Fortnightly Safeguarding Briefing

28th January 2019

Safeguarding Network - Confidence in safeguarding

Welcome to your safeguarding briefing

We are well into the spring term now, although the weather outside may make it seem anything but spring like. As well as the updates below, there's a busy couple of weeks ahead with Young Carers Awareness Day on the 31st January and Safer Internet Day on the 5th February. See our resources pages for more information about online safety and young carers. Subscribing schools can access our staff update materials.

In this update:

  • New Ofsted Inspection Framework Consultation
  • Mental Health Awareness Week
  • County Lines

Inspection Framework Consultation

Another week, another consultation. Ofsted have launched a consultation on their new inspection framework. Running until 23.45 on the 5th April 2019, the consultation covers the breadth of inspections that Ofsted undertakes in education settings.

For maintained schools and academies, safeguarding is discussed on pages 67-69 of the draft document, where it refers to inspectors evaluating the safeguarding culture in the school.

Of note however is that there are other sections in the same document talking about how inspectors will consider the response of the school to specific cohorts of children (e.g. those off-rolled, those with additional needs and those where referrals have been made to the local authority) - all of which fall under the wider umbrella of the safeguarding culture of the school and therefore need to be considered.

Within the actual consultation document, safeguarding is only explicitly mentioned in relation to two of the proposals, one specifically for maintained schools and academies and one for the further education and skills sector.

Children's mental health week (4th to 10th February)

Despite numerous high profile campaigns over recent years and regardless of the age of the person involved, there remains a lot of stigma in relation to mental ill health. However to quote the motto of the Airborne Delivery Wing of the RAF, "Knowledge Dispels Fear".

Children's Mental Health Week logo

Children's mental health week serves to raise the profile of children's mental health (thereby reducing stigma) and this year the theme is "Healthy: Inside and Out". There are resources available for you to use with primary and secondary school students to help get you involved.

Access the resources here.

The Mental Health Foundation are also currently running a campaign, "Mental Health in Schools: Make it Count", identifying that increasing numbers of school children are struggling with their mental health. The campaign page has commentary, a podcast, personal stories and guides for pupils, parents and teachers about how to maintain good mental health.

See more here.

Make it Count logo
Safeguarding Network logo

Safeguarding Network have developed a resource page on child mental health and how it links with safeguarding, with links to other useful sites and more information. Our safeguarding insights section has a more in-depth article about children's mental health, what needs to be done to reduce stigma and respond appropriately within school - all of which is free to access.

Safeguarding Network members also have access to our staff update package which can be used to develop staff knowledge of child mental health and links with safeguarding.

Person in hoodie looking away and down railway tracks

County Lines

County lines are are growing issue across the UK, with something in the local or national news on a daily basis. One recent news report estimated that the business is worth £3 million per day to the gangs running the lines and that there are around 2,000 lines in existence.

As with all forms of criminal child exploitation (CCE), there are significant risks for children and young people who are involved in county lines. Amanda Speilman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, is clear that there should be a redefining of the line as to where schools responsibilities start and stop, however she identifies that there is a role for education settings in identifying concerns and making necessary referrals (4th December 2018).

It is therefore important that schools and other settings are aware of county lines, associated risks and vulnerabilities. This is another example of where taking a contextual safeguarding approach can assist in knowing and understanding risks that children and young people may be at.

Government guidance in relation to county lines (updated Sept 2018) can be found here.

Safeguarding Network have developed a resource page on county lines. Members can also access our staff update materials.

Who are we?

Safeguarding Network recognise that the demands on schools are increasing from every aspect. Safeguarding is no exception. Using our front-line safeguarding experience and knowledge we develop resources to help schools meet their safeguarding requirements with the aim of helping lighten the load.

Visit https://safeguarding.network/subscribe for more information.

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