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We advise clients by telephone and by email, by letter and (if it suits them) at our office here in Norfolk.

Safeguarding Children in Schools

Safeguarding Children is bigger than just child protection. It covers

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development
  • Ensuring that children are provided with safe and effective care
  • Doing all this so that children have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
  • For schools, it also covers pupil health and safety and the prevention of bullying.

Heads and school leaders must:

  • Ensure that the approved local polices and procedures are actually implemented in school.
  • Ensure that staff have time to follow up child protection issues
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice with regard to children, including as "whistleblowers".

  • Safeguarding Children in the Recruitment and Selection of Staff and Volunteers

    This applies to:

    • Teachers
    • Learning Assistants
    • Other full-time staff
    • Part-time staff
    • Seasonal staff
    • Office staff
    • School governors
    • Volunteers and Helpers - and
    • Contractors

    The test is this: Is this person likely to be someone the children will expect to be able to trust? If so, vet them first.

    People who do not need checking include:

    • Visitors and Contractors who will not expect to have unsupervised access to children
    • Volunteers and Parents who are just helping with an event like sports day or a concert or an outing not involving overnight accommodation
    • Existing trusted staff
    • Staff who have moved directly from working in another school for the same employer

    Every school needs to have a Recruitment and Selection Policy Statement.

    There is a lot of other detailed advice available and every school needs to be seen to be taking that on board. The job descriptions, person specifications, job adverts, interview procedures, etc etc all need to put safeguarding high on the agenda.

    Many schools involve the pupils in the selection process, but I think the only real reason for doing that is to test the candidate's rapport with the children.

    Recruiters should have a list of the pre-appointment checks needed before a job is offered to the (otherwise) successful candidate:

    Every school needs to have a single Central Record of all staff and all the checks you have done.

    Every school needs to have a procedure for dealing with allegations against staff.