements, they should begin teaching by at least the start of summer term.
 
Definition of Safeguarding
The definition of safeguarding has changed and now includes: ‘preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development’.
 
The Voyeurism (Offences) Act
Came into force 12th April 2019 and references ‘Upskirting’ in the definition. Changes to the 2019 guidance has made it clear, staff should be made fully aware of The Voyeurism (Offences) Act and ‘Upskirting’ is now viewed as a criminal offence and must be dealt with accordingly by schools.

Children who have Social Workers
Recognises the vulnerability of these children and provides links to What Works in Education for Children who have Social Workers. In addition, it refers to the Children in Need review, which clearly identified the poor outcomes of children who need a social worker. This guidance has expanded the responsibilities of the DSL role to:

  • Help promote educational outcomes and share information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues children are experiencing, or have experienced, with teachers and SLT
  • Ensure that the school and their staff
    • know who these children are
    • understand their academic progress and attainment
    • maintain a culture of high aspirations
    • support teaching staff to identify the challenges they might face
    • the additional academic support and adjustments that they could make to best support these children
  • Propose increasing their training and involvement around supporting this group of children.

DSL Role and Responsibilities
Have been expanded to include:

  • Should work closely with senior mental health leads
  • Attend training to ensure they have a good understanding of their own role, processes, procedures, and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly Children’s Social Care
  • Promote educational outcomes with increased level of engagement & co-ordination for children with social workers, as above
  • Understand mental health correlation with safeguarding concerns
  • Clarity around child protection files rules and they apply to in-year transfers
  • LA should share that a child has a social worker with the DSL
  • Additional training should be considered to allow for delegation of work to other (non-safeguarding) responsibilities
  • Unfortunately, Effective Safeguarding Supervision of DSL’s has been dropped from the guidance. However, it is still a requirement under the Inspecting Framework and in Working Together to Safeguard Children

Mental Health
Whole new section on mental health, ACE and schools responsibilities on establishing reporting and monitoring systems, both within school and with external agencies and that all staff should be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect of exploitation and its correlation with safeguarding. Stresses the role that schools play in detecting possible problems and supporting good mental wellbeing.
 
Provides links to advice and guidance such as Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools which sets out the best practice in this area and Public Health England’s guidance on Promoting Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing. Confirms DfE is providing funding to support the costs of a significant training programme for senior mental health leads (available to all state schools by 2025), as well as the national rollout of the Mental Health Services and Schools and College Link Programme.

Managing Allegations of Abuse made against Teachers, Other Staff, including Supply Teachers and Volunteers

  • Updated to state allegations now change to ‘safeguarding concerns & allegations’
  • Change in allegation criteria: allegations made against staff who have ‘behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children’
  • Responsibility for schools to appropriately manage allegations around supply teachers and should ‘take the lead’ on investigations
  • Stresses in no circumstances should a school decide to cease to use a supply teacher due to safeguarding concerns, without finding out the facts, liaising with LADO to determine a suitable outcome
  • School’s disciplinary policies and procedures around managing allegations should be provided to supply agencies and school should work with the agencies

When to Call the Police
Provides a link to the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) a useful guidance which details what actions should be taken by schools for:

  • Assault
  • Criminal Damage
  • Cyber Crime
  • Drugs
  • Harassment
  • Sexual Offences
  • Theft
  • Weapons

Private Fostering
Updated clarity around the definition of private fostering and the duty to report to the local authority.
 
Possible Training Requirements to Consider

  • Whole School Safeguarding & Child Protection
  • Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation Training (CSE & CCE)
  • Children with Social Workers
  • DSL New to Role, DSL 2 Yearly Update
  • Mental Health Champion/Leads
  • Behaviour Changes/Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
  • Information sharing Inc. Child Protection Files
  • Effective Safeguarding Supervision

I do hope that this summary has helped you to focus on what safeguarding arrangement changes may be required for the new academic year and that the Summary of Changes Action Checklist and KCSiE Update Handout are useful tools!. 

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any support or help you with your safeguarding training requirements for either onsite or virtual delivery.  Or call Lesley on 01274 752299 for a no obligation chat.

Click HERE for our upcoming training sessions and dates and remember all our courses are available for private delivery.

Yvonne.

WHAT IS SAFER RECRUITMENT IN EDUCATION?

When working with children and in educational settings, the safety and welfare of the children and young people you care for it is of utmost importance. 

Effective safeguarding for educational provision starts with the employment of the very best person for the post. When hiring new staff or volunteers, safer recruitment panels should understand that recruitment is not just about vetting them against the DBS check before they start in school but also includes effective induction and a strong and clear staff code of conduct. Schools should be confident that whomever they hire is entirely trustworthy and does not present a threat to any child or young person. 

