Fortnightly Safeguarding Briefing

30th March 2020

Safeguarding Network - Confidence in safeguarding

First a huge thank you to the Designated Safeguarding Leads and deputies around the country who are working so hard to support vulnerable children both in and out of school. Someone replied to one of our Twitter posts that it feels like safeguarding has stepped up a notch. This is undoubtedly the case: there is much risk around at present with children and young people in an intense situation with their families, tensions about limits on peer relationships, a dramatic reduction in the support they are able to access, stretched services in place to support, lots of national anxiety and changes in the way we communicate and changing guidance. You and your staff teams are at the pivot point, holding all these strands and trying to keep each child in mind. It's a crucial job and we are grateful to you for doing it!

We've done what we can to support schools and colleges with the pressures by drafting a template COVID-19 annex for your child protection policy in line with the new guidance, providing a weekly online forum for discussions and providing telephone support and supervision to several of our members. Do keep in contact and we will continue to support you in your work through this hugely challenging time.

Covid-19 Government webpage

The DfE released safeguarding guidance on Friday for schools which requires a review of your safeguarding policy (and other policies), changes to practice and communication to all your school's staff.

It's a substantial addition recognising the changed landscape in which staff, children and families are living with COVID-19. The guidance suggests amendments to your policy, or the addition of an Annex. Changes must be communicated to staff and there is also guidance on safe remote learning to communicate to parents, carers and young people.

We've worked to create a template COVID-19 Annex for your child protection policy. As you know only too well, there's no 'one size fits all' in safeguarding, so there is some tailoring to be done, but it gives you a good framework, includes the necessary areas and links to guidance and will hopefully save you a few hours of policy drafting. You can access the policy on our COVID-19 page, or by clicking the link below.

Download the COVID-19 Child Protection Procedure Annex template

What next

There's new guidance on remote learning and we anticipate at some point there will be more guidance on communication with children at home, especially if the lockdown tightens.

Safeguarding Network will continue to provide you with support through this period. We don't receive external funding, so if you've not already joined do consider becoming a member. In addition to these emails, members receive:

  • weekly online meetings with other DSLs and our safeguarding advisors through this period;
  • online safeguarding webinars covering the guidance, Covid-19 and preparing staff for Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 - ideal for staff working from home;
  • safeguarding e-learning from 99p per person, bringing everyone up to date;
  • access to our in-house training packages - presentations, quizzes and scenarios;
  • a huge information and safeguarding resource store for you and your staff;
  • free initial safeguarding advice or advice on implementation of the guidance.

Membership is just £99 through to the end of the school year.

Click here for instant access to Safeguarding Network

While the current focus is undoubtedly on identifying vulnerable children and making sure they are safe, we also feel it is important to continue identifying research and news that allows the valuable safeguarding services that we all provide to continue during this current climate and when things start to return to some normality.  The following section therefore moves away from focusing on COVID-19.

Draft KCSiE cover

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 consultation

We understand the DfE are continuing the consultation on the proposed changes to KCSiE that are due to come into effect in September. Whilst all the face to face consultations have been scrapped, the online consultation can still be accessed here (closing date is the 21st April 2020).

We are designing online members' briefings on all the key areas in the draft guidance to keep you and your staff up to date. For a detailed look at the changes see our Safeguarding Insight.

Children in need review cover

Children in Need Review

A significant proposed change to Keeping Children Safe in Education has been a shift in emphasis to identifying that all children who have or have had a social worker should be considered as vulnerable. This change is a direct result of the Children in Need Review.

Published in June last year, the review did not necessarily receive much fanfare, but its findings have significant implications.

The review found that for children who have needed a social worker:

 
  • 35% have SEN (compared with 13% of those who haven't needed a social worker);
  • 42% claimed free school meals (compared with 11%);
  • 17% have both SEN and free schools meals (compared with 3%); and
  • 39% have neither SEN or free school meals (compared with 78%).

The review also identified that outcomes were consistently poorer where children had needed a social worker, with the poor outcomes persisting through the child's education. It is therefore clear why there is focus on ensuring that all children who have or have had a social worker are identified and additional support given where required.

Who are we?

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

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

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