Safeguarding in Schools
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Schools and colleges have a key role in ensuring children and young people are kept safe. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating.
All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. To lead the safeguarding function in schools and colleges each school and college has a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care. Within each school and college there are responsibilities which apply to every member of staff and these include:
Identifying children who may require support from children’s social care or from early help services
- Knowing how to make a referral into the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) through the Central Advice and Duty Team (CADT) ‘front door’
- Being familiar with the schools safeguarding/child protection policies and procedures and the code of conduct
- Understanding the role of the designated safeguarding lead and knowing who they are and how to contact them.
There are two key statutory guidance documents for schools and colleges which detail their responsibilities to keep children and safe and to promote their welfare; Keeping Children safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children. Both can be downloaded below:
Also included below is a guidance document for safer working practices in schools published by the Safer Recruitment Consortium and recommended by the DfE.
Safeguarding Policies and Procedures
The Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) publishes a full set of multi-agency safeguarding policies and procedures which can be accessed here: http://wirrallscb.proceduresonline.com
There is also useful information for schools on this website about what to do if you have concerns about a child, and guidance information for key safeguarding issues such as child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, child abuse, radicalisation, e-safety, private fostering etc.
The WSCB publishes a model safeguarding policy for schools which they can adapt for their own setting. The policy can be downloaded below:
Working with schools the WSCB has also developed a Safeguarding Reflection document which can form the basis of reflection sessions for staff who routinely attend child protection, child in need or team around the family multi-agency meetings. The document can be downloaded here:
Section 175 Safeguarding Audit
Schools and colleges have a statutory duty under Working Together to Safeguard Children and Section 175 of the Education Act (2002) to provide assurance to the WSCB about arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Assurance is primarily provided through completion of the annual Section 175 safeguarding audit which is completed online. More information and details of how to register are available here:
The WSCB offers a programme of multi-agency safeguarding training which schools can access free of charge. Details of the training and how to book can be found on the website HERE