Fortnightly Safeguarding Briefing

25th February 2019

Safeguarding Network - Confidence in safeguarding

Welcome to your safeguarding briefing

For most of us this will the first day back after half term. We hope that you had the opportunity to have some time off and managed to recharge the batteries. Due to Brexit there has not been much else going on in government recently, however for those of you who are keen watchers for updates, Working Together had a minor update last week amending how local authorities notify the Child Safeguarding Panel in the event of a serious incident or a child death. Up to date copies of Working Together can be accessed here.

In this update:

  • Listening to children
  • Safer Recruitment and GDPR
  • Radicalisation
Young girl looking off to right

Dealing with disclosures

The NSPCC have undertaken further research around disclosures which builds on previous findings that as adults we do not always recognise a disclosure for what it is and may not feel comfortable dealing with a disclosure.

The NSPCC identify three simple directions:

  • Show you care, help them to open up
  • Take your time, slow down
  • Show you understand, reflect back.

With numerous serious case reviews identifying that the voice of the child is not heard, having a staff group that feel confident in hearing the voice of the child is paramount. Safeguarding Network have further information around listening to children, including links to the NSPCC research, which can be used to refresh staff knowledge and understanding.

Safer recruitment and GDPR

We were recently asked whether GDPR meant that it was no longer possible to request references prior to interview, as this would mean that the person (or organisation) being asked to provide the reference would be processing data unlawfully.

We consider this question and the integration of GDPR into wider safer recruitment processes in this post. Safeguarding Network is currently in the process of developing resources around safer recruitment - let us know what would help you by contacting us.

Hand extending from shadowy figure

Radicalisation

You cannot have escaped the news in relation to Shamima Begum, the now 19 year old who went to Syria with two school friends aged 15 and now wants to return to the UK. Over the past weeks there have been competing views as to whether she went to Syria knowingly or whether she was groomed and exploited.

Irrespective of individual views, the case places a focus on radicalisation and the role of schools and other organisations in identifying children and young people at risk of radicalisation, making appropriate referrals and accessing Prevent and Channel processes as necessary.

Coupled with this, the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 received Royal Assent on the 12th February. Whilst not making any significant changes from a safeguarding perspective, it provided for an independent review of Prevent. The strategy, last reviewed in 2015, requires schools to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" (whether that is violent or non-violent). The proposed review aims to streamline processes and ensure that it is more adaptable to allow for children and young people who quickly progress from low level offences to something more significant and serious. More information can be found on this government fact-sheet.

Behind all this, the current focus reinforces the importance of a knowledgeable and aware staff group. Would you be confident that your staff have the requisite knowledge? Safeguarding Network have have resources available to help with staff awareness and training.

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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