While most people applying to work in school (paid or voluntary) are safe and trustworthy, we know that some individuals target organisations which allows them access to children. Safer recruitment in education involves having a set of robust procedures and practices for hiring within your setting. These set of arrangements ensure that you are recruiting new staff and volunteers in the safest way possible and will reduce the chances of hiring somebody who is possibly unsuitable to work with children or young people.

With these procedures in place, you will be supported to deter, identify and reject candidates who may pose a risk to the children and young people in your care.  

SAFER RECRUITMENT GUIDANCE

There are various pieces of legislation and government guidance that detail how and why safer recruitment should and must take place.

The statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) and The Governance Handbook sets out the duties and responsibilities of governing bodies to comply with safer recruitment rules. It states that schools or colleges ‘should have written recruitment and selection policies and procedures in place’ to ‘prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children.’ These effective systems should include procedures to check out agency staff, volunteers and coaches.

In addition, the Competency Framework for Governors outlines the essential knowledge for all members of an educational board, including  ‘how staff are recruited and how this compares to good recruitment…practice.’ To gain this essential knowledge, staff involved in recruiting must be formally trained in safe recruitment. 

The Staff Advice Handbook highlights the importance that all schools are familiar with the KCSiE guidance when recruiting. One of the requirements in for KCSiE is that ‘governing bodies of maintained schools [must] ensure that at least one of the persons who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training. In academy schools, the trust must reassure itself that all appropriate suitability checks have been undertaken.

Based on this guidance, no matter what your organisation, whether you are a school, college or independent organisation which provides educational services or works with children and young people, it is good practice that everyone involved in the recruiting process to  be trained in safer recruitment. Your organisation should also have its own set of recruitment and selection procedures which are in-keeping with legislation and regularly reviewed and updated. As well as reassuring themselves that mechanisms are in place to check that any person employed to teach has the required teaching qualifications and has successfully completed any statutory induction required, including online safety.

This will allow you to make sure everyone involved with your organisation knows how to create a safe environment for the children or young people you work with.

In short, serious case review findings and recommendations continue to highlight the importance of effective safer recruitment. They make it is clear that the consequences of inadequately trained practitioners, ineffective safeguarding arrangements and polices can be devastating for all those involved.

HOW TO RECRUIT SAFELY: THE IMPORTANCE OF SAFER RECRUITMENT TRAINING

Safer recruitment training courses ensure that the staff involved in recruiting within your organisation can construct and conduct recruitment processes in the safest way possible. As a result of safer recruitment training, they will:

  • Be aware of, and up to date on, the necessary knowledge, legislation and guidelines for safe recruitment
  • Know how to carry out the appropriate checks on potential candidates and determine when it is appropriate to do further checks
  • Be able to develop clear messages and procedures to communicate to other staff and applicants
  • Be able to identify and eliminate unsuitable candidates, and know what to do if they suspect that somebody might pose a threat to any child
  • Know how to improve their own procedures to recruit more effectively and more safely

At Safeguarding Support Ltd we provide training, either face to face or virtual, which is  developed in accordance with the latest safer recruitment legislation and best practice. We are able to offer both full-day, nationally accredited and half-day, non-accredited sessions.  Following our training sessions your recruitment panel will be self-assured in their selection of their new team members, confident in the knowledge they are complying with keeping children safe in education legislation and ultimately, demonstrating that the welfare of the children you care for is of paramount importance to your setting.

More information on our safer recruitment sessions and other safeguarding training can be found by Clicking Here.

References / further information:

 

safeguarding support

Safeguarding Updates: Safer Working Practice (Education) Addendum

Well school may be out but the confusion on when and if we reopen still persues…. Therefore, we thought we would do a series of short information bulletins covering various safeguarding topics. It may be useful to bookmark these so that you can easily jump back to them when you are thinking about getting prepared for the review of your safeguarding arrangements, settings policies and procedures for the new academic year.

This first bulletin is around the addendum to the Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with children and young people in education settings which was published during lockdown (April 2020). Therefore, this could have meant that some of you may have just missed it, due to competing demands you were juggling with at the time.

The above link will take you to the addendum of the non-statutory (2019) guidance. It seeks to reiterate the underpinning principles of the original document and to ensure that the responsibilities of senior leaders of educational settings towards children and their staff are discharged by raising awareness of illegal, unsafe, unprofessional and unwise behaviour. As this is a non-statutory guidance, it is up to senior leaders, management committees and governors to decide whether to use it as the basis for their code of conduct/staff behaviour guidelines.

