Safeguarding procedures – circulated to those working in a voluntary capacity at Brandlehow School:
Keeping Children Safe in Education: summary
This article summarises part 1 of the government's updated statutory guidance on safeguarding. It outlines what staff should know and do. It also looks at the arrangements that should be in place for safeguarding, recruitment and managing allegations.
In September 2020 the Department for Education (DfE) published an updated version of its statutory guidance on safeguarding, Keeping Children Safe in Education. The guidance is organised into five main parts covering:
1. Safeguarding information for all staff
2. The management of safeguarding
3. Safer recruitment
4. Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff
5. Child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment
London Grid for Leaning has translated Keeping Children Safe into a number of other languages:
The translations can be found here: kcsietranslate.lgfl.net
The DfE says the document should be read alongside the government’s inter-agency safeguarding guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children, which was updated on 21st February 2019, and its departmental advice, 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners'.
These documents are summarised in the following articles:
These documents explain that governing bodies should ensure that all staff read part one of the guidance, as a minimum. Part one outlines what school and college staff should know and do in relation to safeguarding.
In the document, Keeping Children Safe in Education, safeguarding is defined as protecting anyone under the age of 18 from maltreatment, preventing impairment of their health or development, ensuring they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and taking action to enable them to have the best outcomes.
Role of schools and colleges
The role of schools and colleges in safeguarding children says schools and colleges “are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children” and should:
- Work with social care, the police, health services and others to protect children, and promote their welfare
- Have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members and liaise with other agencies
Role of school and college staff
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone's responsibility.
All school staff should make sure that any decisions made are in the best interests of the child.
All school staff should:
- Provide a safe environment in which children can learn
- Know about (and feel confident to use) school safeguarding systems, including:
o Policies on child protection, pupil behaviour and staff behaviour
o Safeguarding response to children who go missing from education
o The role and identity of your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and any deputies
They need to know:
- How to identify children who may benefit from early help and what the local early help process is
- How to make referrals to children's social care and for the statutory assessments that may follow a referral, and their role in these assessments
- How to identify signs of abuse and neglect, and what to do if a child makes a disclosure
- That safeguarding incidents and behaviours can happen between children outside school and be linked to factors outside school
- That children can be at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families (e.g. sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and serious youth violence), and consider when this might be the case
- How to maintain confidentiality by only involving those who need to be involved
- That they should never promise a child confidentiality
Role of Safeguarding Link Governors
The governing body as a whole is responsible for the safeguarding of children in our school. At Brandlehow, because we regard safeguarding as the highest of priorities, we have two link governors for safeguarding and a third, linked specifically to e-safety. Primarily their role is to help ensure that safeguarding is effective and not to carry out the work of the Designated Safeguarding Leads. The role is specifically around strategic issues and to make sure there are effective systems to keep vulnerable children safe. It is not about individual cases.
- are the lead governors who understand the safeguarding requirements
- support the work of the designated safeguarding lead
- meet regularly with the designated safeguarding lead/s and any other relevant staff
- report back to the governing body about how effective safeguarding is and to facilitate the scrutiny of safeguarding
- ensure compliance with statutory duties and guidance for safeguarding
- ensure that safeguarding deficiencies are brought to the governing body
- ensure that the safeguarding and child protection policy is being followed in practice; and to be involved in any policy review
- ensure that the training programme for staff reflects the needs of the school and statutory regulations.
- ensure that the governing body is kept aware of the safeguarding risks to young people in the school
- ensure that records are kept securely and in one place
- ensure that there is appropriate monitoring and tracking in place for vulnerable pupils
- ensure that there is a consistent approach to safeguarding and child protection across the school
- ensure that the curriculum for safeguarding reflects the risks for young people in the area
- ensure that safer recruitment processes are in place
- ensure that the single central record is compliant.
Actions to take where staff have concerns
Staff working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of 'it could happen here' where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff should always act in the best interests of the child.
The guidance explains that concerns should be raised with the designated safeguarding lead, who will make decisions about referrals. Where a child and family would benefit from co-ordinated support, an inter-agency assessment should be made.
However, it emphasises: If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
The guidance also gives examples of poor practice, such as failing to act early, poor record keeping, failing to listen to the views of the child, sharing information too slowly and failing to challenge those who are not taking action.
Types of abuse and neglect
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child and can take the form of:
- Physical abuse - involving hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. This can also be caused by a parent or carer fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately inducing illness in a child
- Emotional abuse - persistent emotional maltreatment which causes severe and adverse effects on the child's emotional development
- Sexual abuse - forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving high levels of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development.
This is explained further on pages 8 and 9 of KCSIE.
The document includes links to advice and help on specific safeguarding issues such as domestic violence, gangs and youth violence, and sexting.It also includes further information on children missing from education, child sexual exploitation (CSE), FGM and preventing radicalisation.
This includes details of the statutory duty to report FGM from October 2015, and schools' duties under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act as of July 2015.