There is no more important governing responsibility than keeping children safe: making sure that safeguarding procedures are properly followed in our schools and trusts and that the right culture of safeguarding is in evidence.
When carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, schools must have regard to the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE). Those governing must read and understand KCSiE (part two sets out their responsibilities) and boards should ensure that those staff who work directly with children read at least part one.
An updated KCSiE has been published and takes effect from 1 September. Whilst the changes are relatively minor, those governing must be aware of them and, at the earliest available opportunity, boards ensure the safeguarding policies and procedures of their school or trust have been amended to reflect them. NGA has also updated its safeguarding guidance to reflect the changes, which include:
- An emphasis on the need for effective IT monitoring and filtering, including a reference to the newly published filtering and monitoring standards.
- Clarification that it is good practice for schools to inform shortlisted candidates that online searches will be carried out.
- Signposting to cyber security standards.
- Further guidance on safeguarding where organisations or individuals are using school premises.
"Safeguarding and child protection must underpin everything that the school & trust does so that every decision is in the best interests of pupils."
Safeguarding is everyone’s business. As well as ensuring that policies and procedures are compliant and effective and all understand responsibilities, those governing and working in schools must have the knowledge and skills to carry them out. Governors and trustees should therefore ensure they undertake the necessary training and be confident that all staff have undertaken the training required for their respective roles. In addition to our Safeguarding guide for governing boards, we also have a Safeguarding link governor/trustee role description and safeguarding e-learning for Learning Link subscribers.
Safeguarding and child protection must underpin everything that the school/trust does so that every decision is in the best interests of pupils. The right culture will also help cultivate an environment that encourages a culture of vigilance and openness where pupils feel confident to approach a member of staff if they have a worry or problem and one where staff remain vigilant and act on safeguarding concerns.
Head of Advice
Rani oversees NGA’s Advice team and GOLDline service. She leads on the SEND and premises management policy areas and manages NGA’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion. She is co-chair of an infant and nursery school in Solihull.