To keep things as short and focused as possible. I have bullet pointed the amended sections and main changes below:

3. Responsibilities
States governing bodies should:

  • Update/amend the settings Safeguarding and Child Protection and other related policies in accordance with the DfE guidance of safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Where there is no ‘trained’ DSL on site, a senior member of staff is identified to lead on safeguarding issues
  • Ensure staff understand how to raise a concern and contact designated staff of safeguarding partners if they have a concern about a child, particularly if the normal arrangements have been amended

5. Power and position of trust and authority
Staff should:

  • Always maintain appropriate professional boundaries
  • Avoid behaviour which could be misinterpreted by others and report any such incident to a senior manager

This is as relevant in the online world as it is in the classroom; staff engaging with pupils and/or parents online have a responsibility to model safe practice at all times –  also relates to section 24a: Use of technology for online/virtual teaching

8. Dress and appearance
Staff should:

  • Ensure they are dressed decently, safely and appropriately for the tasks they undertake this also applies to online or virtual teaching or when working with small groups on site. Those who dress or appear in a manner which could be viewed as offensive or inappropriate will render themselves vulnerable to criticism or allegation.
  • In online engagement, wear similar to the clothing they would wear on a normal school day

12. Communications with children (including the use of technology) – also relates to section 24a: Use of technology for online/virtual teaching

15. Intimate/personal care

  • Any changes to the care plan should be made in writing and without delay, even if the change in arrangements is temporary, e.g. staff shortages, changes to staff rotas during the pandemic
  • Intimate and personal care should not be carried out by an adult that the child does not know
  • Anyone undertaking intimate/personal care is in regulated activity and must have been checked against the relevant DBS barred list, even if the activity only happens once; this includes volunteers
  • Volunteers and visiting staff from other schools should not undertake care procedures without appropriate training

Schools should:

  • Update care plans in writing where appropriate e.g. because there are changes to staff rotas
  • Ensure intimate/personal care is provided by staff known to the child
  • Ensure only individuals that have been checked against the relevant DBS barred list are permitted to engage in intimate or personal care
  • Ensure temporary or visiting staff have been trained in intimate and personal care procedures
  • Not allow any adult to assist with intimate or personal care without confirmation from senior leaders

19. One to one situations

  • DfE suggests that if there is only one vulnerable child or child of a critical worker, the school should consider closing and liaise with the local authority to identify alternative provision e.g. a hub school
  • If the school must remain open with only one or two children, there should be more than one member of staff to meet fire safety, first aid, supervision and other emergency procedures.

Schools should:

  • Keep pupil numbers under constant review
  • Ensure risk assessments and emergency procedures are review in the event of lone working/very small numbers on site
  • Liaise with the LA on suitable alternative provision if the school needs to close due to very low pupil numbers

Ensure staff:

  • Work one to one with a child only where absolutely necessary and with the knowledge and consent of senior leaders and parents/carers are aware of relevant risk assessments, policies and procedures
  •  Always report any situation where a pupil becomes distressed, anxious or angry

20. Home visits

Some settings may ask staff to undertake welfare visits. Settings should:

  • Take into account the advice of their LA early years service and/or safeguarding partners when deciding whether these home visits are proportionate and desirable
  • Ensure staff normally undertake home visits with a colleague
  • Always try to give parents/carers advance warning unless there is a good reason not to e.g. safeguarding concern, or at the request of children’s social care. In such cases the visit should be a DSL/DDSL. The purpose of the visit should be clarified and all staff should be aware of the circumstances in which emergency services of partner agencies should be contacted

Schools should ensure staff:

  • Have a clear understanding of the actions that should be taken if the child or parent is at immediate risk
  • Observe social distancing at all times
  • Except in an emergency, never enter a home without the parent/carers consent or when the parent/carer is absent
  • Policies reflect any procedures or guidance issued by the safeguarding partnership

23. First Aid and medication

It is worth noting that in exceptional circumstances, the Managing Health & Safety at Work Regulations do allow an organisation to function without any member of staff being trained in ‘First Aid at Work’. If a school has no trained first aider due to COVID-19, it is the responsibility of school leaders and/ or the employer to identify a senior person on site each day to lead on any crisis or serious incident including the provision of first aid. This decision should be supported by a risk assessment that takes into account the number of staff, children and / or other visitors on site, the proximity of emergency services, any particular risks presented, etc. Risks should be minimised as much as possible, for example by not undertaking high risk or adventurous activities.

