April DSL materials

We are focusing this month on managing allegations about staff. We say 'about' rather than 'against' as we work hard to create a culture that's not adversarial, and that it people are worried, they speak out.

See below for...

  • resources
  • Managing Allegations and the role of the LADO elearning
  • Tips on Managing Allegations
  • Template Managing Allegations policy

Resources

These are available at safeguarding.network/position-of-trust. You'll find

  • your bite-size staff presentation for this month with notes
  • your handout
  • your quiz and answers
  • a safeguarding scenario for you to use with your staff, together with our suggested responses
  • elearning on making an effective referral to the LADO aimed at DSLs and Deputies (£9 pp)
  • our template Managing Allegations policy (£199)

You need to be a member and logged in as a DSL to access the training materials, although there's also lots of other useful information and free resources on the page.

Managing Allegations elearning

We're sharing our elearning modules around specific subjects at the very discounted rate of £9pp. This course is about an hour and on successful completion issues a certificate. It aims to ensure you understand the role of the LADO and how to manage allegations. Over 1,300 people have completed the course and 90% rated it 8+/10, commenting...

  • It was interactive and linked to other learning
  • I feel more confident as the Deputy Safeguarding Lead
  • It explained exactly what I needed to know
  • A great introduction with resources to refer back to as needed.

Safeguarding leads who are members of Safeguarding Network can select which staff should have access to the elearning:

  1. Log in and visit the Your School page.
  2. For new users, scroll to Your Staff, click the 'add users' button and paste in their emails. Tick the Managing Allegations and permissions boxes, then click submit and you're done.
  3. For existing users scroll to the bottom of the page and click the last View/Edit button for Managing Allegations. Select the staff you want to complete the training (hold ctrl button for multiple selection), click the right arrow to move them across and click Update Learners.

Tips on managing allegations

Our safeguarding consultancy arm, dialogue, provides independent investigators to schools and other organisations when an allegation is made that is particularly complex, involves senior staff or there is a potential conflict of interest. We've highlighted three of the most significant pitfalls where allegations are made:

  • Is it an allegation? Lord Laming commented “Child protection very rarely comes labelled as such”, and that’s just as true in safeguarding within an organisation. Look for side comments made, things said ‘in jest’, comments by disgruntled children, parents or employees. At times we find organisations have more reasons not to hear the allegation than to take it seriously. An allegation is simply a statement made without evidence. Consider it at face value initially – if it were true, would it meet the criteria? Working on this basis means everyone is protected – foundless allegations are quickly investigated and removed from circulation.
  •  
  • Too quick to suspend. At the opposite end of the scale where allegations are made there is a tendency to move to suspend staff and instruct them to have no contact with anyone at the school. The guidance advises completely the opposite… suspension should be a last resort and (unless there are very good reasons otherwise) schools may not instruct staff to have no contact with suspended employees. Suspension is not good for the staff member, for the organisation or in many cases for the young person – weigh the decision carefully and look for the least draconian option that keeps the young person safe.
  •  
  • The time taken. The guidance has specific timescales for investigation which we find are very often exceeded. We are involved in the more complicated cases, but most of the time we still help schools come to a view within a fortnight of being commissioned. Keep investigations as a high priority, set yourself challenging targets for investigation, ensure staff have a strong advocate in SLT whose role is to support them and hold the organisation to account and work effectively with other agencies to reach the decisions you need. It is a myth that the school investigation must wait until any police investigation is complete: while you must not compromise the police investigation if you have sufficient information to take action then discuss this with your partner organisations and move forward.

Contact us if you require independent investigation services or speak direct to John Woodhouse on 07921 015 176

Managing allegations policy cover

Managing allegations policy

“This is really good… I wish I’d had it before!”

Safeguarding Network's policy is rooted in the guidance and includes analytic tools to copy into your safeguarding records.

It’s the best policy we hope you’ll never have to use! Contact us for a copy for just £199

Your CPD

This month's in-depth read reflects the national focus on knife crime and young people. We review the Ofsted research and compare it to other data available, together with steps that can be taken in your school.

to read more, please click here

Not a member...?

Every DSL has to ensure staff receive regular training and have not just read Keeping Children Safe in Education but can apply their knowledge. Each month Safeguarding Network provides you with the materials to support your staff's learning at a very low cost, a structured and comprehenisve approach to your safeguarding requirements.

click here to join us now

Planning ahead...

Next month we are supporting international missing children's day on 25th May so our materials will focus on children missing from school.

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Happy to help.

We're here to make sure you do an excellent job in your school. If you need advice on safeguarding guidance or cases, please don't hesitate to ask the DSL network on the forums, or get in touch with us.