Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone's responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and careers has a role to play in safeguarding children.
School staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
The Department for Education (DfE) has statutory guidance which sets out the responsibilities of all schools and colleges in England to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people - 'Keeping children safe in education'.
The DfE Guidance applies to all schools and is for Head Teachers, teachers and staff governing bodies, proprietors and management committees and sets out the legal duties you must follow to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18 in schools and colleges.
The Safer Recruitment Consortium has produced non-statutory guidance for professionals working in education settings 'Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings'.
However the Minister for Children and Families recommends that schools, colleges and Local Safeguarding Children Boards consider using it in conjunction with the DfE's statutory guidance - 'Keeping children safe in education' when devising and implementing their safeguarding and child protection policies and training plans.
The original guidance was developed by a DfES network in 2005, with revisions in 2009. The 2015 update has been produced in consultation with representatives from local authorities, CAPE and a number of NASS schools. It should be helpful when developing your staff behaviour policy/code of conduct.
A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare to children.
This advice will help understand how to comply with the law or explain what policies mean in practice.
Schools must have a sex education policy (except maintained nursery schools). The governing body is free to determine how often this policy is reviewed. The governing body is free to delegate approval of the sex education policy to a committee of the governing body, an individual governor or the head teacher.
The Government consultation on plans to modernise sex education, which will include mandatory relationships education for four-year-olds ended on the 12 February 2018.
Currently the statutory guidance for teaching Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), which was introduced in 2000, makes no mention of the internet. In view of this many leading parent representative bodies, as well as leading education and safeguarding organisations, such as teaching unions and charities and young people themselves call for compulsory SRE and/or PSHE (Girl Guiding’s Advocate Panel, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Chairman of the Catholic Education Service to name a few.
In view of this from September 2019, all schools will be required to teach RSE to pupils from the age of four onwards, although primary-aged children will be taught relationships education only.
As part of safeguarding procedures, organisations must ensure that they have in place clear guidelines for the retention, storage and destruction of records relating to child welfare concerns or concerns about possible risk posed by employees.
To support settings in achieving this the NSPCC has created some guidelines to assist organisations in their understanding of the principles of keeping and managing records about child protection concerns. The guidelines cover the storage of child protection records; retention periods; recording concerns about adult behaviour; disclosure and barring checks; and the destruction of child protection records.