  • Staff whose ‘first aid at work’ training is about to or has expired since 16th March 2020 should be aware that the HSE has agreed an extension of 3 months for renewal
  • Depending on the ages of the children accessing the provision, there may need to be at least one person trained in paediatric first aid at all times when children are on site

Schools should:

  • If there is no member of staff available who has completed ‘first aid at work’ training, identify a senior person to be responsible each day review and update first aid, medicines in school and crisis/emergency policies and relevant risk assessments

24a. Use of technology for online/virtual teaching
The narrative of section 24 remains relevant. However, there has been a sharp increase in the use of technology for remote learning since March 2020 and this addendum provides some basic guidelines for staff and school leaders.

  • All settings should review their online safety and acceptable use policies and amend these if necessary, ensuring that all staff involved in virtual teaching or the use of technology to contact pupils are briefed on best practice and any temporary changes to policy/procedures
  • When selecting a platform for online/virtual teaching, settings should satisfy themselves that the provider has an appropriate level of security
  • Wherever possible, staff should use school devices and contact pupils only via the pupil school email address/log in. This ensures that the setting’s filtering and monitoring software is enabled
  • In deciding whether to provide virtual or online learning for pupils, senior leaders should take into account issues such as accessibility within the family home, the mental health and wellbeing of children, including screen time, the potential for inappropriate behaviour by staff or pupils, staff access to the technology required, etc. Virtual lessons should be timetabled and senior staff, DSL and / or heads of department should be able to drop in to any virtual lesson at any time – the online version of entering a classroom
  • Staff engaging in online learning should display the same standards of dress and conduct that they would in the real world; they should also role model this to pupils and parents

The following points should be considered:-

  •  Think about the background; photos, artwork, identifying features, mirrors – ideally the backing should be   blurred
  •  Staff and pupils should be in living / communal areas – no bedrooms
  •  Staff and pupils should be fully dressed
  •  Filters at a child’s home may be set at a threshold which is different to the school
  •  Resources/videos must be age-appropriate –  the child may not have support immediately to hand at home if they feel distressed or anxious about content
  • It is the responsibility of the staff member to act as a moderator; raise any issues of suitability (of dress, setting, behaviour) with the child and / or parent immediately and end the online interaction if necessary
  • Recording lessons does not prevent abuse. If staff wish to record the lesson they are teaching, consideration should be given to data protection issues; e.g., whether parental/pupil consent is needed and retention/storage. If a staff member believes that a child or parent is recording the interaction, the lesson should be brought to an end or that child should be logged out immediately. Staff, parent and pupil AUPs should clearly state the standards of conduct required
  •  If staff need to contact a pupil or parent by phone and do not have access to a work phone, they should discuss this with a senior member of staff and, if there is no alternative, always use ‘caller withheld’ to ensure the pupil/parent is not able to identify the staff

This means schools should:

  •  Review and amend their online safety and acceptable use policies to reflect the current situation
  •  Ensure that all relevant staff have been briefed and understand the policies and the standards of conduct   expected of them
  •  Have clearly defined operating times for virtual learning
  •  Consider the impact that virtual teaching may have on children and their parents/carers/siblings
  •  Determine whether there are alternatives to virtual teaching in ‘real-time’ – e.g., using audio only, pre-recorded lessons, existing online resources
  •  Be aware of the virtual learning timetable and ensure they have the capacity to join a range of lessons
  •  Take into account any advice published by the local authority, MAP or their online safety/monitoring software provide

This means that staff should:

  •  Adhere to their schools’ policy
  •  Be fully dressed
  •  Ensure that a senior member of staff is aware that the online lesson/meeting is taking place and for what   purpose
  •  Avoid one to one situations – request that a parent is present in the room for the duration, or ask a colleague   or member of SLT to join the session
  •  Only record a lesson or online meeting with a pupil where this has been agreed with the headteacher or   other senior staff, and the pupil and their parent/carer have given explicit written consent to do so
  •  Be able to justify images of pupils in their possession

This means that adults should not:
 

  •  Contact pupils outside the operating times defined by senior leaders
  •  Take or record images of pupils for their personal use
  •  Record virtual lessons or meetings using personal equipment (unless agreed and risk assessed by senior staff)
  •  Engage online while children are in a state of undress or semi-undress

28. Whistleblowing
  
Schools should:

  • Have a whistleblowing policy in place which is known to all and which has been reviewed/amended in the light of the current pandemic

I hope that this summarised version of the addendum helps in someway to minimise your ever-demanding safeguarding workload. We would love to hear your feedback and do let us know if you would like information bulletin’s on any specific safeguarding areas?

Stay safe and enjoy the sun.

All the best, Yvonne

Website by AgencyforGood

Copyright 2022. Safeguarding Support Limited. Company number 11015008