It goes without saying that safeguarding is an important and essential topic in any school environment, and every member of staff should be equally invested in promoting the safety and welfare of the students.
Here are our 6 steps to successful safeguarding in schools:
(1) Create a comprehensive safeguarding policy
Every school setting should have a safeguarding policy available to every member of staff. It should be built into the staff induction process and should be regularly reviewed and updated. A good safeguarding policy will include contact details for local agencies and partners, an equality statement, information about any risks that may be present on your site, a statement to detail the aim and purpose of the policy, and links to, or copies of, any relevant legislation and guidance.
(2) Get up-to-date verifiable safeguarding training
It is absolutely essential to have an up-to-date safeguarding training certificate if you work in a school. We have a range of online safeguarding courses, including a schools-specific Safeguarding in Education course. This course is essentially 3 in 1, covering essential topics such as the Prevent Duty, Online Safety, as well as all the Child Protection knowledge you would expect from an introductory safeguarding course. For the Designated Safeguarding Lead Person(s), we also have a Designated Safeguarding Lead Training course to build on this knowledge.
(3) Install effective filters on your computer network
To prevent students and staff from accessing harmful online content, ensure that your internet filters are established to block any potentially damaging content. This includes the use of social media sites, gaming sites, and public forums.
(4) Discuss safeguarding in the classroom
Try to build the topic of safeguarding into your lesson plans regularly. A ten-minute conversation every week could go a long way towards reinforcing the message to your students. Topics to address include bulling, cyberbullying, anti-radicalisation, e-safety, and the signs of abuse or neglect.
(5) Regularly promote the importance of staying safe online
We’ve recently launched our fantastic free video series, ‘Staying Safe Online with Lou Carpenter’, which aims to give teachers and students a fun, interactive introduction to online safety basics. Over the coming weeks, we’re releasing 6 episodes, and for each episode there are 2 videos – one aimed at teaching staff, and the other aimed at students. These videos are great classroom resources to encourage discussion about staying safe on the internet.
If you would like to be on the mailing list to get our free video series delivered direct to your inbox, please click here to sign up.
(6) Use an online management system to track expired training
Safeguarding training certificates typically expire within 2 years, so it is vitally important that you keep track of your staff training records in order to keep your knowledge up to date. An expired certificate will also cost you valuable marks in your next Ofsted inspection – so don’t get caught out.
At Smart Horizons, we have an online learning management system that lets schools and organisations manage their training certificates automatically. You’ll receive email notifications when a certificate is due to expire, and administrators can invite all staff to take training at the click of a button.